Easter is a special time for me as I recall my first few days living in Italy in 2007. I arrived in early April and the Easter traditions were in full spirit in San Gusme. The almond trees were blossoming and the people of the village were preparing for the traditional Easter processionals.
I will never forget the evening procession with everyone from the village taking part. The men carried the Madonna in their robes, carefully put together by Vezio the tailor. Everyone sang hymns and walked with candles along the same path that had been taken for hundreds of years. It felt like such an honor to be a part of something so special.
When I later moved to Italy, Easter continued to be one of my favorite times of the year. I remember one year, Vincenzo's parents came to visit bearing beautiful chocolate eggs and traditional almond cakes from Abruzzo. That same year, I woke up early and walked in the early morning procession on the Friday before Easter. The crisp air immediately refreshed me as I placed my backpack on and joined everyone for the 3 hour walk from San Gusme up the mountain and to an old cross to pay homage. Later, we descended the mountain and held a short Mass in the church of Villa Sesta.
As we returned to San Gusme, the sun was shining and we all felt a sense of renewal. It was an experience I will always treasure. Concetta welcomed me home with a beautiful frittata made with wild asparagus. We later celebrated Easter Sunday together dining at the restaurant with Vincenzo cooking a delicious meal. The beautiful chocolate eggs and traditional almond cake was eaten for days after!
Vincenzo and I wish you a beautiful Easter holiday this year and every year!