Sunday, December 24
If I was in Italy for Christmas I would:
Go to Sorrento and stroll through the alleyways searching for gifts in the quaint little shops. I would take Skye to admire the Christmas lights in the main piazza and have a warm ice cream or a hot chocolate in Bar Primavera. I would wander through the town and enjoy the Italian custom of watching the crowds pass by, discussing them with Carlo.
I would drive to Meta, where the narrow street is always busy and there is never anywhere to park. But I would be on the back of the bike so that we could stop wherever we wanted. I would tell him to pull up by the small vegetable shop, the one on the corner, where a man sells roasted chestnuts in brown paper bags. Back on the bike, hands warmed by the chestnuts we would drive back down the coast road, lit up by moonlight reflecting off the sea. Turning a final curve, Positano is revealed, lights twinkling, sea sparkling, always alluring.
In town we would stop at the bar and admire the festive lights that appear every year, high up on the mountainside, lighting up caves and cliff faces normally not seen. Inside the bar we would see many familiar faces and stop to exchange greetings and kisses with friends. Leaving our coats in a pile in a corner we would stand around and drink an aperetivo before heading back outside.
Pos in winter smells of woodsmoke. Driving down the winding road into the heart of the town I would breathe in deeply, savouring the perfume of winter. We would stop to admire the presepe, a nativity scene built into a small cave with real lights in the little houses, moving characters and real goldfish in the little pond. Overhead on the roof of the cave tiny blue lights twinkle like stars and Italian Christmas carols crackle out of tinny speakers.
At home I would immediately turn on the gas heater and light the big candles in the fireplace to banish the damp cold. I would switch the Christmas tree lights on and a side lamp to make the room cosy. The cat would be dozing on a rug on the sofa, and from outside the sound of churchbells, firecrackers and the revving of a vespa would filter through the windows.
I would start making dinner while Carlo bathed Skye and afterwards we would sit down and relax. Usually at this point I would phone Mum and we would tell each other what we had done and gossip about friends. I would usually feel a bit sad about not being home for Christmas. But this year I am at home for Christmas and Mum has gone. And I find myself reminiscing about Christmas in Italy and those precious phonecalls.
I want everyone who reads this to have a lovely holiday and enjoy being with your families. If you are not with them, give them a call, you never know how precious that memory might be.
Merry Christmas to you all. xxx
at 3:26 PM