I hope everyone had a great Christmas. Our first Natale in our Italian home was filled with time among friends and a lot of eating – festeggiamo.
This started with Vigilia where the Pro Loco arranged for parents to deposit gifts at the office and then Babbo Natale, with a small band in tow, went around town delivering the presents to waiting children. Then we had the traditional late Christmas Eve dinner at our friends’ agriturismo where we finished eating just in time to attend midnight mass. After mass we exchanged “auguri” with all the people we have come to know in the past few months.
We stopped into the church Christmas morning to see the presepe and our local priest, Don Tonino, came over to greet us. He said he noticed us at mass the night before and offered to do the customary blessing of our home. Just after the morning mass he arrived with two altar boys and did a short blessing of our humble abode.
Christmas pranzo was spent at our neighbors’ house with their family. As with all of our encounters here a large portion of the conversation focused on our relocation to Italy and specifically why this area. After several hours of feasting we headed home for a riposo. Christmas night we strolled around town with friends to work off some of the food from lunch.
The day after Christmas is Santo Stefano, a national holiday. This is also the patron saint day for a friend of ours and his daughter from Laurenzana. so we were invited for another pranzo. We accompanied their family to an agriturismo for several hours of festeggiamo, followed by dessert and cake in honor of Stefano and Stefana at their home.
The following day we were invited to the house of some other friends for pranzo to celebrate the butchering of their pig. This will need to be another blog entry but suffice it to say we were again at the table for a couple hours.
We will be having a couple days of vegetables only…only to be followed by us taking a trip to Miami to board a cruise with my family for a week. Thank God for the blessing of friends and lots of steep streets in our hill town to help control our waistlines.