:: cough, cough, cough::

“It’s totally not Covid.”

I turn and see a girl about 17 or 18 talking to another girl about the same age. Monterosso is swarming with tourists, and I’m surprised how many are American.

“It just felt like I had strep throat for a day or two ..”


“…and then I started coughing today…”


…”but I know it’s not Covid.”


“It’s totally not Covid.”

It is so totally covid.

Happy in spite of being surrounded by fellow Americans on the sidewalk. To be fair, they also seem to tolerate us with barely masked disappointment. The sense of dismay is mutual.

I decide that we are going to splurge on umbrella chairs for the afternoon. After lunch, we find a place, pay €25 for half day rental for two people (he reassures us that we don’t need towels), which also gives us access to changing rooms, loos, and outdoor showers, as well as the bar.

I change, and it isn’t long before we decide we need towels, so David goes off to purchase two.

There are lots of people, and I’m reluctant to get into the water at first because I always have that awkward experience getting out of the water. But we do go in.

There must be a lot of salt or something, because there is no struggle to stay afloat. I form a sitting position and stay suspended with just a relaxed sway of my arms. I float out on my belly, float back on my back. David dives in and swims out away from me, then turns and warns me that there are rocks at the bottom. I like that he is out swimming. The waves are playful and frolicsome, not showy or ominous. There are a lot of people,a lot of kids, a lot of different languages, and it’s nice Everyone is happy. Everyone is having fun. It’s joyful.

It’s joyful.

I’m joyful.

Sestri Levante

So I found out about this cool thing.

If you type in the name of your train station along with “live departure” (for example, “Piacenza live departures”), the look for the Google search result from g2 (sample screenshot below left), and then scroll down, you can find live departures and platform assignments that look like this (below right).

I discovered this because was slightly freaking out about the fact that we only had a 9 minute stopover in Piacenza to catch our connection to Voghera, then a 16 minute stopover in Voghera to catch the train to Sestri Levante, for which the Voghera train was 5 minutes late. But hey, presto, I could save time by finding out which platform my next train would be at ahead of time! (And on a later train trip, a young Australian guy told me about the app called Train1, where you can buy Tix, get status updates, see which stops are on the way, etc.)

You’re welcome.

Our Airbnb host met us at the station. She was a Bohemian looking woman who would fit right in in Santa Cruz, very chatty and outgoing, helped us carry our bags, and delivered us directly to her studio. Having lived in South Africa and traveled extensively as well the studio had lots of African and Balinese art. It also had giant windows which opened up and out, allowing for lots of air circulation.

We settled in and I texted Caterina that we had arrived. She was working late that night,but plans were made to meet for breakfast and dinner the next day. David and I walked to a nearby osteria for dinner, which we found out was one of the oldest osterias in Sestri. Of particular note, we had a vegan appetizer of panissa fritta topped with caramelized onions. The panissa fritta is like a thicker version of farinata, made from chickpea flour, and it was YUM. David ate so much that he declared there would be no more eating for three days. I suggest walk through Sestri instead.

The next morning,David slept in and I met Caterina on front of the train station. She cried when she saw me and gave me a big hug. ♥️ We walked to the coffee shop near her work, had cappuccino and focaccia for breakfast (her usual – focaccia originates in this area, by the way), and chatted. The last time I saw her was seven years ago when my son and I came through Italy. I wanted him to meet the family I had lived with for a month when I was 19. Caterina’s father had passed away before my son was born, but her mother was living with her sister Paola, and she gripped my hand and beamed at me the entire 3 hours that we visited her at Paola’s. At the end of the visit she insisted that my son return to Italy so she could teach him to make her ravioli. At Christmas that year, we received a box from her with hand-knit scarves and gifts for my mother and grandmother.

My sweet mamma italiana.

But last year, my “Italian mamma” passed away before I could return. I lost both my grandmother (who Caterina and her family had met and were fond of) and my dog last year, Caterina lost both her mother and her cat. We shared in our loss.

After breakfast, Caterina returned to work, and David and I did some shopping at the nearby markets and some walking around town.

I also had been thinking that morning of getting my upper left ear repierced (they close during covid – lost too many earrings during mask removal so I stopped wearing them), and what do you know? One of the first shops we passed after breakfast at home advertised ear piercings. So for €12, I got double-punctured. (The original two were very close together, as I had done them at home myself with a needle and ice. So the top one is a new spot.)

