Our neighbours, Mario and Lina, took us to an awards ceremony in a nearby town. This was by invitation only and most of the piazza was cordoned off, the uninvited leaning against the barriers watching proceedings, the locals hanging out of their windows to do the sameThe format seemed to follow that of the Oscars, all the ladies received a goody bag with makeup and a bracelet, there was meal, a beautiful hostess and entertainment.A rather aged fire eater, a contortionist who balanced lighted candelabra on every available surface whilst twisting herself into unusual shapes and a bathing beauty contest. Young and very thin girls wearing extremely small bikinis paraded in the night air and had the obligatory interview where they expressed a desire to become criminal psychologists whilst fighting for world peace, well that was my interpretation anyway. The awards seemed to be for business and community achievements and were still going on when we left around midnight.
Another evening we took Lina and Mario to a food and drink event in one of our local restaurants. We paid 15 euro each for a glass (that we got to take home) which entitled us to sample from the various stands. We then moved onto the roof terrace where the restaurant and a local catering college provided us with dinner. It was great to be out in the village, seeing people we knew, making new friends, admiring the view and enjoying the atmosphere. As so often happens in Italy there were generations out together, from young babies asleep in pushchairs to old folks and I have to say despite the abundance of alcohol not one person was drunk or in any way objectionable. I wonder why the hell we didn't get out more.