As I said goodbye to my eldest and his wife, I left Stuttgart airport with a heavy heart. We had two wonderful weeks filled with day trips and days of just hanging out; now our time together had come to an end. It doesn’t seem to get any easier and there are more hellos and goodbyes in the coming weeks… In about two weeks I’ll be leaving to visit my children and grandchildren in Canada over a period of three weeks. I’ll just focus on our time together, and the blessings each visit will bring!
On the way home from Stuttgart, I thanked the Lord for travels that allow families to visit and reunite.
Remembering Easter Festivities in Northern Italy
Italian Easter dinner celebrations are done with much flair as behooves Italian tradition – along with Peruvian ones for the family members hailing from there – Tables were overflowing with a plethora of mouthwatering dishes; delicious appetizers, scrumptious firsts, with colorful vegetables and other side dishes, and melt-in-the mouth desserts. All accompanied by wines and finished with espresso and liqueurs.
For the children, the highlight of the day came when a table was stacked with enormous chocolate easter eggs, wrapped in an array of shiny colours. I’m not sure how they’ll manage to eat them all…. maybe they’ll be melted to a chocolate spread!
Easter eggs don’t have much to do with the meaning of Easter in the Christian tradition. Each country however seems to have its own die hard traditions. For Germany, it’s the chocolate hare that ranks high among children and adults.
Barely able to hold on, one of the smaller family members poses with his trophies.
Discovering Lesser Known Verona (Veneto region)
The day before our Easter family celebration, we were invited at the Rossi home for Easter lunch. After a wonderful meal, where asparagus was the main attraction followed by festive desserts, we headed out to explore the neighbourhood. The Rossi’s home is on a hillside in a park-like setting, away from the chaotic city bustle.
Our walk proved to be anything but boring. Hidden historical gems were to be found within a few minutes of setting out on our walk; winding our way through nature paths and along old walls.
Roman Wall Structure
Casa Buoni Fanciulli – Founded 1907 by Don Giovanni Calabria for the poor and marginalized.
Bible inscription on the house wall: “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you shall wear, but seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” (Matthew 6:25,33)
The inscription above the door: “Our only hope is in God”.
From where we are, we can see various convents dotting the landscape and forming landmarks around Verona. As we walk along the old wall, we reach an open area with a commanding view over Verona’s city centre.
We continue our walk downwards, toward the city of Verona and walk by the parish church of S. Giovanni in Valle, a Romanesque parish of the Lombard era, of the 7-8th. Century. The cloister dates back to the 12th Century as do most of the frescoes inside the church. These frescoes were painted by the Altichiero and Martino schools. The church crypt holds two sarcophagi. One dates back to the 3th. Century and the other to the 4th. Century. The latter contains remains of the Apostles Simon and Judas Thaddeus (not pictured).
San Giovanni in Valle
As we continue our descent and go through one of the archways, down winding stone stairs, it seems like we’re in another world altogether. Excavation and restoration works on an ancient Roman ruin are still in progress. The ruin is flanked by the beautiful Giusti garden resplendent with brightly coloured flowers, lending a cheerful note to the grey day.
Verona’s natural surrounding and historical heritage have a way of holding visitors captive to her beauty, despite gloomy weather and a city enveloped by a
grey misty sky,
On Easter Monday we travelled to Mantova, in the Piedmont region but that’s a story for my next post. Hopefully I’ll manage to include it in June. Mid-June sees me traveling to Canada; I’ll be reporting back the second part of July.
Until next time, enjoy the summer months and warmer weather (33C here in the south of Germany!)