Easter Sunday April 24
I had breakfast in my hotel with some Americans I had met previously, and for Easter or Pasqua,along with the normal breakfast foods, was a plate of cut chocolates. What a nice touch.
I went to the 9am Mass at San Domenico around the corner, and was amazed at the stark contrast to attending Mass in the US. There was no pomp and circumstance, no choir or music, nothing to appear different from any other Sunday Mass in Italy. There were maybe 100 people in attendance and nobody wore hats or fancy clothing.
Again when the collection was taken, mostly coins were in the basket. I have since come to understand that in Italy, like in Germany, the churches are supported by the state, and the citizens are taxed accordingly. I did find it interesting that quite a few people brought small covered baskets with eggs or chocolate or bread and left them on a table at the entrance to the church. After Mass, when these apparently had been blessed, the people retrieved them to take home.
Since I was planning on relaxing today, I went out for my daily exercise, and walked to a small park near Piazza Gramsci, where I watched two swans in a small pond and enjoyed the peace and quiet. Afterwards I headed toward the Campo, which I knew would be crowded, and all the restaurants had special Easter meals with agnello(lamb), and I wasn’t interested. On the way back, I stopped in at my favorite outdoor restaurant across from San Domenico church and had pasta pomodoro.
By the way Margie, it seems that you really love “pasta al pomodoro”; however, I hope that you take advantage and try out some of the regional cuisine. You are an adventurous lady after all…
Not all churches have the “pomp and circumstance”. I am sure that in Siena, there must have been at least one basilica or large church that held regal Easter masses, held a a certain hour. Also, on Pasqua, there are certain cities in different regions, that based on their local traditions, dedicate the whole day to Easter religious celebrations, many of which include hugeprocessions, held in the streets.
The Swans are lovely, what a place for a revery or two.