Saturday, January 30, 2010

What to do on a cold, winter day in Rome!

Put together a puzzle

Read a good book

Attend the grand opening of a new grocery store

Go to the mall.

Children are everywhere in costumes to celebrate Carnival ( a celebration of Catholic tradition) in Italy. The Carnival season begins sometime in January and lasts until the last Tuesday before Lent. This year Carnival ends on February 24th.

Corlandoll or confetti is thrown by and at the revelers
Notice the confetti on the floor.

Attend a baptism – 2 new members. Congratulations Riccardo and Andrea!

Anziano Steiner performed the baptisms.

Admire the newest baby in the ward

Receive another birthday gift

Will is a great photographer. Claudette and Jeff Burt are whiz-bang puzzlers. The Burt’s and the Sommerfeldt’s exchange puzzles regularly to put together during these cold months. A few weeks ago, Claudette asked Will for a high-resolution picture of his of the Coliseum. We have joked for some time about Will getting his photos made into puzzles to sell at Piazza Navona. (The Piazza is full of artists and entreprenures.) So, Burt’s took the picture and had it made into a 100 piece puzzle. What a FUN gift!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Happy 63rd Birthday to Will - older is better!

Touring old churches has to be Will’s all time unfavorite activity. However, that is just what we did on Saturday for Will’s birthday. The drive to Assisi – as in St. Francis of Assisi – was beautiful and green, passing many old, top-of-the-hill villages.

One thing about it: Will loves photography, so taking pictures all day made it a good birthday for him.

Upon arriving in Assisi, with the wind blowing, and making the temperature a chilling 32 degrees, the Burt’s and I quickly purchased warm, knit toques so we could survive.

Assisi, made famous by St. Francis and St. Clare in the 13th century, is full of churches to explore, and also a fortress on the very top of the hill.

The churches are much plainer on the outside and the inside than the churches in Rome.

St. Francis and St. Clare lived lives that were very plain, giving their total devotion to God.

At lunch, where we ate the best pizza we have eaten in Italy so far, the Burt’s presented Will with his birthday gift – salted peanuts.

Basilica di San Francesco

Basilica di Saint Clare

Much of the quaint flavor in such towns as Assisi is found in the narrow streets,

the endless steps,

the lovely bright flowers,

the old stone houses, stores and churches, and the cobblestone streets,

and the lovely home crafts of the people.
(Pict compliments of Claudette!)

Up and down hills on cobblestone streets, up and down uneven, high stairs inside basilicas, made for sore legs and feet, but we still were smiling at the end of the day, declaring that we had a great time, as we celebrated an unforgettable birthday.