Thursday, May 30, 2013

Una Mostra; and we meet Francesco

In Italian, una mostra is an exhibition; it can be cars, flowers, antiques, and it can be grande or piccolino.  Today we were leaving the apartment, and our landlady was at our door, making sure everything was OK, when another neighbor, invited to see his mostra.  Even though I was pretty sure I knew what he was saying, we followed him to a door on the alleyway that connects our apartment to the main street, and we found this.  It's a treasure trove of old tools, and many very old things, like this wine press. 


For those of you with a passion for antiques, and old things, or if love the shows Hoarders or American Pickers, this is the place for you. Dr. Chuck was getting a bit queasy since it looked like his parents' attic.
Old farm implements, and of course a cow bell!

On the left is an old shell casing from WWII
None of this is for sale, it's just his way of showing the things he's collected over time, and wants to share it with those who will be coming to Spello for L'infiorata this weekend. He's only open this weekend.
L'infiorata is the annual festival held here in Spello to celebrate the feast of Corpus Domini which falls on a different day each year, since it is part of the Catholic liturgical calendar.  The residents pick flowers, peel off the petals, and then arrange them in designs on the streets from the bottom of the hill to the top. 

As we were getting ready to leave our neighbor invited us downstairs to the grotto Romano -- I have to admit, I'm not good in enclosed spaces, and so I very timidly made my way down steps into a series of tunnels way below the streets of Spello where the residents hid during the wars---this was pretty amazing.

I kept envisioning the movie The Secret of Santa Vittoria, a classic film with Anthony Quinn and Anna Magnani that takes place during World War II when the Italiani were trying to hide their wine from the Germans occupying Italy.  This looked like the perfect place to hide olive oil and wine. 
As we were leaving, I introduced ourselves to our host, and he said his name was Francesco---with Assisi being the next town over, there are a LOT of Franceso's here in Spello.  These little moments are what make living here all the more special, being invited in and getting to know our neighbors.  Wishing you a buona sera from Spello.

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