Sunday, July 30, 2017

A Pilgrimage Visits Panicale

  When we are here in the late winter/early spring, the village is quiet, for the most part. Evenings are cold, and people stay inside. Inside their houses, or in our case, inside Bar Gallo...playing dominos, reading, watching videos, or just relaxing with pals.
  After Easter, there are more people around, and as May approaches, it can become lively.

  But...summer is a whole different animal. The heat keeps folks inside during the middle of the day, but at night the piazza is the place to hang out. We have been stopping in most evenings, around eight or nine, for a last sip of wine, and there are usually plenty of people around. We've been staying often until midnight, when it gets slower and Aldo & Daniele can sit for a moment to chat about the day and laugh at all the craziness.

  It's nice, but after three weeks, we both agree we kind of like the quiet time better, even if it is cold, wet and windy. That's the weather we are used to at home, and all the people and activities of summer make me a little anxious.

  To be honest, my favorite time of the day during these weeks in July has been late at night. We will have one last nightcap, sitting on our terrace...maybe one o'clock in the morning....there is a nice breeze, it's silent but for the crickets...perhaps a fireworks display will go off somewhere along the lake.
I especially love the late night train that winds through the valley below...if it's really quiet, you can hear it. It looks like a glow worm, moving along it's tracks.
  And the stars. Lots of stars.

  Anyway, I got off track, sort of....what with the train talk and all.

  Friday afternoon, we decided to go into the piazza to see what it's like during the midday heat (we have just been hunkering down at home midday, napping and waiting for it to cool down. We get chores done early...).
  We found a place to park (another big change in summer months! We can't park wherever we want...there are entire areas strictly for residents living in the walls, and loads of 'one hour only' spots. We have had to park way down below the school...and hike up. You folks who understand,'s tough to get used to!)

  So, we scored a decent parking place, by chance, near the little park, in the shade, even. Sweet!
 As we walked towards the main gate to the village, we heard music from the area below, where there is a sort of community center...what was going on, in the heat of the afternoon?

  Evidently, there is a large group of late teen-early twenty somethings that do a walking pilgrimage to Assisi every year, stopping at various villages along the way to sing, dance and get all inspired...

  We watched for a little while, admiring the renovation of the bocci court and park area, as well as the Franciscan Sisters & Brothers shaking their money makers...then moved on to the piazza, which was very quiet. Midday, nap time, after all...

Just the way we like it, but take away the scorching temperatures, please.

  After a glass of wine, some mandatory potato chips and a large bottle of fizzy water, we high tailed it back to The Nut for our own midday nap-a-thon.
  So glad to have a little breeze coming through the bedroom window...

  Way, way, way later, after doing this, that and the other....we stopped back into the piazza, only to find those same Sisters, Brothers and Pilgrims were still at it! What are they putting in their water????

  It was most entertaining to watch the group dancing, and just take it all in.
  What a trip... I was impressed by their infectious energy in the hot weather, knowing that they are walking miles and miles each day.

  It's amazing to see so many people jammed into the piazza..and loud, too. 

  I hope this gives you an idea of the energy/mayhem...

  Different, for sure, and everyone seemed to be having a fantastic time. The recorded music was super loud, and I had to wonder what it must be like if you live in the walls and were trying to sleep, read, watch a movie...but this is summer in this village, and I assume everyone is used to it.

  We made our way back home to enjoy the peace and quiet of the countryside, happy to have so many 'life options' in this home away from home we have created. So far, all the options have been pretty damn good.

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