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Monday 6 January

Earlyish for Italy, around 0815 I think: Stefano sleeping, water for tea set to boil, showered and much happier.

And yet a miserable day yesterday in one way or another all the way thru; until we got back to his apartment a few minutes past midnite this morning.

So — knowing how I like to write and how suddenly I may not this morning have the time to do it sequentially (he's due to get up at 9, we're apparently going to Switzerland to do a check of the computerised inventory at a small branch store there) —

Essentially once Stefano'd got up, we moved out of the house very quickly, then milled around with Emmanuela for nearly an hour — caffé, yammering in the street, cellular phone calls, standing around in the store — and at eleven past they went to mass at S. Francesco di Paola, which I'd been thinking deconsecrated and closed: never a door open, no mass schedule or posters, an absolutely dead façade; and in fact yesterday Sunday morning they entered thru an unmarked door that, contrary to many Italian churches, was resolutely closed.

Not the day to visit churches, of course; wandered slowly towards the Duomo, finally walked instead to the Castello Sforzesco under gloomy grey weather, noting also the place to catch the bus to Malpensa: they leave hourly on the half-hour starting at 0730 and the trip takes 50 minutes, tickets being required before, but the ticket office is right there and continuously open.

Actually, there was a street sale — not sure whether a Sunday event or an occasional or even yearly one maybe connected with Befana today — of coins, stamps, and occasionally other small collectibles like phone cards: maybe 200 tables, some under tents (wise in this weather), and quite busy, all kinds of interesting World War II Italian stamp issues — provisional military governments, occupied Dodecanese, fascist enclaves after 1943, etc. — also here and there Roman coins —


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Page updated: 21 Apr 98