Sunday, August 10, 2008

Revenge of the old

We finally got revenge against those wild, drunk kids who were up to 5 am screaming and slamming doors all night. Only one kid managed to come to breakfast though all us old folks were up. We or rather Dana, invited the Gagliano brass band to play in the courtyard at 9 this morning. Noise reverberates against the monastery walls and of course you need to keep your windows open or you'll bake. To announce mass the church bells ring continously for 10 minutes and there are several churches plus the time bell which goes off every 15 minutes. Plus the town set off its cannons again at 8 am so no rest for the wicked. This weekend is some saint's festival. There will be yet another parade at noon carrying the saint around. To see this parade:

I did get up early to do my big run to Secinaro which is about 700 ft higher than Gagliano and goes through parkland but I saw no animals. I did walk around their town some. Their town square is on a bluff overlooking the whole valley below. When I resumed running after breaking my arm, even that little hill on Bluett was hard for me to get up so you can imagine what a problem an actual mountain is for me with thin air to boot. I am walking less and running more. According to their signs, the distance between our two cities is 4 km so around trip is 8 km or 5 miles exactly. Of that, I walked about a mile so I am getting stronger. It is quite cool in the morning and dry so I am comfortable.

Yesterday was a slow day. In the evening we were bussed to Castelvecchio to look at their church dedicated to St. Francesco (of Assisi but he spent plenty of time here and there is quite the cult surrounding him) Very pretty church,way bigger than any in Gagliano. It was a gothic church but later was decorated in the baroque style. All the baroque touches seem to distinguish the churches here with those in France or Spain which keep everything Gothic. The highlight was a vial of St. Franceso's blood from his stigmata. Of course he lived in the 13th century.....
They also had this very elaborate creche display complete with a moving, crying baby Jesus. Too dark to photograph.

But the dinner they provided for us was nice. They put us on this high terrace overlooking the valley (the same valley one would see from Secinaro but from the southeast,you could see Secinaro way up there) If the sunflowers were still in bloom, it would be perfect. I wish I brought a camera with a wide angle lens or a telephoto lens. I can get great shots of the narrow alley ways but I can't get things out in the distance. They gave us pasta made from farro-barley flour with truffles on it and a bunch of different roasted meats that I was too afraid to inquire closely about. Then it started to pour. It rarely rains here but eating in the rain wasn't too appealing so we went back to Gagliano where they are having their Sangra.

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