Spending time with family in Italy. Pistoia Market/Alessio's Fabulous Dinner/Boy Scout Dinner with 250 Italians
5/13/17 - 5/13/17 69 °F
This morning, I got up went downstairs and started to take the tea out of the cupboard where Rosita had shown me last night. I turn around and look on the table and she had set my whole breakfast out for me. There were teabags, silverware, milk, sugar, fruit and and these little pieces of toast that they get here in Italy. I took a picture, so you could all see it. It made me feel very welcome, so thank you Rosita. I know someone else who sets the breakfast up every morning for someone else. It's my mother in law Betty. Every morning she sets up breakfast for her and my father in law. Its really a nice thing to do. She also does it for me when I am there. But, nothing beats the hot water bottles in your bed at night. Rosita had gone out for a walk with a friend of hers. She leaves at 8:00am and returns by 9:00am. They try to find different places to walk each time. Upon her return we looked through some of her photo albums and I used google translate to ask questions. Now I know people are thinking that's hard, but it actually works really well when you want to communicate with someone. Clarisse came over at 10:00am and the three of us headed for Pistoia. They live about 10 minutes from the downtown part of Pistoia. On saturdays they have a big market in Pistoia. Going to a market, yes its one of my favorite things to do. It was very much like the market in Ventimiglia, but smaller. We walked around the market and around the town. Pistoia is a beautiful town. I have been here once before and got a tour of the town from Clarisse's father Giacomo. I can still remember the stories he told me about some of the buildings. Iain's mom and dad were also here for the tour. It was about 105 degrees outside and he wanted to show us all around his city. A bird pooped on my mother in law Betty when we were walking and Giacomo told her that was good luck. These are the things I remember. This time Clarisse took me around. As you can see from my pictures, the buildings are beautiful. There are so many churches all within a short distance from each other. One building which used to be a hospital has these wonderful mural figurines going along the top. There are 7 sections each section has a different meaning. The colors in them were beautiful. Pistoia has been chosen as the "Capitale Italiana della Cultura for 2017". Some of the buildings have this beautiful black and white stone as you can see from my pictures. I can remember Giacomo telling me years ago, the reason and I can remember being fascinated by his answer. If you want look it up and read about it.
We left the old town of Pistoia and Clarisse drove us back to Rosita's. I worked on my blog for awhile and Rosita and I talked with google translate. Then Clarissa came back and picked us up and took us over to her house. She has a beautiful house as you can see Alessio standing outside of it in my pictures. We sat outside in their backyard that backs up against an orchard. Alessio cooked sausage on the BBQ. We had a spritz drink that was delicious. He also had cubes of ham, balls of mozzarella cheese, and olives. Then he put some bread on the BBQ and heated it, then cut it up into small slices and put olive oil on it. Yes it was delicious. That could have been enough for lunch. We all moved from outside into their kitchen and had an even bigger meal. Alessio had made potatoes, beef and pork on the BBQ. They had salad along with it. It was all so good, thank you Alessio for such a wonderful dinner at lunchtime. Maria Giulia had learned a game where you challenge someone to try and persuade you to buy something. They all played it against each other and it was really funny to watch them, even though I didn't know what they were saying. She won many of the matches. Rosita and I walked back to Rosita's house. On the way back she took me inside her church, where they were having a celebration of "Our Lady of Fatima". We went inside the church where all these people were praying to the "The Lady of Fatima". I already knew the story of Fatima, but if you don't you should look it up. It is very interesting. When you are in a small church in a small town in Italy, it is very easy to see how religious the Italian people are. When you visit all the big famous churches, all you see are tourists, so it was great for me to really experience it. We continued walking through the small village that is next to Rosita's house. It is a quaint little area with your basic bank, restaurants, store and church. She said hello to people as we walked by. We came back to her house and I am working on my blog. I think she is pretending to rest downstairs, but something tells me she does not rest. Clarisse came back with her family and they took me to this beautiful area in Pistoia where there is an old villa and many acres of land. They have built a modern fountain right in the middle of it and then all around it are walking trails. It looks like a postcard you have seen of hills and houses in Tuscany. We walked down one of the trails for awhile, then I turned around and took a picture of the path. It was really pretty. Thanks to all of you, I got to see some of the countryside. We left the villa and then we headed for the Boy Scout dinner. Their children are all involved in the Boy Scouts. Tonight was a yearly dinner that they do to honor and appreciate the parents. The older scouts all serve the dinner to everyone. So yes, TONIGHT I HAD DINNER WITH 250 ITALIANS! It was wonderful. Luckily one of their friends who travels a lot and speaks English sat across from me for the dinner, so we had good conversations. It was a five course meal, all outside under this huge wood structure, that only had a wood ceiling, the walls were open. The first course was two pieces of bread, one with beans on it and the other with tomatoes on it. Next to that was a piece of cheese, a piece of salami and a piece of mortadella. The next course was a green salad with delicious tomatoes. Then the third course was two types of pasta, one with olive oil and the other a tomato sauce. Then came the BBQ meat. I have to be honest, I'm not sure what it all was, so I just had a small piece of sausage, of course Clarisse who was sitting next to me didn't have any and Rosita didn't either. I asked Clarisse what is all was and she looked at me and laughed. Alessio the BBQ man had lots of it. I think the last course was probably dessert, but we did not stay for that. We were there three hours and everyone was tired, including me. At one point the man in charge of the night was trying to get 250 Italians to be quiet and of course that took awhile. It was really funny. I am so grateful Clarisse that you brought me. What is more authentic then a Boy Scout dinner with your friends. It was wonderful. At one point Clarisse and I were talking about something and I told her something about me and she started laughing so hard she was crying. Again I fell asleep listening to these beautiful church bells and grateful that my mom has kept us all in contact with her family in italy.