Family lunch a day early

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Last Sunday, my suoceri (in-laws) were out of town so we didn't have our family pranzo (lunch). I missed the ritual of it all: my suocero (father-in-law) coming to pick me up, our talk in the car, my suocera (mother-in-law) standing at the door to greet me, our pranzo together, and my pisolino (nap). Because tomorrow I'm going out with my suoceri for lunch to celebrate Ferragosto (mid-August holiday), we decided to have our family pranzo today. To start out my day, I decided to go for a walk up to to San Miniato al Monte for the past couple of days and finally dragged myself up the scale (stairs) to go have a quick visit.

It was already 10 am when I left our apartment, and walked to a bar in San Niccolò to have colazione (breakfast). I ordered a cappuccino from the barrista and then selected a brioche (pastry) laid out on the glass counter.

There wasn't much room at the bar, so I sat down to eat my colazione. So few places are still open today that this bar was quite busy.

After I finished, I paid at the cassa (cash register) and walked up the low incline toward the scale. I walked to the Piazzale Michelangiolo where the sun was so hot it was burning my skin. There was a couple below on the terrazza (terrace) taking wedding photos. I was wearing shorts and a tank top and was overheated, so I can't imagine how the bride in her long white gown was feeling.

I didn't even take any pictures because the light was already too harsh and the colors of the buildings below seemed faded out. I couldn't wait to stand in the shade of the tall trees lining the viale (avenue) that winds up and down the hill to Piazzale Michelangiolo.

I walked toward San Miniato al Monte and headed up another flight of scale to get to the chiesa (church). I was surprised to see so many people sitting outside, but figured out there was a messa (mass) going on when I heard the priests voice drifting toward me.

I sat down in front of the chiesa in the shade and looked out at the city. I was happy to have a few minutes to cool down before entering the church, which I hoped would be even cooler.

The second people filed out of the chiesa, the people waiting outside started walking inside. I made a beeline for the cripta (crypt) because it is where there are candles to light. I sat in the darkened area with the only light coming in was from two small windows. People walked around to visit the church quickly because the next messa was going to start in less than 15 minutes.

After a few minutes of sitting on the wooden bench in silence, I walked upstairs to see the mosaico (mosaic) that is behind the altar. I found myself in a crowd of people who were snapping photos or consulting guidebooks. I took a quick glance up and walked down the steps to the exit.

I walked around the small cimitero (cemetery) outside and took some pictures. It wasn't long before I had to walk back home because the heat was becoming unbearable for me.

I was already downstairs waiting when my suocero arrived in the piazza to pick me up for our family pranzo. I was so happy to see him because it had been almost two weeks since we last saw each other. We caught each other up with what had been going on, and by the time we got to their house, my suocera was already waiting for me at the door. I was so happy to see them both that we talked all through our fantastic pranzo.

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August 2009


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