Sparkle! Can you see them?

David and I continue to walk along the Bay of Fables and over to the Bay of Silence, then headed back to rest again and shower before we met Caterina and her friends for dinner.

Bay of Fables above, Bay of Silence (and nearby) below.

The Bay of Fables is named such because supposedly this was a favorite vacation spot for Hans Christian Andersen, and legend has it that he was inspired to write The Little Mermaid here.

Later we caught up with Caterina, her friends Augusta, Roberta, and Gian, her nephew Fabio (who was a baby when I lived with Caterina’s family – now a handsome man in his 30s fond of working out and world travel), and Caterina’s one-year-old dog Lola. Caterina had made reservations for us at a local restaurant, which even welcomed Lola inside.

If you’ve read about any of my past summer travels, you might recall how heat intolerant I am. I think we’ve already established how my body reacts to heat. I’m just a delicate flower grown in the mild climate of central California, what can I say? I was perspiring so profusely, it was as if I had been doused with a garden hose. My only consolation was that Augusta seemed to be suffering almost as much, and both of us had our paper fans flapping the entire dinner. I am sure I absolutely charmed my dining companions. 🙄

Caterina’s gorgeous twin daughters, Laura and Letizia, joined us at the end of dinner, and took over dog duties. We all took a night time walk along the two bays again together, which brought me back to life, and then said our good nights. Sadly I was so engaged with our visit that I forgot to take photos, but if David took any I will add them later…!

The next day was spent in the Cinque Terre town of Monterosso (separate post), and then breakfast with Caterina and her wonderful sister Paola (a recently-retired train conductor who was caring for their mother). They gave David and I some lovely gifts, including a bag and doilies their mother had made, and a bracelet from Gian and Roberta, then we caught the train out of Sestri.

Paris of Italy

Italians have magical skin. I’m talking about Italians in Italy specifically, not the diaspora. It’s smooth. It’s poreless. It’s even. It’s elastic. Why? My cousin and I had this conversation. Male or female, it doesn’t matter. I dare you to find me an Italian whose skin is anything less than deific. How do they do it?

“Oh….you know, after you pour out the pasta, and there’s a little water left in the pan? You just tut-tut-tut.” Deborah mimes getting leftover pasta water on your fingertips and dabbing it on one’s face.

I’m dubious.

“No, really, and you can also…” Mimes spreading it on her arms and body. “And then you just let it dry and wash it off. It has many antiossidanti.”

I listen with great interest. On the way back to our Airbnb across the Parma River, it strikes me that she might be pulling my leg. But if you happen to see me massaging pasta water into my skin…well…

David and I had caught the train from Rome to Parma that day, with one train change in Bologna,and when she heard we had arrived Deborah invited us over for wine and garlic bruschetta. Then she also ended up making her grandmother’s recipe for orrecchiette with butter, tomato paste, and parmesan. (Or “PARmehJYANoh REJeeAHno,” as my aunt calls it. My aunt is immensely jealous of our trip to Parma. She’s been lugging around 2 lbs of cheese on the whole trip because it was such a great price, how could she NOT buy it? In Italy. At the start of her two week vacation.) It was simple and delicious, and Deborah says it reminds her of her grandmother. I teach her the phrase “comfort food.” She met my grandmother when my mom, grandmother, and I came to Italy together 30 years ago, and tells me how sorry she is that my grandma passed away last year. 💔

I taunted my aunt with this photo from the Carrefour supermarket near us. She immediately wanted to know if I were buying any.

We talk about life and what it’s like to be in our 50s now instead of 17 (her) and 19 (me), like when we first met. I meet her daughter for the first time, a tall, willowy, orchid-haired beauty who is almost the age her mother was back then.

Random door we came across on our walk home that we really liked.

The next morning David and I choose to rest for awhile, then we toured around an open-air market nearby before having lunch. We return to our place to cool off and freshen up before Deborah and her good friend Stefano pick us up for a tour around Parma.

The thing that strikes me the most about Parma is how lush with trees the streets are. Almost every street we drive down has a thick canopy overhead – someone is brilliant, because it is just the thing to help with the summer heat. In spite of a drought, the area is rich and green.

They educate us on the fact that Parma is called the Paris of Italy and has lots of French influence as a result of Napoleon’s wife, Maria Luigia of Austria, being declared Duchess of Parma. The government of Maria Luigia installed a famous theater, maternity hospital, bridge, public garden, and more. We also learned about the Farnese family, who were essentially the Parma equivalent of the Florentine Medici.

