La Calza della Befana  

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Auguri e Buon Anno
The Epiphany, an important holiday in Italy, is celebrated every year on January 6.  It is a Christian celebration were an old witch, La Befana, travels to houses of children bringing little toys and treats to those who have been good and coal to those who have been bad the previous year. She puts these gifts inside stockings hung in the home.

As a way to celebrate the holiday Viterbo hosts the procession of the largest stocking in the world (La Calza della Befana) on January 5. The stocking is placed on top of a row of Fiat 500s, driven by Viterbese, and hoisted with long brooms that are held by women dressed as La Befana. The procession begins at Porta Romana, and proceeds through the medieval walled city until it reaches Porta Fiorentina. There is cheers from crowds, candy for the bambini, and an array of different honks coming from the fabulously decorated Fiats. 

I was lucky enough to be in Viterbo to experience this traditional event. I had never seen anything like this. I particularly enjoyed the Fiats, as they are my favorite car, and the excitement exuding from the children as the stocking went down the street. 

La Befana
Lining them up

Isn't that the cutest little 500 you've ever seen

Here they come

La Befana handing out treats to the children

Now that's Italian!

 Ciao and thanks for reading

Paris, you had me at Bonjour!  

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I'm riding on the train back to Viterbo from the FCO airport, this usually takes about 2 1/2 hours so I've been compelled to write about my adventures in Paris the weekend of Dec 8-11.  To back track a bit my boyfriend is here visiting from the states and I cannot express how good it feels to have not only a familiar face from back home with me, but also the love of my life. Anywho we decided to go to Paris for the weekend. Of course I was completely excited, but it didn't settle in until we were on the airplane. Actually until we had arrived in France and I did not know any of the language. This is when I realized that a new adventure was beginning. (Just as a fyi I currently speak Italian, Spanish, and English and my adventures so far haven't necessarily pushed my linguistic capabilities to a point where I am terrified)

I finaly understand how some of the other students in my program felt when they first came abroad. Why coming to a new land where you don't know the language can be both intimidating and invigerating. I found myself making a game out of it. Trying to understand what the French passerbyers where saying and conveying to the baker, the waitress, and the information booths at the metro what I wanted. I realized that hand jesters and patience are a travellers best friend. 

Now onto Paris and its undescribable beauty. I can honestly say that I am madly in love with this city. There is so much to do and admire. The history, the architech, the signifigance, and the people are vastly fascinating. Yes, the people are really their own special breed there. The Parisians have a certain mystery to them that I would like to futher investigate. The woman are gorgeous at every age and as far as I know there is a strong movement of men who know how to wear cologne just right. There is no denying that this is the fashion capital of the world and for good reason. 

Overall Paris was a delightful experience. I loved every minute of it and I can't wait for another opportunity to go back. 

The Louvre
I found her...Mona Lisa

Giuchie Giuchie ya ya da the Moulin Rouge

Inside the Catacombs of Paris

Notre Dame
Ice Skating by the Eiffel Tower, how precious 
Arc du Triumph
Tasty Macaroons 
Au Revoir Paris at least for now