|Christmas tree by Il Duomo|
He keeps telling me how much he misses his Nonna and Nonno, and that he wants to go back to Italy. Alas, it was a very stressed trip, with our older son feeling frustrated and miserable. It might be my last trip to Italy for a very long time.
Eddie truly had a whale of a time, being spoilt rotten by his grandparents, visiting cafes, book shops, toy shops, play centres and markets. He loved the hustle and bustle of the town centre, admired the Christmas decorations and ate a truck-ful of delicious Italian biscotti.
I took him to the Cathedral (Il Duomo) before Christmas, and he was in awe, saying that it was much bigger than St Mary's church in our home town.
We peeped in the crib, which was still empty. My husband took Eddie to the day service on Christmas, while Sasha and I stayed at home. It so happened that we did most of the activities, having split in pairs, as Sasha was calmer when it was one-to-one outing rather than a family group.
My camera sadly has been on its last legs, so I didn't take as many photos as I wanted. Christmas lights, twinkling in the twilight, added a touch of magic to this old Renaissance town.
The market stalls in the centre were opened all week, even when all the shops were closed. None of that Boxing day's shopping madness in Italy, this is a Catholic country, and they take Christmas seriously. Even on the 27th a lot of shops were still closed, or open for just a few hours. Not that I missed any shopping frenzy back in England, I truly detest the Boxing day's agressive shopping.
I loved the sight of the tasty offerings, like spicy chocolate cakes Pampepato, tons of sweets, truckfuls of cheese and salami, huge trays with olives, mini-mounds of arancini, which made me think of sex on legs, better known as Inspector Montalbano.
Eddie and I were admiring mini-figurines for presepe (crib) which you could build at home. There were so many wonderful mini-dwellings, sheds, fountains with running water, windmills, bakeries and of course lot of people and animals.
These Christmas tree ornaments made me chuckle, I should have bought one, but I was worried it wouldn't arrive in one piece in a suitcase.
Eddie was in his element, and he was super excited to discover that his favourite Ninja Turtles are popular in Italy. He insisted on buying a book of puzzles with the money Nonna gave to him, when we visited a bookshop.
Toy shop was a favourite port of call, but I resisted buying anything there.
We watched with fascination, how the spinning machine spun cotton candy. It was the first time Eddie tried it, and he loved it. We couldn't finish it though, it was enormous.
Window displays made me smile, all the festive clothes were black. Incidentally, my Christmas outfit was also black, so I shouldn't really reprimand the Italian shops for the lack of colour.