SUMMER HAS BEGUN!
Because of the way the dates fall this year, this weekend is similiar to Memoral Day weekend in the states: it's a national holiday, a long weekend for everyone, and the unofficial start of summmer.
Whenever possible, the Italians always add a 'bridge' day, making a three day weekend into a four day weekend, and that's exactly what's happened this year. Because June 2, the "Festa della Republica" (the day Italy voted to end the monarchy and become a republic) falls on a Monday, many Italians started celebrating early by taking Friday off too. Here in San Venanzo we had a town celebration on Thursday night which started with a dinner and ended with a concert that lasted until midnight. (Youtube videos are posted below this one)
Tomorrow, the official holiday, we'll do as we always do and attend the San Venanzo town picnic. It's held in a wooded area just outside of town, complete with a huge grill to cook the sausages and a cool stream to chill the wine, water and melons. The town grandmothers will cook perfect pasta outdoors in huge pots heated with a gas ring powered by a portable gas tank.
The forecast isn't looking great, but if the weather stays as it was today, just overcast, we'll be in business. Of course on Thursday night during the dinner, when everyone had planned to eat outside, the heavens broke loose and everyone ate dinner standing up, huddled under the few covered sections. We talked with our English friends about how there never seems to be a back-up plan for such events, but somehow everything works out okay. I guess this laid back attitude is typical of Italians, and is just one reason why life is so sweet here.
Be prepared...pictures and probably movies will follow. For now, I hope you're enjoying some wonderful summer weather and a picnic with friends and family!