Christmas Lights in MSS

You knew it won’t be long before the Christmas lights pictures started appearing.  Like sunsets for some reason I’m totally fascinated by them.   Every town has a different display.  Generally the lights are clear, no color or very little color.  No dancing reindeer or tackiness that I have seen in other countries.

The lights come on about the time of day when the passeggiata starts.  For those of you who don’t know, passeggiata happens every day.  Towns people come out at dusk or shortly after and walk to the shops to pick up something for dinner, or to the bar for a quick appertivo, or a gelato BEFORE dinner.  They stroll babies, let kids burn off energy.  Chat with their friends, relatives and neighbors who they might not have seen or chatted to for at least 3 hours.  At 7:00 the shops close and the shop keepers who were pretending to work but who were standing on the street in front of their shop chatting with everyone too, start to fill the bars.  Then by 7:30 or 7:45 the streets are almost empty.  Because dinner is at 8:00.  Everyone is either in a restaurant or home at the table.

But let me write just a little more about that phrase,.. or a gelato BEFORE dinner.  Show of hands, how many mothers do you know who would let their child have a cup of ice cream, 1 hour before dinner?  Yet it happens almost everyday here.  And they are happy, healthy, generally not overweight children.

I think I like the Christmas lights because I like being in the smaller towns with all the people out and chatting.  And yes, I do enjoy going in the bars, having a beer or a glass of wine and some of the little nibbles that the bar keepers always put out.  Also the bars are usually warm.  It is nice to be in someplace warm occasionally.  We live so far out that we miss passeggiata unless we make a real effort to drive into to town for it.  (That is one of the things we will look for when we move, being close enough to walk into town)  And the lights are just pretty.  On Thursday our doctor has evening office hours.  Ben wanted to see him so we drove into town.  I didn’t think the lights would be on yet because the big tree that takes up valuable parking spaces in one of the piazzas is not up yet.  But I was delighted to see that they were on.

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My favorite card shop has redone his window.

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The doctor took longer than we expected and we knew Siena would be upset so a bar visit was out of the question.  No gelato or wine for me.  But it was still nice to be in town.


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