status viatoris – being ‘on the way’/being in a state of pilgrimage
The village festa season seems to be suffering from a few fits and starts this year, if reports of last year’s back to back parties in the piazza are to be believed.
A few weeks ago it kicked off with a night of somewhat eclectic musical tastes from the live band. Old style waltzes and paso dobles, so beloved of gentlefolk ‘d’un certain âge’ in villages the length and breadth of France, and apparently also Italy, joined forces with 80’s rock anthems and 60’s ballads, with the odd Latin American ditty thrown in for added piquancy.
Excessive amounts of beer and constant urging from my Argentine neighbour had me up on the dance floor for much of the night, but even my efforts could not compare with the star of the evening. He must have been ninety if he was a day, and the excitement of whirling lady after lady around the square saw him finally divesting himself of his shirt, but strangely not his dignity.
The very next night we were treated to a local rock band who played lots of loud Italian music that I didn’t know, and a few AC/DC hits that I did. Nothing very conducive to dancing, but the lead singer and bass guitarist both provided enough eye candy to offset any regrets in that department.
And then nothing…
Until last night, when the Confraternita di Santa Marta, after a sober religious procession up and down the main street, invited the village back to the square of the same name to get happily squiffy on red wine whilst listening to an excellent group, comprised solely of villagers.
The mad conductor’s wife was on lead vocals and acoustic guitar, with her daughter, the shopkeeper and the shopkeeper’s cousin on backing vocals, amongst other brave and tuneful souls.
The singing continued long after the band had packed up, when a group of worse for wear locals both young and old gave a wonderful rendition in dialect of all the old songs.
The joyful harmony of their voices rose into the early hours, when the miserable old woman whose apartment backs onto the square, chucked a bucket of water over them from her balcony and told us to piss off home before she called the carabinieri.
This is Status Viatoris, kicking off her dancing shoes until the next time, in Italy.