02 April 2010

Buona Pasqua

Easter is huge in Italy! This whole Easter week has been amazing and yesterday was one of those lovely days with a little bit of everything good to savor. My neighbor suggested a mountain hike and picnic in a park nestled in the mountains and surrounded by ancient hill cities seemingly carved into rock wall. Mother nature cooperated by providing the kind of spring weather that begs frolicking outdoors.

The rushing stream, full with spring snow melt, kept me company as I walked. An old pump in the picnic area let us sample the delicious water. And why does food always taste better outdoors, even simple picnic fare? Afterward, we explored a couple of the medieval cities and met again the hospitality famous in this area of Italy when a man and his wife offered to make us coffee when the local cafe in one of those towns was closed. We sat and chatted as we availed ourselves of their generosity.

Then, back to Sulmona for the second time this week with its festive confetti everywhere to pick up gifts for our neighbors. Easter (Pasqua) has feast day ceremonies galore on all the days leading up to it and gift exchange is common with family and friends. Flowers of all colors made from almond candies were fun to pick out and have arranged. To top it all off, we heard a concert by the Kiev String Orchestra that we happened to see advertised as we walked around. It was a wonderful, all women orchestra who, together with an Italian soprano and a Russian mezzo-soprano, performed a program of Easter sacred music. Their strong, sweet voices blending with the gorgeous strings were world class. Vivaldi, Puccini, Mozart, Handel and Franck - heaven! It was an awesome and very special way to end the day, all the more perfect because it was unplanned. A gift.

But we weren't done, because when we returned home, we heard about a new fish restaurant opening in our town. Off we went to dinner with friends in our tiny but rich town. My heart was full of gratitude for my life as I went to bed. New life just like the season celebrates.


  1. You make it all sound so idyllic. I love how much you appreciate being there. So many times, people in a country other than their own just can't see the beauty and culture around them. Brava, amica!

  2. Tag! You're "it." Come visit me to play.

    Hey, she started it!


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