21 January 2012

Dual Citizenship for Mabel

Yesterday was a day of special significance for Mabel and me:  Our 12th anniversary of the day Mabel adopted me as her mommy and Mabel became an Italian citizen.  Remember that Mabel is an American doggy from Los Angeles who now lives in Florence, Italy.  
We went this morning to the animal ASL (L'Azienda Sanitaria Locale, part of the Italian health care system), where Mabel received her Italian (EU) passport.
...and her EU passport
Mabel is plenty proud today knowing she now has dual citizenship and is welcomed again on trains and planes.  
Like her mommy, she loves going places!

06 January 2012

La Befana and Gregorian Chant Concert

Today is another religious holiday and officially marks the end of the Christmas season.  The holiday is Epiphany.  In Italy, the holiday is known as La Befana. The witch with a bag of coal will grace some of us if we've been bad in the past year; otherwise, we receive some little gifts of goodies. I am happy to move on and forward into 2012. 

Next Monday most businesses and schools will resume their regular work hours. But today is definitely a holiday here, which means the streets are extra crowded with people.  While out for our morning walk, Mabel and I had to work our way around what felt like a gauntlet of baby buggies drag racing. There is an abundance of strollers out there today.  Do not think speed, however; I place emphasis on the word "drag" as opposed to "race."
A View of Florence from Above
San Miniato al Monte
Up the hill and overlooking Florence at Piazzale Michelangelo is the Basilica of San Miniato al Monte where there is a special Gregorian chant concert in honor of the holiday.  I will learn later that the information previously emailed to me provided the incorrect time for the Gregorian chant; and it will turn out that my friend and I will arrive at the church as the chanting is nearly complete.  We will have enjoyed only some of the chanting but much of the art in this church -- from the painted wood beam ceilings to the paintings and freschi on the walls, the sculptured tombs, and the zodiac mosaic floor, as well as the always breathtaking views from above the city.

Speaking of breathtaking, no more bated breath waiting for the onslaught of tourists to abate, I can resume normal breathing as the holiday season is officially over and things go back to normal.  

New year/new beginnings.