Sunday >May 25, 2008. We went to Mass this morning at the church in the square. It was 1st communion day and the steps were full of parents. Women dressed up and men in suits. Boys with a white monk robe and girls in white dresses. Each girl was given a large Easter Lilly. The priest gave the children a talk (too long) at the top of the stairs and led the children inside where the sat on each side of the altar. Mass took longer than most Broadway plays. There was a continuous movement of people walking in and walking around. Clusters of men outside waiting until the last minute to go in. Groups of people who felt they had stayed long enough to fulfill their religious obligation and were leaving before Mass was over. Young women dressed as if going to a disco who were strutting their "stuff" for young boys. Old men in suits with wives dressed in their best. There was much singing, lots of incense and little attention, but it was an adventure.
Afterwords, the square came alive with the people who left Churchh and came to the several outside cafe's for coffee. They sat in groups and the rest of the people just mingled around the square talking, looking and conducting a Sunday social event which is unique to small towns in Europe. We enjoyed ourselves and the show. Since the speaker system in the old Church wasn't very good and my Italian about the same, I did't get much from the service, but I'm glad we went.
The rest of the day was spent at the lovely swimming pool her with it's sheer drop off the edge. Located right at a sharp drop off and a view over the water it is a sight not to miss. The lunch was the best I've had in a long time because of the fresh vegetables, fish and food. The local wine was excellent. The experience was outstanding.
I've been meaning to report the "ugly American" event on our arrival at Rome. We were in the baggage area and were changing our dollars to Euro's. A very large man – over 300 lbs was at the window next to me. Shouting loudly he was insisting on what he said was the correct conversion. He argued abusively. When he found out there was a commission to change the money he swore at the clerk. It was a scene out of a movie and I wasnàt aware people that bad really traveled to Europepe. I thought writers just made them up.
On Monday we drive to our next destination. I could spend a month in this lovely place. The Hotel is beautiful, the little town delightful and the weather has been wonderful.