We then drive out to through the countryside, into Langhirano which is where Parma ham comes from…

…and out to Castello Torrechiara, which was built by a 15th century count as a home for his mistress.

She must have been some mistress.

We then head over to Blue River Restaurant, which, we are informed, will be packed the next night with Italians dining on traditional tortelli in honor of St. John the Baptist’s feast day.

Blue River Restaurant

We choose a table and talk with Stefano and Deborah and eat ourselves blind. The food is great and the conversation is easy. It’s as if decades haven’t passed.

“Sisters” for over 30 years. Deborah lived with us in Santa Cruz when she was a teenager and she is the same now, but made even better with all the layers of experience life gives you. A creative, independent, bohemian spirit with a good dose of no-nonsense practicality.

It starts to rain on the way home – the first rain for Parma in months – and I remember that I left my laundry out to dry.

End of the Southern Circuit

The Final Leg of the Clown Car

Here we are again.

The Clown car on its final circuit.

We checked out early and circled back to Pompeii to pick up the rest of the circus before heading back to Rome to return the rental car and spend one more night together. In the morning David and I will be catching the train to Parma.

One stop at Autogrill for bathroom breaks and breakfast, another stop at Sarni for a 4-minute-as-timed-by-Nicole’s-phone bathroom break for me (I DRINK A LOT OF COFFEE AND WATER, LEAVE ME ALONE!), a third stop because we forgot to fill the tank, and a final stop to dump my mom, aunt, and cousin at the taxi pickup at Termini Station….phew! Finally ready to return the car.

Turn left. No,here. No…now go straight and go around the block. Turn right! Turn right!

NOW we’re ready to return the car…

Our hotel room for the night was close to the train station, but not too close. We were located less than a 5minute walk from Santa Maria Maggiore, and I happened to spot that there would be a 6:00 mass. I freshened up and hustled over with the church bells ringing in the air overhead.

I kid you not, this papal basilica was built in the 4th century.

Ok,well,sure, then it burned down. But it was rebuilt in the 5th century. That’s the 400s, yo. And additions have been made in every century since. I watched evening light streaming through one of the large windows in the apse behind the altar, and it might sound corny but I honestly felt something profound imagining that same light from that same sun streaming through that same window, witnessed by countless other humans participating in the same sacraments over time.

The mass itself was more slow and…intentional? Than I’m used to. I love my parish (inclusive of ALL and live out Matthew 25:31-45 through real actions and service in the community) and of course it is very reverent, I only mean to describe that every step,every movement, seemed to be at half-speed and executed with immense focus. (I did appreciate the incense. I miss incense. I am partial to “smells and bells,” as we are sensate beings.) I recommend attending mass here if you have the opportunity.

Now here’s something that made the whole proceeding weird. All along the back and sides of the church were tourists filming and taking photos and sometimes talking. It’s an actual religious observance happening in a place of worship, and it felt like an audience watching a performance. But I tried to remember that they were interested, and imagine if it were me in a synagogue, mosque, gurdwara, or some other place of worship, and decided the curiosity came from a positive place.

After mass David and I jammed over to meet the rest of my family at a place that specializes in sandwiches for dinner, followed by gelato at the popular Venchia gelateria and chocolate shop…

Gelatoooooooo! PS, mine’s vegan!

…then to the Pantheon (along the way my aunt became enamored with the glowing boomerang wares of a street merchant and bought some for her grandsons – she was like a little kid so I made her buy one for herself, too)…

…and finally the Spanish Steps. David, Nicole, and I climbed the steps, enjoyed the vista, climbed back down, and all of us sat talking for awhile before it was time for goodbyes – after 10 days together, it was time for David and I to head north and Aunt Jeanne and Nicole would be headed back in two days to New York. My mom would spend the next week in Rome waiting for her partner to arrive.


É più difficile guidare a Napoli che a Roma,” I said to the guy at the parking lot as I paid for our two day stay, after 20 minutes of living the chase scene from The French Connection.

Siiiii,” he replied, punching numbers into the credit card device.

É selvaggio.” I added: It’s savage.

At this he opened his eyes wide, lifted his chin, and nodded slightly while wagging his hand – You said it, lady.

David doing his best to keep us both alive as we enter the street fray known as Napoli.

