Sunday, November 4, 2012

Our Mercedes vacation/Day 2

     Our travel companion, Rob, has graciously agreed to drive me to see my relatives in Bolsena. It is my Nonno's paese and 2 sisters stayed in Italy when he immigrated to America. I have met these cousins before, but I hoped to find them again. (despite the fact that there seems to be a family feud going on over there!)
     While we waited for Rob, I decided to take some photos are the gorgeous bas-reliefs on the front of the Duomo. I stepped back to get a better shot and fell down the 7 marble step, with Pat close behind me trying to stop my fall. (Grace is NOT my middle name!!!!) I bruised my left hip and ankle and Pat cut his head. While I was trying to clean up the blood, 4 girls came over and asked if they could help (they had witnessed the fiasco) It turns out they were Catholic Studies majors from the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota! They gave Pat a muli-hued teddy bear bandaid to cover the cut! LOL!
     We got on the road - a VERY winding road full of hairpin turns - around 11 and arrived in Bolsena in 40 minutes! We found the Town church dedicated to S. Christina, a very popular 4th century young martyr (11 yrs old). It is an 11th century basilica which houses the altar and blood stained altar stones of the Eucharistic miracle of 1263, which gave rise to the feast of Corpus Christi! 
The reliquary holding the blood stained altar stone and a painting of the miracle above it!

     This is the church where my grandfather was baptized and where he worshipped!

     Then we set out to find my cousins. I remembered where they lived and we rang the bell - no answer, but we saw their surname (Ovidi) on the mailbox. We did a little shopping and tried again. This time, my cousin Cesaretta came to the balcony above and nearly fell off when she saw me! We came in a had a nice visit, but she had to get back to work. We promised to get in touch so that we could get together when my sister arrives    
      Bolsena is on a huge volcanic lake and so we drove around the lake and stopped to eat. I had absolutely divine ravioli stuffed with pears and percorino romano cheese, layered with mozzarella and drizzled with aged balsamic comes this week.
    It turns out that the owner is friends with my cousin, Marie-Vittoria and her son Angelo had his wedding reception there!!
(another small world moment!)
       I am a freak for olive trees and there were wondeful ones growing around the lake.

    We shopped along the small streets of Bolsena and drove home to have dinner in Orvieto. I was so tired and a bit sore from the fall, that I fell asleep at 7 and slept right through dinner until 8 the next morning!
ciao until tomorrow!!

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