There is an unbelievable transformation which occurs when a relatively quiet village is suddenly flooded with people. This occurs every year in Sorbo, the village in which my Nonna was born.
Each August, many of those who were born in the village and now live elsewhere return with their families for the annual summer festivities.
At this time, there is a liveliness which consumes the village, a joy which refuses to ebb away. The tiny village overflows with people – car spots are scarce and people constantly fill the streets. The usually silent village becomes a chaotic hub of noise, running children and shouting adults.
To walk down the street means to encounter numerous beaming cousins of cousins who invite you in for lunch, or coffee, or gelato – or all of the above.
To walk down the street means to pass groups of elderly villagers who sit in the sun on each others’ doorsteps, arguing about life and laughing into the sunshine.
To walk down the street is to trace the steps of innumerable generations who have walked those same unchanged cobblestones.
Indeed, it is a beautiful thing when the village returns.