The two parking lot attendants complimented me on my Italian (ooof), asked if I was German (No, Siamo americani), and warned me to be very careful crossing streets.

Naples is not the prettiest city by a long shot. Naples had more vegan food than I’ve yet noticed in Italy. Naples had way more tourists than perhaps it deserves. Naples had streets that looked like I imagine immigrant Italian neighborhoods in New York City used to look. Naples had tiny doors cut into giant beautiful wooden doors. Naples has cute AirBnBs with washing machines only slightly deeper than a remote and cheerful young hosts who want to make sure you are happy. Naples is (rightly) proud of its connection to Caravaggio. Naples has a guy who lives in an alleyway just off the tourist street and sings karaoke on his veranda not for money but for joy. Naples has corner market where the packages of toilet paper are opened so you can buy individual rolls. Naples has sfogliatelle and fried anchovies and THE ORIGINAL pizza that is served on paper and folded up into fourths like a greasy, cheesy clover.

David deciding whether Napolitano pizza lives up to the hype.

Naples is traffic and graffiti and Maersk crates and uncompromising pedestrians and dog shit and churches and construction and tiny elevators and cornicello key ring souvenirs and peeling paint and gentrification and health food bowls and happy dogs named Sasha and young couples who look like they stepped off the set of Jersey Shore and giant ships and unyielding Vespas and honking horns and older parking lot attendants who remind you that you should remember your sunscreen.

Lower end of the main tourist drag.

Naples is noisy and dirty and vibrant and alive and it is savage.

It’s Not a Party ‘Til Somebody Breaks Something

“I don’t see your mother behind us anymore.”

I craned my neck around trying to see behind me, waiting for my mom’s car to appear from around a curve on the winding road through the hills between Puglia and Campania, but she didn’t show.

I pulled out my phone and saw I had missed a call from Nicole. I called her back.

“We were in an accident,” she said, sounding like she was trying not to cry. “The airbags went off.”

After making sure no one was hurt, they were off the road (“A nice man stopped to help us and is flagging cars to make sure they see us’), and the police had been called, David and I drove 15 more minutes to Grottamiranda, the next possible exit, turned around (“Of course we’re going back for them, why would I mind?” he said), and drove another 20 minutes to the Vallesacarda exit to retrieve my family. Then followed the towtruck BACK to Grottamiranda and another turnaround BACK to Vallesacarda where his shop was. (Yes, that was the only way to do it.) Three hours later, including one hour trying to lure a crying kitten out of our engine (blessings on the mechanic who lifted the car to blow air into the engine and search with a flashlight to be sure it was really gone), and we were back on our way.

“I guess it was a good thing we had a too-big car after all,” David said as he glanced in the rearview mirror. Five adults, six large suitcases (theirs), three backpacks (my one and David’s two), my duffel bag (under my feet), along with assorted purses and souvenirs were crammed into our Fiat Tipo for the next two-plus rainy hours until we dropped our added cargo off in Pompeii.

Family is Family is Family

What is your name?” the stranger at the door asked eagerly in Italian.

To say I was momentarily taken aback is an understatement. I answered the door thinking it was my mother returning from paying the morning street parking fee, and instead was greeted by a dapper grey-haired stranger asking personal information.

Them the lightbulb came on.

Vittorio? No…Vincenzo? Vincenzo!”

Si, si, Vincenzo, ciao!” My mother’s cousin arrived a few minutes early to pick us up for the morning. I started to talk with him in the street before remembering my manners and inviting him inside. Let me interject here that the stereotype that Italians run late isn’t an accurate one – in my experience they are usually on time or even early, at least the older ones.

We were all chatting with him like we’d known him forever until my mom came back and a happy reunion ensued. My mother and her partner had visited Vincenzo and his family a few years ago and they were excited to see each other again.

With my mother and aunt in Vincenzo’s car and Nicole, David, and I in our car, we caravanned to the university where Vincenzo showed us the Monastery of the Olivetani, which is attached to the Church of Saints Nicolò and Cataldo. The Benedictine monastery was built in the 12th century, and in the 16th century additions were added. Because Lecce stone is sandstone, there has been a lot of erosion that the historical association is attempting to preserve or restore.

After the church and partial monastery tour,we walked through the adjacent centuries -old cemetery.

As far as Nicole was concerned, this was the most important thing we saw – evidence that people DO care about the feral cats in Italy.

