There's still room for "first" experiences ~ Romancing Italy
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Nov 1, 2010

There's still room for "first" experiences

It's the Day of the Dead, November 1, and a holiday in Italy. It's gloomy outside, what with the non-stop rain since Saturday afternoon. Tala is working a bone over and I am sitting by the fire thinking about what a weekend it has been. A lot of firsts for me, all packed into two days.

When I opened my eyes early on Saturday morning, a red haze stretched across the sky and urged me to get up and take a photo. It held promise for a beautiful day, but the first program of the day was anything but lovely. We were getting ready to go to the funeral of one of A's good friend's dad. Death can be a difficult thing to handle; watching someone in pain is even harder.

The service was held at La Parrocchiale dei Santi Pietro e Paolo, in the historic center. My first funeral in Italy and the first time I set foot in the Central Church. The most poignant moment for me was at the end of the service -- the pall-bearers lifted the casket on their shoulders and walked solemnly toward the entrance of the church to the strains of Handel's Largo. What transfixed me was the vision of the silhouetted casket moving towards to the dazzling midmorning light.

It was also my first visit to the Borgosesia cemetery, even though I've visted others in Italy. Soon after the casket was in place, the clouds gathered, welled up in tears and cried along with the youngest of the three sons. The rain didn't stop me from taking Tala for her walk, but I drove some distance to a mountain village called Ara and walked through the lonely streets. I imagine these tiny mountain villages have been losing their essence for years now. A rainy day doesn't help matters much.

I discovered a grotto nearby and took Tala for a quick look. She wasn't too fond of the dark recesses and her reluctance to go anywhere near the caves made my hair stand on end. She's still a puppy though and I can't place much faith on her reaction since she runs from large trash cans.

Another first took place when we went to the Bowling center at Serravalle where they also have ping pong tables. I think I found a sport where I am hair's breath better than A. But I imagine that won't last long if I don't find a way to practice.

Another first was going to a film in Borgosesia. Starting time was at 9pm, when I would be winding down for the day and getting ready to sleep. We saw Benvenuti al Sud and if it comes to the States, I recommend it. Beautiful scenery, good comedy and a hilarious play on the generalizations Italians make of the the north and south.
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