Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Laurel leaves

The family: Selene, Raniero, Babbo (Dad), Maurilio, Dalila, Mamma
Congratulations to my good friend Maurilio who gradated last week from Sacro Cuore University in Rome with a degree in the Economics of Healthcare. I've come to know the Impagliatelli family pretty well since last summer they hosted me in their home while I was doing some work in a nearby parish.

The whole family came to Rome for Maurilio's graduation. Luckily I was able to join them for the festivities. This was my first graduation I've been to in Italy. The basic idea is the same, but some of the ceremonies surrounding the graduation differ. For example, the newly graduated doesn't wear a cap and gown, but rather wears a laurel crown. And of course, in order to celebrate such a grand occasion in Italy it is necessary to share a meal together. Now this wasn't just any meal. Lunch began around 1:30. By around 4:30 I had to leave to go to my afternoon class at which time the first desert was being served. Now get this, when I called Maurilio after my class was over around 7:00 they were just leaving the restaurant to return to the hotel. Can you imagine a 6 hour long lunch? 

The Aunts and Uncles
After class I went back to their hotel to wish them well and say good bye. I stayed around a for a little bit, of course before saying good bye. As I got to up to go, Maurilio's aunt stopped me and told me I couldn't possibly leave without eating dinner. I laughed and pointed at my belly, "How can I possibly eat dinner after a lunch that lasted all afternoon." But sure enough I stuck around for a few extra minutes to eat dinner, which by the way at this time it was already 9pm. Now you might be thinking that we'd go out to get a quick bite to eat. But no in fact we didn't need to go out. They had literally cooked enough pizza to feed an army and brought it with them from their home in southern Italy to Rome. The pizza was great. But, I had to laugh. Not only had they brought enough pizza for a three day trip, they brought fruit, and drinks, and little cookies, and home-made wine, and even their own supply of olive oil. I said to Maurilio's mom, "Now, you know you can buy food in Rome." She looked at me with total seriousness and said, "Buy food in Rome...Are you crazy? The food is so much better in Puglia." . . . And after a summer there, I can't argue with that.

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