Thursday, April 15, 2004

Pasqua and Pasquetta

Easter weekend was a good one. Antonello and I found ourselves attending a party for a friend Friday night--it was her graduation from law school. Despite my usual fear of events where I have to speak and understand Italian at a tremendous rate, the evening was a lot of fun. Paola, who we usually see in a caving suit and a helmet, was all dressed up and very happy. We ate bright pink raddicchio pate, polenta with mushrooms, and plenty of pasta--followed by a strawberry torta that Paola had made for everyone. Yum!

Easter brought more eating. I made devilled eggs for Antonello's mamma and nonna, and surprisingly, his mamma was delighted by them and ate four (she usually doesn't eat much, so it was neat to see her reach for seconds). We had a small feast of spinach ravioli, veggies, and, for dessert, Colomba--an Italian Easter cake with sugar and almonds on top. Colomba means dove which, apparently, the cake should be shaped like, although it looks more like a puffy cross to me.

Easter Monday, or Pasquetta (little Easter?), is an excuse for Italians to festiggiare some more, as Antonello had one of his few days off this year (you gotta love a shoemaker's life!). We drove a rainy road up to Trevi--a wedding-cake-like city on a hill in Umbria. Corrie reccomended it from a trip there over the summer. It's one of the cities you pass on the Rome-Ancona line (heading from Rome to Macerata), and when the train stops at the station, the car always fills up with chatter--"Where are we? What is this city?" There's good reason too--from afar, the city is as fairytale-like as they come--spiraling to a point with a tower at the top. It's a true Umbrian hill town. We drove the windy road up to the top, stopping to -ooh and -awe along the way. Once there, we visited museums, churches, and tiny ancient alleyways, losing our way on purpose a bit just to wander.

The weekend ended with a drier drive home, italian music buzzing on the radio and a sense that the weekend all went by way too quickly. A weekend like that won't come again for a while, I thought as we pulled up the hill to Macerata. But I closed my eyes and sang along to the radio, holding on to the few moments that remained.


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