There is a legend that legend King Tancredi d’Altavilla, Count of Lecce, chased a doe into a cave, where he saw a vision of the Madonna. And so an Abbey was built on that very spot.

Reality is more mundane, but nonetheless the Abbey of Sta. Maria di Cerrate is an impressive preservation of a 10th century abbey which became an agricultural production center in later centuries (as monasteries often are).

So hot the cicadas were singing the It’s Hot Even For Us Insects song when we arrived at the Abbey.

Vincenzo dropped us off at our Airbnb to rest for a few hours, then picked us up for another grand tour.

Cooling off back at our place with my cuginetta and homemade iced oatmilk lattes.

Lecce is in the high-heeled part of the Italian designer boot. It sits on a peninsula that juts out in between the Adriatic and Ionian seas. Vincenzo took us to Santa Caterina and Santa Maria al Bagno. Both have rocky beaches that are less popular than the sandy beaches of nearby (and very expensive) Gallipoli. At Santa Caterina he showed us an ancient tower lookout on the hill, where a torch would be lit to warn of invading Turks. And in front of us on the cliff was a more modern WWI lookout. Surrounded by water, this was prime territory for marauders.

We finally reached Vincenzo’s home in Carmiano and were greeted by his lovely wife Oriana and her brother Antonio. We looked at family photos (he has the same photo of my great grandmother and her sister, his grandmother, as we do!), and ate spumoni – get this – with a pour of amaro on top! With peanuts to sprinkle and fresh cherries to enjoy alongside! Brilliant, and it is officially my new favorite treat!

Vincenzo’s grandmother Angela Maria and her sister, my mom’s grandmother Carmella (my great-grandmother). ♥️
I forgot to get a photo of the magical spumoni, so you’ll just have to trust me, and in the meantime enjoy this photo of capers grown by Vincenzo in the process of being cured. (Oriana will send the photo of the grandmother’s, as I was so dessert-intoxicated I forgot that one, too!)

Before dinner we visited Vincenzo and Maria’s church, where the women’s group was selling craft items they made and collaborating on a beautiful wall hanging made from crocheted roses for an upcoming observance.

After visiting the main church in town (the choirwas practicing and sounded amazing), and visiting Vincenzo and Oriana’s friend (a retired police officer who now pursues his passion as a painter – a very talented one, too), we were off to the pizzeria for dinner. Vincenzo and Oriana’s daughter, Maria Elena, was finishing her finals in Turin, but we were joined by her fiance Lorenzo, his brother Francesco and Francesco’s fiancée Giulia, and Giulia’s sister Luisa and her boyfriend Davide. The best group, who claimed not to speak English very well but in fact spoke admirably. But we did have fun asking and answering more interesting questions using Google translate – questions about our relative health care systems, pension systems, real estate (both Giulia and our David are in real estate), climate change, cats vs dogs, and more. I would love to see all of this group in California sometime, we had such a fun night with them!

Come to California, guys!!

Thanks for a memorable time in Lecce and Carmiano!

Bienvenidos a Lecce

I didn’t expect to see prickly pear cactus in Italy.

Would you have?

It was a complete surprise to see large, abundant cactus growing amidst olive and fig trees. The closer we got to Lecce, the more Italy began to remind me of Mexico City. (At least, what I imagine Mexico City to be like, since I’ve only ever been to Tijuana and Ensenada.)

There were even jacaranda trees clinging desperately to their spring blooms.

My aunt and I woke up and enjoyed some coffee on our little interior patio before I wandered off in search of a cafe advertising “frutissimi” I’d seen the night before.

The rest of the group arrived and soon we went in search of the famous Santa Croce during the day on our way to lunch.

Churches everywhere, because not only is this Italy, but Southern Italy.

My cousin, aunt, and I spent an evening walking through the historic (and tourist) center while David slept and my mother worked on her computer. We ended the day with gelato, Nicole’s treat.

The swallows are like bats come evening time. They are an exuberant chirping swarm.

When we got back, David and I made dinner for everyone out of whatever pickings we found at the corner market – not fancy, but a nice change to cook “at home.” (Plus I don’t normally eat out so much when I travel normally…!)

Pretty Good considering it came from the equivalent to 7-11…! 😂
Bonus Video: My mom and aunt reliving Ye Olden Days of Songe while they do the dishes…taken with my cousin’s phone.

