“Hello Beautiful Morning!” “Mi son svegliato.” “I awoke.” The folk song with the title “Bella Ciao” became famous after World War II with its anti-fascist message. Today the song has an expanded message: environmental activism.
Living here in Paciano, Italy, I awake every morning to a world new to me. I will talk about this experience throughout my blog. Read along with me!
Do you know what the words “Bella” and “Ciao” mean? “Bella” is the feminine form of “bello” which means beautiful or handsome. In the case of this song, “Bella” refers to the beautiful “mattina,” or morning. “Ciao” means hello and good bye, depending on the circumstances. How easy is that?
I want to talk to you today about the lovely view I have from my window as I write this. The amazing red of the geranium has been nurtured by the equally amazing sun and rain of May. In the near distance are fields of wheat, ripening, turning daily from bright green to yellow/orange. There’s a soccer goal in the playground. May I remind you that soccer is the king of Italian sports? In the far distance, looking west, and hiding in the clouds is Monte Amiato in Tuscany. They say that when it gets really hot here in the summer, people go to the top of Monte Amiato to cool off. I go to Seattle.
Last Friday evening we had the pleasure to take part in a special “apericena,” called an “apericouscous.” An “apericena” is an evening meal with drinks. The “apericouscous” took place in a small bar outside the main gate of nearby Castiglione del Lago. The meal consisted of 3 giant round trays of couscous. The proprietor of the bar is a Moroccan named Nabil. He’s a very good cook. The couscous dishes were hidden under giant embossed silver domes. The music started, the lights lowered, Nabil rang the bell and the “cena” was ready. The theme of the bar is North African, with Moroccan rugs, lamps and accessories and the pleasure of “couscous” dining takes place under ancient olive trees.
We especially liked this experience because it is something so different from the usual, but excellent, Italian food we encounter here.