After many long, cold, and dreary winter days, I am beyond ready for some sunshine and warmer temperatures. My last ten day adventure explored Ireland, Scotland, and England, and while, for the most part, the weather was amiable and actually somewhat warm for early March in that region, it was still too cold for me. However, lucky for me, Viterbo seems to be as ready for spring to be here as I am.
Clear, blue skies and a warm sunny day greeted me this past Sunday morning when I woke up. March 25th, perhaps just an ordinary day for many people, is a special day for medieval Viterbo: Annunziata Fair, the celebration of the feast of the Annunciation. And it truly was a glorious day to celebrate such an event with a warm breeze and the beaming sun hovering in the sky. Vendors arise at an exceptionally early hour on this day to set up their stands along the cobblestone streets. Before the day has hardly begun, within the ancient city wall is an exciting array of stalls full of beautiful items and delicious foods. Crepes with Nutella existed at every other stand and the savory smell of porchetta drifted through the crowds of people. Thousands of local Viterbese, tourists, and other visitors milled about Viterbo’s archaic city center, going from stall to stall admiring, shopping, and observing demonstrations of unique products. Hundreds of beautiful, colorful scarves waved in the breeze and if you weren’t careful you might trip over a small child with a crepe in his hand, Nutella on his face, and grinning from ear to ear.
Upon arriving at the fair, I was fascinated by the very first stand we happened upon where a woman was offering a demonstration of her product; naturally, I purchased this remarkable product because I was highly impressed, instantly thought of someone back home who needed this gift, and I’m easily inclined to shop (not my best attribute, unfortunately, for my wallet). This, however, is quite possibly the best four euros I have ever spent. This was only the very beginning of my wonderful afternoon at the Annunziata Fair and it was an absolutely perfect one, full of smiles, laughter, my friend and I attempting to practice our mediocre Italian with the vendors, and, course, gelato because this is Italia. By the end of it my wallet was much lighter and my arms were heavy with bags full of items I had convinced myself were necessary purchases. Everyone throughout the city seemed so delighted to be out and about in the warm afternoon sun. It was as though the streets themselves were smiling at the charming market, happy people, and splendid spring day.
Lauren Graziano è una studentessa americana USAC che studia all’Università della Tuscia per il primo semestre di questo anno scolastico. E’ cresciuta alle Hawaii, ma ora vive in Colorado e studia in una università nello Iowa, dove ritornerà il prossimo autunno, dopo il suo semestre a Viterbo. Ama viaggiare, leggere, scrivere e uscire fuori, sia che si tratti di escursioni, sci, nuoto o altre divertenti attività all’aperto.