The Bucket List

I’m pretty sure we all have a bucket list.  A few things I’ve had on there since I was young are left unchecked – step foot on Antarctica, visit the worlds of Moomintroll in Finland and Sinbad in Baghdad, see the jacaranda bloom in Mexico City, the cherry blossoms in Tokyo, and the fall leaves and fishing towns in New England, etc.

A few days ago, I was able to cross off one bucket list item – participate in the Feast of St. Anthony of Padua in my great-grandparents’ hometown in Ferrazzano, Italy.

The day started with the band playing at 8 am in the main piazza, followed by mass, during which the priest talked about St Anthony’s life and importance. A group of about a dozen young boys dressed in the style of St. Anthony – brown Franciscan habits, rope belts tied around their waists, and holding white lilies – sang at the end. The night before, there had been a special blessing of bread, which was then distributed for all. That bread had been freshly baked by some church committee members at a bread bakery in town. This morning after mass, more bread was distributed, carried by the boys in St. Anthony clothes as they walked through the streets of the town, though this bread consisted of freshly blessed buns in plastic packages.

Afterwards, another mass was held in the main piazza…

…another procession through the town…

“You look very happy,” said Bea. “I am very happy,” I replied.
Videos and photos of the procession by Bea.

…and a fireworks display that put the 4th of July to shame. (Have you ever had to pick “happy shrapnel” from fireworks out of your hair at a 4th of July show? No. No, you haven’t.)

A few other things from Ferrazzano..

My cousin is on a mission to rescue and spay all the feral cats on Italy…


After waiting 3 hot, sweaty hours in line for our rental car (yes, THREE), we were ready for the three and a half hour drive to Ferrazzano.  Oddly, I prefer to drive amidst the chaos in Italian cities and towns to driving on the autostrada or in the outskirts where it seems that the speed limit changes randomly and I’m always anxiously balancing my desire not to get a speeding ticket through one of the traffic cameras and my desire not to create an accident by obstructing traffic that is usually driving three times the posted speed limit. When driving down a hill with a gas truck is barreling down 3 ft from one’s bumper, or sandwiched between a delivery truck ahead and a sports car behind zipping along a curving two-lane country road, the choice is sometimes a foregone conclusion.

We finally arrived in Ferrazzano red-faced, tired, and late for an invitation to cocktails and apertif from my friend Carmine. He was gracious about our tardiness and presented beautiful trays of farinata and cheeses and sangria for us to enjoy before being whisked away by his friend Fabio to our castle apartment (yes I said castle) for the next three days.

View from the kitchen window in our castle apartment.
Side yard of Castello Carafa.
Dude, I said castle. The bathroom still has the original toilet for pooping into the moat. There weren’t always video games around for entertainment, you know

The next morning my aunt, cousin, mother, and I attended mass in the beautiful little church in Ferrazzano, where St. Anthony has already been regaled all week and is surrounded by hundreds of sweet smelling roses and crowned with a halo of illuminated bulbs. Mass in Italian is a bit different, and trying to translate in my head made it even difficult to remember the English words to follow along with the responses and prayers.

We ran into Carmine after mass and he walked us around Ferrazzano since my aunt and cousin had never been there. (I suspect he was so polite that he even skipped the mass for the feast of St. Onofrio down the hill that he intended to attend…!)

Chivalry in action – Carmine helps my septuagenarian aunt and mother down some of the Ferrazzano stairs – didn’t people used to be even shorter when these were built? Did they get around on pogo sticks or something?

Ferrazzano is a beautiful mountain village with vistas that will bowl you over. And steep hills and stairs are par for the course.

Along the way we met his friend Pietro, a retiree who now indulgeshis passion for making traditional Ferrazzanese foods – home-cured cherries, sausages, pancetta, canned tomatoes, etc. Pietro invited us in and plied us with all sorts of his homemade delicacies, while Fabio delivered a bottle of his homemade wine and discarded cherry branches burned in the fireplace. We were unclear if they were also being used to smoke meats.

At the end of the visit Pietro invited us back for dinner. Tonight would be both a procession honoring St. Onofrio (patron saint of the next town, but the mother church is in Ferrazzano), one procession and celebration for St. Anthony, and tomorrow would be a full day concluding a half month of devotion to Ferrazzano’s patron St. Anthony.

Late night feast with our amazing host Pietro. Do I look tired or anything? No reflection on his charm.