March 10

Following the Epiphany stars in Crone, Lembrato and Treviso Bresciano.

Snow shoes at Gaver
Firewood and a really nice walk

During Christmas week, as we were chatting about this and that with friends, the conversation turned towards Christmas traditions. Over the Christmas period there are Nativity scenes everywhere, some in private gardens and other, grander, scenes in churches and public places.  I needed some more electricity sockets for the house and went to the local builders’ supermarket to get them and noticed that there were kits for making these Nativity scenes on sale in the entrance area of the shop.

But, what about the Epiphany stars and singers? I don’t need to remind people that Epiphany is on January 6th and is when the church tells us that Jesus was shown to the Gentiles represented by the magi who followed a star. Among British Epiphany carols I suppose are the famous “We Three Kings” and “As With Gladness, Men of Old”

With no idea of what to expect we strolled round to our kindly neighbours and climbed into the car and set off for Crone, about 5 miles away from Ponte Caffaro at the other end of Lago d’Idro. In the wintery evening gloom we would never have found the groups of singers we were looking forward to hearing without the help of our two friends, Raffaella and Laura. Even with their help we went hither and thither until a group of traditionally dressed people were spotted carrying an enormous star. The group of singers wound its way up slippery, icy paths to various houses, on arrival at a house the singers made themselves known and started to sing.  The following sound clip is of the Crone group, recorded on a digital camera so the sound is not very good but it does give some idea of the song, but not the atmosphere.

stellacrone link

Walking down the steep icy paths back to the car needed some care but the evening was gloriously clear. We could see the lake below us and the reflections of the lights of houses on the lakeside.

Leaving Crone we crossed the bridge into Lemprato and could see the singers gathered by the road side outside a hairdresser’s shop. The road through Lemprato is the main artery between Brescia and Trentino and is narrow and very busy. As the singers moved onwards to the next spot they gave me a song sheet of their songs. The noise of passing traffic is a bit distracting but the clip gives an idea of what was happening.

stellalemprato link

Next stop was a drive upwards, out of Lemprato via Crone to Treviso Bresciano, a smallish hill town on the way to Lake Garda via the mountains. we could see a light in the distance as we parked in an impossiblt small parking space. As the light drew closer it became a small tractor and trailer with a Nativity scene and an enormous rotating star operated by a small boy pulling a string. The singers from Treviso Bresciano are all men, unlike the other groups. In their black traditional cloaks they appeared to be quite out of another time.

stellatreviso link

By now the evening was starting to feel cold and we were starting to feel cold. time for supper we thought so off home. I mentioned earlier that the road through Lemprato is a main artery for this area. Unfortunately for us, and more so for two other motorists who collided just outside one of the tunnels, the road home was blocked for an hour or so.
An enchanting evening nonetheless.

Snow shoes at Gaver
Firewood and a really nice walk


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Posted March 10, 2013 by mike in category "Life in Italy

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