Wednesday, June 28, 2006


Yes, yet another festa tomorrow: this one's a holiday as it is that of San Pietro, whose statue will be carried around Modica Bassa. People put out offerings of local food which will be given to the needy afterwards.

As part of the festivities there are long lines of bancarelle [stalls] down by the fountain area. Last year I bought the interesting pan you see in the photo* - a testo romagnolo - from one of these. It made a good substitute for a flat, unridged griddle pan when I wanted to make Welshcakes for the amici last St David's Day and I have also used it for fatless cooking, its real purpose. It's quite versatile but takes up as much storage space as a wok. Marco tells me that some people keep their receipts from the bancarelle from one Festa di San Pietro to the next, so that if there is anything wrong with their purchases, they exchange the items or get refunds a year later!

The singer Orietta Berti came last year to sing at the Duomo di San Pietro, an event which got me all nostalgic again for the days of [you guessed it!] 1969, when her catchy song, "L'Altalena" [= "The Swing"] was in the Italian hit parade. It was one of the records which all we students brought back with us that year, along with Rossano's "Ti Voglio Tanto Bene" [= "I Love You So Much"] which still makes me go all soppy. [The song was revived by the "Three Tenors" a few years back.] Then there was "Lisa dagli Occhi Blu" [= "Lisa with the Blue Eyes"] which Mario used to sing to me, changing Lisa's name to mine. I still have the discs, in their original sleeves, and for those of you who are as sentimental as I am, here they are in the photo*. Orietta Berti is still popular and I still play her Italian version of "Are You Lonesome Tonight?" when I feel low and want a wallow! I didn't go to the concert last year as I can no longer stand for long periods but I did hear her singing from outside the casetta [I hadn't moved into the flat at that time] and it took me back 36 years to when my love affair with Italy began!
So, as his festa a year ago reminded me of such a happy - and fateful - time for me, I hope San Pietro enjoys his outing and has a buona festa tomorrow!
* I am having to put the photos on the next post, as for some reason I am unable to upload them here. Pazienza!

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