New Year’s Eve in Barga

New Year’s Eve in Barga

I am the kind who historically sleeps through New Year’s Eve and  waits for someone to tell me the New Year has arrived the NEXT day. Though I was the oldest of our community at our small house in Italy I was determined this year to participate. It was another Italian adventure. New Year’s was a lovely clear starlit night and though I had dozed a bit, I set off with my flashlight to climb the long steep cobblestone stairs carefully terraced so that even the slowest might make it to the top. A very strong (and also very old by the looks) iron handrail is there to help the infirm. Families and young people adorned the piazza in front of the Duomo/cathedral. Numbers of fireworks and gentle noise makers, if that can be said, were careening off the rooftops, all in tune with the celebration of the New Year. A couple of groups of young people were preparing small hot air balloons or lanterns. When sufficiently blown up the lanterns were set aloft to join others in the sky from all the villages dotting the hillsides and even from far away across the valley. The balloons rose unnaturally high into the air; I was quite surprised; it did make a stunning sight plus there were colorful fireworks again from different villages dotting the hillsides and seeing them from the vantage point of the Duomo made a wonderful sight in the sky above the valley. We wandered back to our own home garden and struck our sparklers and even a hot air balloon of our own to add to the night sky. I was happy for 2017 this year and the hope for a peaceful one as gentle as the joy with which it was welcomed by the Italians of this small village and the villages around the mountains.

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