In the way of serendipity, the owners of my apartment have ancient roots in Verbicaro. His mother and father were born there within a stone’s throw of each other. Yet the parents met in the U.S. many years later (at the funeral of someone from the village). Her mother was born at another house which formed a small triangular neighborhood. Who could predict?
I wrote of this as my dream village on my last trip. You can read about that experience here.
I never tire of these religious festivals. The wait (there’s always a very long wait) is part of the pleasure; watching the people,
wandering the streets to view the painstaking work of preparation,
and being bewitched by the colors of each family’s most precious linens hanging from the windows in honor of the madonna of the village.
This occasion was special since it included being introduced to countless aunts,uncles, cousins; in addition to being in the home of my host’s father and sister.
I had seen the church before, but it hadn’t been filled with people and surrounded by such decorations.
Hordes of people walked in the procession to the top of the hill.
Men carried tall flags and women proved their devotion by their headdresses.