Arrived on time in Calitri, Italy, which is a short car ride from my dads village of Aquilonia, Italy. Two of my cousins picked me up, we then drove back to the village where I met my Italian aunt for the first time. It was amazing the love that can be shared between two people without words ever being exchanged/spoken. After introductions, I was shown the room where I would be sleeping, it even has its own bathroom. A few hours later it was time for dinner, I had some spaghetti, sampling a bit of my cousins fish and potato dinner. I am glad that I was having the spaghetti, though I can say I sampled some new food. I did not to till bed till around eleven or eleven-thirty in the evening.
The next day I was up by seven in the morning ready to have some corn flakes(that taste like real corn), and some banana yogurt, and some very tasty peach cake with thinly sliced peaches covering the entire top of the cake. After breakfast my cousins Nico, and Michele(Mi-kel-eh boys name), took myself and their aunt who is a Nun to San Gerardo. San Gerardo is about an hour away by car, via some windy roads, that make you feel like you are on a roller coaster.
Below is a picture of the top of the main worship space at San Gerardo.
When we arrived, a mass was set to begin in fifteen-minutes. Myself, and Nico walked around briefly before mass started. Sister went into the church, and waited for mass to begin. Michele, walked around while the three of us attended the nine a.m. service. Then afterwards Nico, and I walked around checking out the various displays, as well as a floor that is dedicated to letters and art work depicting peoples miracles that they attribute to Saint Gerardo. I also got to see a room containing thousands of baby pictures, as well as christening gowns from babies. The room was one of celebration, for most of the pictures were from couples who were told for one reason or another that they could not conceive. It is possible that my dad’s photograph of him in his christening gown were on the wall. Though I could not find out for sure, as the photographs are not labeled. There was a earthquake in the church in 1980, and not all the photographs were recovered, though the church did its best to find them all. While walking around this room, I felt an overwhelming sense of love and compassion.
After a brief stop at the gift shop, we walked to a curbside shop selling candies, and other items. My cousin Nico purchased some nut filled candy for a lunch that we are all attending later this weekend in Switzerland. Then we began the walk to the car. The picture below is one I captured of Sister walking past a parked classic Fiat 500.
On the way back to Aquilonia, we stopped at the city of Calitri at the bottom of a old part of the village that was visible from our parking spot, however slightly fenced off due to its being unstable from the last earthquake.
The archways that are blocked in, are doorways to where people once lived up until the most recent earthquake.
After this brief stop we drove up the hill till we reached a flat part, parked the car, got a snack, and some refreshments. I took the following photographs before we entered the narrow winding roads, and pathways that are a wonderful part of Calitri.
An old doorway to a once elaborate home no doubt.
I highly doubt that Singer sewing machines are being sold out of this building, but I love the vintage sign, and the motorbike is parked where it was able to find a space.
Next we entered the narrow, winding streets of a neighborhood in Calitri. Where my cousins Nico, and Michele, and I came across a lovely English couple John and Carroll. We chatted for several minutes, before we were invited back to their house for a glass of acqua. The following are a few pictures from the lovely terrace that they eat every meal they can on.
After some lovely conversing, and acqua, it was time for Nico and I to leave(Michele went to pick-up Sister at a thread shop, and meet us at the café). Though are time together was brief I hope to meet up with John and Carroll near London for a drink.
Once the four of us arrived back in Aquilonia, it was time for lunch, a brief nap, and then Nico and I took a bike ride down to the cemetery where my grandmother, and other relatives are buried. Most of the cemetery is private mausoleums with a gate or door that is closed by the cemetery staff every evening.
On the way to the cemetery, my cousin Nico and I stopped at my cousin in-law Nicola’s property to see some of his goats. He has three, there were more but it is believed that they were eaten by wolves during the winter.
After cleaning out my families mausoleum it was time to make the ride back to the house for dinner. Which was quite fun as it was mostly up steep hills.
When we had all finished another fantastic home cooked meal. My cousin in-law Nicola and I went to the Sports Bar for a birra. Then it was back to my aunts house where I got ready for bed.