Places to Go

Madonna Della Neve – Cinque D’Agosto!

Our first Sunday in Europe is filled with light as we wake up to the chorus of roosters and church bells and prepare for mass with the familia.

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La Madonna Della Neve is a beautiful little church, attended to religiously by our beloved Zia. Under her incredibly watchful eye the flowers are all perfectly placed and the linens are pressed to impeccable standards…

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Our children manage incredibly well to attend to a mass in two languages, both of which we barely understand…

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This is helped by the fact that there are so many beautiful things to look at!

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(My favourite as always – Saint Veronica at the Sixth Station…)

 

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Just two days after our first Sunday mass comes Cinque d’Agosto!  To mark the feast of Madonna Della Neve – Our Lady of the Snow – on the fifth of August there is a grand celebration. It has been twelve years since I celebrated this feast in Matterada and I was very much looking forward to it – the greatest part was seeing how much joy it brought for Zia just in having her family with her at a festive time.

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In spite of torrential rain (thunder!  lightning!) 150 people gathered at the church – inside, in the aisle, on the altar, out in the rain – for a mass with choir and full entourage.

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Afterwards there is usually a procession with the statue but the rain would not allow it…

Instead we feasted on meats and sweets as platters were passed around inside the church, and met with distant cousins and old friends while we shared.

Our evening became an extension of the feast and celebration.  We passed on going to the local party in favour of dinner with neighbours/cousins…  (Lorella – you are a kitchen master!  Big points to Ivo for his great work as sous chef/support staff!)

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Cheers!

We ate for hours.  Five full courses, some with multiple dishes… We started with soup, and then salad (with fish)…

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Next course: Homemade gnocchi with cream sauce and wild asparagus, picked fresh that day from the fields.  According to Mr.Martini this was the best gnocchi he has ever eaten, and it is not likely to be beaten until we get back to Matterada…

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Gnocchi was followed by the meat platter…

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…the vegetable platter (also with meat, just because…)

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…peppers…

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…and tomatoes…

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It was a delicious meal (to see and to eat!) which we will remember for all time…

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As good as you would wish for your last… Abundance, fellowship, joy, amazing!

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