The MidLife Adventuress

Seeking Breathless Wonder in the World

I Must Not Be Italian

August 22nd, 2016



I must not be Italian

I love the food

I love the country

–Venice, Roma, Tuscany-all make my heart zing

I love the language

…scusi has got to be my favorite word

(well, a tie with prego)


I used it all the time on my first trip to Italy

and found it works if delivered with a slight smile

Scusi…but I don’t know what you just said

Scusi…I need to get by you

Scusi…for being


But I don’t know a damn thing about flags!


Which affirms

I’m not Italian

Scusi to all Italians



that I thought the flags

were just there to make the villages pretty for my pleasure & photos

Because Si Si, the flags do that,

but they have a much deeper meaning


which I found out by walking back to my hotel

and into the


 Celebration of the Thrush

~ a feast of food, wine, skill and merriment~

As we wander the main street

peering in store windows

  we turn the corner to reach our hotel on the edge of town…

Boom there it isItaly Swiss Land 2015 (122)

~the 12th century walking right on by~

Italy Swiss Land 2015 (124)

parade dog2719

 A parade celebrating the fall migration of birds


***The Sagra del Tordo***

In medieval times after the hunt, falconers and hunters would come back to the village bringing

their spoils of the hunt and a grand celebration would commence with the noble class and commoners alike

Italy Swiss Land 2015 (125) - Copy

The women would show off their skills of preparing the game birds for the feast to follow




  continue their showmanship at jousting and archery competitions


Today, Montalcino has 4 quarters or neighborhoods

which began as 4 villages on the slopes of the surrounding hills

eventually migrating to form the modern day town of Montalcino.

Each hood has their own flag

A symbol of pride and tradition


We watch the parade go by and continue down the small hill to our hotel.

 I am content to lie on my bed and gaze out my window at the wonder before me

while T&G wander back to the other side of town to watch the archery competition


 Much later I join G&T in their room to hear about all they saw

as they peered thru the fence

at  what was happening on the competition field

 alongside the modern day side show which included

dr_2305007b[1]a past drunk tourist being escorted away in an ambulance

Scusi…on behalf of all unruly tourists


The next night we take the long way around to the center of town to eat dinnersteet_2727


Cruising thru the neighborhood

we pass a large gymnasium with street level windows where we watch the competition of modern day Montalcino

 Tonight, down on the floor, teenage girls and basketball

We eventually stumble on what must be the winning quarter of the weekend competitions

The houses brightly decorated with their flags

We peer in the open doorways and windows

-Mi Scusi- we are curious travelers-

we notice everyone is happy

as they are sitting down for dinner already full of joy from the past couple of days

Yes, no doubt, we are in the winning hood


Winding back up to the main street we settle on a restaurant with just a few patrons,

but lucky for us is soon filled with locals

which makes for good people watching and great food

Having the good fortune to be here during this long steeped tradition of the festival of the Thrush,

and at this wonderful Tuscan restaurant

we consider ourselves among the winners


When growing up

during the Christmas holidays

my family had the tradition of gathering and making tamales

which we would have for our Christmas feast

My Dad would always say how important traditions are

At the time I was mostly like yeah, yeah… ok, whatever, let’s eat and unwrap the presents.

I now get that the tradition was the present

that is what he was trying to teach me by telling me over and over

and over

the importance of traditions

…Dad I get it and Thank You

Scusi, for taking so long to get it.


Just like the Tuscans from Montalcino and their Thrush festival,

keeping traditions alive and passing it on to future generations,

even centuries latter,

is what makes a life


~ 4 Generations of  Navarro’s

Making tamales


a Life~

IMG_2277 - Copy







Like what you just read? Subscribe to get my latest posts via email!

One Response to “I Must Not Be Italian”

  1. Glenda Rice says:

    This this post and I love you mi amigo!!

Leave a Reply

Powered by WordPress. Theme by Sash Lewis.
WP-Backgrounds Lite by InoPlugs Web Design and Juwelier Schönmann 1010 Wien