There’s never a non-eventful day in Italy. The plane landed in Fiumicino at the very early time of 5.55am, and I bee-lined straight for il bar to claim my long awaited café that I had missed so much! We then caught a coach to take us to our much anticipated destination, Prato. The bus trip took us 4 hours, with a small break on the autostrada to ease the ‘seedy’ feeling from the plane with a nice, chessy, and prosciutto-filled panino. Che buono!
We arrived in the beautiful old centre of Prato, and were greeted by beautiful old buildings in yellows, pinks and reds, lining cobble paths and beautiful flower boxes. The town is very close to Florence, and is surrounded by old remparts with magical piazza’s and has it’s own duomo. It’s so Tuscany! That afternoon, some of us took a walk around town to admire it’s beauty, and on our way to the castello in the centre of town, we ran into a congregation welcoming the new bishop to the Prato diocese. There were families, elderly people and the young out to celebrate, and after his speech they let go of helium balloons which spotted the sky above the castello. It was obvious that this Vescovo, Franco Agostinelli was quite the local celebrity.
We then ventured inside this empty, shelled, old castle in the centre of town which was built in the 13th century. You’re still able to climb up steep steps which lead to the tops of the walls which give an amazing view of Prato. It was a bel visto.
That afternoon, we joined the masses of pratese outside the Duomo to watch the ingresso del nuovo Vescovo, the new bishop’s entry. It seemed as if the whole town had turned out. There were people everywhere and people in the apartments surrounding the duomo had hung red-coloured rugs from their windows. As a few of us girls were watching from the outskirts, suddenly a news-reporter sprung upon us and started asking us questions in Italian with a camera and microphone in front of our faces! We were all stunned and so jet-lagged, that I don’t think we spoke of anything awfully intelligable. Although, it would be hilarious if my first day in Prato resulted with me on Italian news!