We are in the midst of what here is referred to as a ‘ponte’ (bridge), a series of holidays. There has been Easter, and tomorrow, Liberation day, and then, next week, May day. And for a week, in Anghiari, starting today, there is the annual artisans’ show and market. People are on the move around Italy, and, here in Anghiari, there are quite a lot of Italian tourists. Café Garibaldi has been busy, and this is a photo of the proprietor today, cleaning the tables outside in preparation for another full day.
Here, I’ll just give some of the special moments I’ve had during this holiday time. On holy Tuesday, I went to the concert in La Propositura performed by the local ensemble I mentioned in a previous post. It was a concert of 16th century music on the stations of the cross, and the sound of voices, music, resonating through the church was simply glorious.
The other wonderful sound during this period has been that of bells ringing through the town. While there are always bells here, during holy week, and into this week, they have been ringing almost constantly, calling people to the churches in and around Anghiari. On most days during holy week and through the easter period, services have been held on the hour during the morning and then again in the evening, and I’d see people making their way up one hill or another to La Badia, La Propositura, Il Croce.
I dropped into Il Croce, the church at the top of my street, on holy Friday. (This church is so-named because San Francesco is said to have planted a cross on the site, on his way between La Verna and Assisi.) As in all of the other churches, during holy week, flower displays replaced the olive branches of palm Sunday. I asked one of the women doing the flowers if it would be OK for me to take a photo, and she kindly offered to put on a light for me.
On Easter morning, I went to a service in La Propositura, and the church was packed, with standing room only. There were people of all ages, many young families, children with soft toys, and the odd dog.
Today, after going to the market (it is Wednesday, market day), and Café Garibaldi, I packed lunch and drove out into the hills, along one of the many narrow, winding roads around here. The weather had improved, and I thought, this is an opportunity not to be missed. I walked a path that I know quite well, from which there are lovely views of hills and mountains and Anghiari in the distance. As soon as I started walking, I felt a change, being in that lovely air, colours, sounds, smells of spring in Tuscany. And, what I noticed, above all else, was the silence. I sat for a while, just soaking it in.
Elizabeth, my sister-in-law, sent me the above link, which has given me much to reflect on with regard to silence and ways of living.