Summer means Festivals, Foreigners and Helicopters? ~ Romancing Italy

Jul 18, 2009

Summer means Festivals, Foreigners and Helicopters?

Signs of summertime: Scalding heat, foreign faces, festivals galore, scanty clothing and.... helicopters?

A walk through the Saturday open market in Borgosesia now has a different feel. The space is humming with activity: people greeting one another with a warmth and exuberance that comes readily with the warm morning sunshine, outdone only by the joyous song from overhead blackbirds and finches.

Ears accustomed to the "white noise" of Italian chatter quickly pick up the foreign sounds of another language and reality hits. Vacationers from all over are slowly filling the empty rental apartments, or returning to throw open the shutters of their summer homes.

The mercury continues to rise, striving to reach unchartered areas. We feel it here in the foothills and I can only imagine the blistering heat that is felt in lowland Milan, Florence and Rome. I am once again glad for the unpredictable and refreshing weather that comes with living in or near mountains. Longtime residents have a different opinion of the thunderstorms that frequent our area.

Brian Auger and his band more than likely cursed the weather yesterday. Varallo hosts the 10 day Alpaa festival every year with local artists and businesses setting up booths to sell their food, services and products. Free outdoor concerts draw spectators every evening to stand shoulder to shoulder in the main Piazza Vittorio Emmanuele.

Gusts of wind blowing the driving rain in every direction does not bode well for an outdoor concert. Even bass and drums can't compete with the rolls of thunder.

Today the storm has passed and the earth is once again kissed with sunshine. I am sure at some point I will hear the rapid, repetitive 'vooomf' of helicopter blades as they pass overhead.

Bright yellow means someone is having a very bad day and will arrive soon at Borgosesia's hospital. The others transport goods to the 'refugios' that dot the mountainside. These are high altitude restaurants and/or lodging that need supplies for their hiking visitors.

Summer is definitely here.


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