Thursday, January 14, 2010

Girls' Day Out in Caserta

Photo From Wikipedia

La Befana is an old woman who delivers gifts to children throughout Italy on Epiphany Eve (the night of January 5) This Italian gift-giving spirit is also known as Saint Befana or La Vecchia (the Old Woman.) In Italy they only give one gift on Christmas and then save all their presents and festivities for Jan 5 & 6th. Of course Ross was especially into this as they had been studying La Befana in school and he was pretty OK with the idea of getting another present and some candy in his stocking. Just so you know, La Befana does stop at the home of some American kids as long as they live in Italy.

Due to this tradition, it was questionable whether many things would be open on the 6th. It is very much like Christmas over here. Everyone is home with their families and the normally very busy street were empty.

Forgetting about this, Laura had planned this day for us to visit the Caserta Market which is a big outdoor market similar to what we call a swap meet in the US. There are countless numbers of canopies with people selling every thing you can imagine. It is held twice weekly in this big area about the size of a drive-in movie parking lot.

We decided to take our chances since the guys had gone to Gaeta. The drive over is about 40 minutes so that wasn't bad. We arrived and found that the market was open but just with a few merchants compared to usual when it is packed. La Befana definitely contributed to that but I think the bigger issue was rain, rain and more, heavy rain. It was quite the spectacle. The merchants yell at the top of their lungs to get your attention to come and peruse their wares. As Laura says, they sound like they are made but they are not. I was getting so wet, even my umbrella needed an umbrella but it was fun!

We each bought one scarf and Laura got some slippers for Robert. We then decided to try to go up to a place called Casertavecchia. It is Caserta the old one (vecchia). It is on the top of a small mountain and it was really foggy going up to the top and a little scary, but Laura is a fantastic driver and she was calm so that helped.

I had been looking for a birthday present for my friend, Barb, ever since we arrived as her birthday was on the 8th, the day of our return. I love shopping for her but I want to make sure it is the right thing. I was having trouble so Laura thought that maybe Casertavecchia would be the place to find something unique. We got all the way to the top and discovered no one was even up in this town. It was a 100% la Befana moment. But it was neat and coming down some of the fog had cleared and it was a breathtaking view to behold. I had no idea that Caserta was so immense.

We went to a few more places and
had success in finally finding her gift.

Then we had a ...

Shopped a little more and then went to a nice restaurant for a late lunch in Laura's neighborhood before returning home. While having lunch Grandma Gloria told us about some of her interesting friends and she had us cracking up! We agreed that what was said at the table stayed at the table and it was FUNNY! It was a great "girls' day out and we loved it.

This is my fourth post of the day, I am determined to finish this project by tomorrow!


LA Adams said...

I LOVE this girls day out! Everything turns out well and all your senses are fulfilled, shopping, good scenery, nice food, a little adventure and probably great conversation!

Marie said...

I am enjoying these posts from your holiday Bon! Keep em coming! xxoo

Caroline Craven said...

Wish I had been a little fly on the wall and privy to the conversation. I've had lunches like that with friends, sisters and my mom when we laughed so hard we were crying and then when I try to retell the story to Kent it just dies in the delivery. Those are truly golden moments.