This past weekend my granddaughter Michela Ghezzi participated in the
Archidado in Cortona, Italy. The Archidado is something like a
medieval festival, with flag throwing, a crossbow competition, folkloric
demonstrations, and a glorious parade. The parade is really something
to see. Over 300 participants from the town dress in ancient costumes
and parade through the village. Drummers come down five different
streets and eventually join in the center of town. You can hear
them coming and coming, and they get louder and louder. The excitement
and the anticipation build and build. The Archidado traces its
origins back to the Middle Ages and commemorates the marriage between
Francesco Casali and the noblewoman Antonia Salimbeni, which took place
in Cortona in 1397.
Isn’t she beautiful? My granddaughter Michela participated
in Cortona’s Archidado parade. Look at the gorgeous costumes!
This week’s adventure was a trip to Perugia, which
is nearly at the exact center of Italy. It is the capital of the
Umbria region. Perugia is a lively, medieval, walled, hill town
with many historic buildings, people-filled squares, and modern shops.
It’s home to a university and a large Italian language school
for foreigners. Perugia is famous for chocolate and holds a chocolate
festival, called Eurochocolate, in mid-October. Thank goodness
that festival wasn’t going on during my visit! I have more
than just a fondness for chocolate, and I’m afraid there would
have been far too much temptation for me at a chocolate festival!
L. to R.: My daughter Becky Ghezzi, me, and my granddaughter
Kate Donnelly at the Arch of Santa Susanna in Perugia, which dates back
to the Middle Ages.
I had no intention of shopping, but Perugia is high style and I
Many of you are familiar with my son-in-law Corrado Gabellieri,
who is also the director of the P. Buckley Moss Museum. Corrado’s
brother Spartaco lives in Ponte Felcino, Perugia. Ponte Felcino
is a little town just on the outskirts of Perugia. The distance
from Ponte Felcino to downtown Perugia is just five miles. L.
to R.: Becky, Kate, Spartaco Gabellieri, and his wife Anna Gabellieri.
I hope you will be able to join me next year for the
Buckley Moss Society’s 2009 Group Trip. It will be a
ten-day “Mediterranean Enchantment” cruise aboard Holland
America’s ms Noordam, starting on June 28, 2009.
I’m so excited about this trip, because one of its stops will
be Palermo, Sicily. Sicily was the native home of my mother’s
family, and I still have relatives living there. The cruise is
round-trip from Rome, and other stops include Livorno (Florence and
Pisa), Italy; Monte Carlo, Monaco; Barcelona, Spain; Palma de Mallorca,
Balearic Islands, Spain; La Goulette (Tunis and Carthage), Tunisia;
and Naples, Italy. I’m looking forward to sharing this beautiful
heritage and culture with you.