All over Italy on April 25th, flags wave from balconies and windows as Italy celebrates la Festa della Liberazione – even during coronavirus lockdown. At 3 pm, people sang from open windows and from terraces, the partisan song, “Bella, Ciao“ and masked mayors of cities and towns all over Italy paid tribute at their war memorial, il monumento ai caduti (“monument to the fallen”). Each town in Italy has one, no matter how small.
I decided to celebrate this year’s April 25th with “liberazione,” in any case: a walk as far as I could go considering lockdown restrictions. A ” Covid-liberation.”
I’d forage for wild asparagus for a Festa della Liberatione pasta at lunchtime.
I walked our road leading down through the woods….
….and what a sense of liberation – elation, really – as Mt. Subasio rose up before me
Due to an unusually warm spring and lack of rain, the wild asparagus are not as abundant as past years, so I picked even scrawy whips, too, like this one, delicately arched over a purple wildflower:
and this whisper of an asparagus:
Spotting larger asparagus spears sparked elation:
And after being in lockdown and restricted to home and one’s immediate surroundings for nearly six weeks, I think all of us are noting the simple beauties previously missed. Right in front of us.
I thought about this on my April 25th “liberazione” walk:
When I had found a fair-sized asparagus bunch for our pasta…..
…I. headed back up the road through our woods:
It wouldn’t take long to make the pasta with the asparagus I’d found:
After washing it, I broke the spears into pieces….
I put on the pasta water to boil and then sautéed the asparagus tidbits with a diced garlic clove in our olive oil, adding salt – and a bit of pepper.
When the spaghetti was al dente, I drained it and stirred in the asparagus:
To celebrate the Festa della Liberazione, Pino wore his red shirt today and I wore red and green.
After I’d dished up the pasta, Pino went looking for those last tidbits of asparagus to top off the servings:
If rain comes, I’ll go hunting wild asparagus again, hoping for more abundance.
But I remain grateful for what I found today – on my walk of “liberazione.”
See young people in Turin singing “Bella Ciao” on this April 25th. Festa della Liberazione.
Read about – and see! – the glorious pageantry in Gubbio for the Festa della Liberazione (prior to COVID-19)
See – and hear! – Naples youth celebrating April 25th in 2020 with “Bella Ciao”