Anne's Blog

Here comes La Madonna!

Date: December 7, 2010 - categories: , , - 7 Comments

The massive14th-century  Papal fortress <em>La Rocca Maggiore</em>” title=”The massive14th-century  Papal fortress <em>La Rocca Maggiore</em>” width=”297″ height=”199″ class=”size-full wp-image-726″ /><p id=The massive14th-century Papal fortress La Rocca Maggiore

No, Madonna is not arriving in Assisi but La Madonna is – or so the children believe.
As darkness creeps in on December 7th   vigil of the Feast of the Immacualte Conception on the 8th, the men of the Comunità Montana (Forestry Service) light a huge bonfire in front of the massive14th-century Papal fortress La Rocca Maggiore towering over Assisi. The men roast sausages on the fire and offer them with hot mulled wine to “the locals” gathered around the fire. According to tradition, this bonfire lights the way for the angels who are flying in Mary’s home from Nazareth!
In fact, during the night of December 7th, La Madonna will stop at each Assisi home, leaving a simple gift for the children. In the past (and in the 1970’s when we moved here – and when Italy was still largely an agricultural economy), the gifts were  only basic clothing needs such as socks, underwear, perhaps gloves – in harmony with the saying (in Umbrian dialect) Chi si rinnova per Maria, sgrampola da ogni malattia (“whoever renews – ie, replaces old clothes with new – for Maria, escapes all illnesses”).
Our children used to wake up on December 8th to find new socks or underwear, a scarf or gloves, next to their pillows. One year on December 8th, our Giulia returned home from elementary school quite  mystified by the new bicycle that one of her friends had received  from la Madonna – “and not clothes as she should have, Mamma. I guess la Madonna made a mistake”!.     I remember the year I was in the U.S. on December 8th and called home. Our son Mattia – 16 years old at the time – answered the phone and said, “Mom – la Madonna missed us this year. How come?!”

Nowadays,  la Madonna might bring an I-POD, a digital camera or a new cell phone to a child. More “Madonna mistakes”?!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Privacy Policy

Privacy Italian Legislative Decree n° 196/2003 Under Article 13 of the Italian Legislative Decree no. 196/2003, regulations with regard to the Protection of Personal Data, this is an informative report to all interested parties on the modality of the treatment of personal data, arising from interaction with our website
THE PRINCIPAL FOR DATA TREATMENT During site consultation, personal data referring to identified or identifiable persons can be processed. The principal for data treatment is Anne Robichaud Pian della Pieve Assisi 06081 (PG) Italy. The data will be mainly processed at the mentioned head office by the people responsible for the website or by other people appointed for occasional maintenance operations, provided that their actions conform to of the guarantees enshrined in the Legislative Decree 196/2003.
Web navigation The information systems and software procedures required for the functioning of this website, acquire some personal data during their normal service, the transmission of which is implicit in the use of web communication protocols. This information is not collected with the purpose of identifying interested parties, but due to its very nature, the information could lead to user identification through processes and relations with data held by third parties. In this data category there are IP addresses or domain names belonging to computers used by users who connect to the site, addresses with URI (Uniform Resource Identifier) notification of the requested resources, time of the request, used method in submitting the request to the server, dimension of the file obtained in replying, the numeric code mentioning the reply status given by the server (successful reply, error, etc?) and other parameters referred to the operation system and to the user’s information environment. This data is used with the sole purpose of obtaining anonymous statistical information on the use of the site and to check the correct functioning; immediately after processing, the data is erased.
Data voluntarily supplied by the user The voluntary optional and explicit e-mail transmission to the addresses mentioned in this site implies the subsequent acquisition of the sender’s address, necessary to reply to the queries, as well as the other eventual personal data registered in the message.
OPTIONAL PERSONAL DATA SUPPLY Except for the above mentioned navigation data, the user may be asked to supply his own personal data through queries or messages to the email addresses shown in the contact pages. Failure to provide such data may be the cause of the inability to obtain the requested information from the company.
TREATMENT MODALITY The personal data is treated in compliance with the Legislative Decree no. 196/2003 and held only for the time necessary to achieve the aim for which it has been collected. Specific safety measures are taken to prevent any data loss, illicit or incorrect use and unauthorized access.
RIGHTS OF THIRD PARTIES The data subjects are at any time entitled to obtain confirmation as to whether or not data relating to him are held, to know the contents and the origin, to check the correctness, to ask for integration, updating or change (art. 7 Decree Law 196:June 2003). In accordance with the same article, they are entitled to obtain the erasure, conversion into anonymous form or freezing of all data used in breach of the law, to object, on legitimate grounds, to the processing of data relating to him. All requests have to be transmitted to the e-mail address

Agenzia Viaggi Stoppini in Assisi handles all technical support for my guided visits (bus transportation, organization of meals, etc)