CROSSING LINES FOR MUSIC
The region of Umbria is divided into two provinces: Perugia and Terni. For us, the fact that San Venanzo was in the region of Terni meant shorter lines and fewer delays when we first arrived here and had to apply for our permits of stay. Now that the provinical offices are no longer handling this procedure, the benefits of being in the province of Terni are less clear.
I couldn't find a map showing both the two provinces AND some key cities, so I'll do my best to explain the map above. The green part of the map is the province of Perugia, and the blue section is the province of Terni. I'm going to generalize and say that each city sits in approximately the position where it's name is printed. San Venanzo sits at the northeastern edge of the province of Terni, and is separated from it's closest provincial neighbors by mountains and winding roads. The closest city to us, the one we frequent most often, is Marsciano, just over the border into the province or Perugia, but much closer than any other city in our own province.
Of course I have no idea why or how the provincial lines were drawn, but as puzzling as it is, it can often be frustrating when doing business. Our friends in Todi and Massa Martana, physically close to Terni, must drive into Perugia to deal with any bureaucracy...and deal with larger numbers of people. We've never minded the longer drive to Terni to take care of business, because in the end the time we saved standing in line and dealing with various offices more than offset our drive time.
For our daIly lives though, most of our goods and services seem to come from Marsciano and/or the province or Perugia, and most of the events we attend are also within the province of Perugia...but getting information about goods, services and events can be quite frustrating! We'd love to have a phonebook from Perugia, and if it weren't for our friend Wendy, we probably wouldn't have one. Of course we have a phone book for the provice of Terni delivered, but aside from people and businesses in San Venanzo, we've never needed any of the phone numbers it contains. We want to have info about the local sagre and feste, but nothing from the district of Perugia seems to get posted in San Venanzo. At least we drive into Marsciano on a regular basis so that we can check out the billboards for information.
I doubt that the provincial lines will be redrawn anytime soon, but this summer common sense has prevailed and San Venanzo has joined the music festival promoted by the city of Marsciano. This festival, MUSICA PER I BORGHI, offers a series of free concerts set in the various 'frazione', or small towns that are part of the comune of Marsciano. This year San Venanzo participated, and on Friday night we played host to Fabizio Palma and Grazia di Michele, who apparently are well know from the Itaian show "Amici". (yes, that's "Friends"!)
Due to the event being publicized all over the area via posters and newspaper articles, it was standing room only as the band finally began to play, nearly an hour after the schedule start time. Of course when did ANY concert ever start on time, then factor Italy into the equation.....
The group was interesting, funky, jazzy, with a great saxophone player. After the frist few numbers a singer came onstage accompanied by tow back-up singers. This singer...was HE Fabrizio?...talked as much as he sang, which I found annoying. thankfully he did have a great voice for types of cabaret/jazz songs he sang. And then he stepped over the line, doing a terrible, overly dramatic version of "Yesterday", that had me rolling my eyes and shaking my head.
I'm not sure what the many older residents of San Venanzo thought of the performance since we left before the concert was over. Early mornings and late nights are hard to do unless you take the tradtional Italian nap after lunch, and I'm just not a napper, so I was ready to call it a night before midnight. I hope the event was successful for all concerned and that San Venenzo will participate again next year...and maybe even join in other Marsciano/Perugia events as well.