More ManiagoPosted: January 21, 2011
We have had the loveliest time in Maniago. I am now part of a new family, Antonio’s extended family, and the more time we spend in Maniago, the bigger it grows. Norina’s daughter (Daniella) and her husband met us at a special event. Its the “Folo” celebration. An ancient traditional Celtic event to thank the earth for the New Year. Think Guy Faulkes night. A huge bonfire is lit at the recreation reserve and everyone in the town attends. Groups of people sing traditional songs accompanied by a single Piano Accordion. Others gather beside fires and talk. Of course, food was offered. Polenta, cooked over an outdoor fire in a copper lined pot, stirred by two men for over an hour.
Earlier in the evening, Norina and Flavio took Antonio and I to a nearby village. Its one of the 20 most “Typical Italian villages”, Flavio informs me. He is not sure of the other 19, but after visiting here, I’d like that list. Its evening and dark, as we have come especially to see to display of Nativity scenes that the town is famous for. This year has been such a success the display has been extended and is still on for our visit. We walk through steeply winding narrow streets where in every nook and cranny is housed a nativity scene. They are always lit up but vary in size, everyone is hand made and follow different themes. There is a lamb theme, timber theme, even a soccer theme, all incorporating Joseph, Mary, Jesus, a few wise men and some animals. Its very beautiful and interesting and we are delighted to have had the chance to visit.
We end the evening at friends of Daniella. We are offered a drink of hot coffee mixed red wine and biscuits, and sit and laugh and talk in the dining area of this house, at least 250 years old and in original condition. Before we know it, its 2 am and we exit to the frosty evening air and a drive back home to our camper!