A new national holiday

While many of you were celebrating St. Patrick’s day, we here in Italy were celebrating a holiday that the government just announced a few weeks ago. March 17 marked 150 years that Italy has been independent and unified into one country. The first capital of that new country was Torino, just 30 miles from here. We didn’t make it to Torino for the festivities. We had, in fact, a pretty low key day. We relaxed around our apartment and took a couple of walks. Most of the businesses were closed for the holiday but we did find a few open. On our friends’ recommendation we went to the other Coop in town which is much larger than the one closest to us. It was open and we added a few more household items to our collection. There were a few bar/coffee shops open and we visited one we hadn’t been to before for a cappuccino and some gelato. It was a clear sunny day with the temperature around 11 degrees (Centigrade or 55 F). As we walked toward the Coop this was the view down the street.


Note the background. It’s not something we are used to seeing in Northfield. The mountains are stunning!

We didn’t purposefully seek out festivities in Bra but on the way to the Coffee shop we encountered a crowd of people gathered around some people in costumes. Looking closer we realized that the costumed people were on a large checkerboard pattern. In fact, it was a game of human chess. We would hear two different voices declaring moves and then the correspondingly dressed person would move to the location indicated. Here are a couple shots via iPhone.


We don’t often see this sort of wild celebrating in the States. I don’t know how well thinking about chess moves and then publicly exposing how well you can execute your strategy while drinking beer and grilling burgers would work. But based on the size of the crowd, this type of celebrating works well here.

Happy 150th to Italy!



3 thoughts on “A new national holiday

  1. Fun in deed. The humas chess sort of reminded me of tail gaiting, although there is little thought beyond ‘what’s to eat?’ at the tailgait.Thanks for the much appreciated break from my work. To view and learn of your life – Italian style is a welcomed diversion. I love your sharing of you first day of school, and June’s as well.Take care.

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