Sunday, April 24, 2011
I'm almost ready. Just a few days to go before I leave for Rome, and I'm working long hours so I will have less to do once I arrive in Zagarolo.
And the stars seem to be in my favor! Here's what my horoscope from iGoogle had to say today:
"You are looking forward to beginning something new in the days ahead, but you first have to finalize your plans. Acting impulsively won't be sufficient; this isn't just about doing something for fun. The Moon's entry into your 9th House of Adventure reflects your current need to expand your horizons. Don't settle for the easy way out; creating a sound strategy can be your key to accomplishing your goals."
I will take heed!
Easter is BIG in Italy, some say even more so than Christmas. I was tickled to receive email greetings and e-cards from most of my Italian friends, even those I haven't had regular contact with in the past year. And along with those greetings came invitations (and several pleas) to visit friends in Paris, Ascoli Piceno, Bologna, Modena, Parma, Rome, Florence and Trento. After several months of laying low here at home, I'm ready for another gad-about time with my Italian friends. It looks as if my only major expenses in Italy this time will be for transportation. Sono molto fortunata! I'm so fortunate to have such generous friends who seem so eager to have me around.
I'll be arriving in Rome during a week of many celebrations. Easter Monday, called Pasquetta, coincides with a national holiday on April 25. Liberation Day, considered the July 4 of Italy, commemorates Italy's liberation from the Nazis at the end of WWII. And all the faithful who came for Holy Week will likely stay another week to celebrate the Beatification of John Paul II, which takes place on May 1, another national holiday: International Workers Day. A day known for its many protests, it will be an interesting contrast to the Vatican's celebration of a new and popular saint. And I'll be there to witness the event.
Because of the two national holidays, along with Easter and Pasquetta all occurring in the same week, many Italians are taking the week off between Easter and May 2. But the streets of Rome are filled with tourists, pilgrims and refugees from Tunisia. I'll soon be adding to the numbers....a presto!
Tuesday, April 5, 2011
A gift from the mayor of Tokyo in 1912, the trees in D.C. were donated in an effort to enhance the growing friendship between the U.S. and Japan. When my tree blooms, it's like a soft pink cloud floating in my yard.
Tulips have also started blooming, and it's a lovely show of color around the house. This is my favorite time of year at home, and I'm glad to see the flowers blooming before I take off for Rome in three weeks.