I remember the only other time I attended, the summer we first moved into the paese: I felt extremely uncomfortable and completely out of place. No one cared to chat with us; we stuck closely to the other expat family in the hood. The evening went on and on and on.
I've been happy to be able to avoid the festa since then.
Can you spot Richard?
But I have to tell you, we have officially turned a corner here in the paese, folks. We know people, they know us. Locals are not afraid of us. They know that we are not leaving. They know we are good people. We are, indeed, good people.
Last night several strangers approached us to introduce themselves. Many mentioned the volunteering that Richard did at the local sagra in May. Just as that would leave an impression in the States, it did here. I also met a journalist from the Giornale di Vicenza who lives here who quickly connected me with a local photography group.
Did you see Young One?
There was a light dinner that was put together by the organizers. Lots of wine. Deserts that everyone contributed. Recognition of the oldest, youngest, and newest residents. A few raffles. And a DJ. And a lot of happy people, young and old, dancing the night away. The piazzetta in the paese was rockin'.
And we were completely a part of it.
Five years...that's how long we've been here. We've come a long way.
PS. The photos and videos were taken with my iPhone 5. I love that little thing.