Category: Micah

Micah’s People

We’ve met so many great people here in Perugia; we’ve mentioned many of them in our ‘Miss You’ post.

But Micah has some special acquaintances as well. Here they are, Micah’s friends. As the most sociable member of the family, he quickly won them over.


Ricardo, who runs the giornale stand down Via dei Priori

Ricardo supplies us with news, toys, and calciatori/mondiale Panini stickers. He’s also the coach of the neighborhood (Via dei Priori) soccer team.

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Porchetta and Jambalaya = Umbria Jazz

As we pack our bags, Umbria Jazz is stepping out.


Every day from noon to well past midnight  there are official and unofficial performances. We passed part of yesterday afternoon in the Giardini Carducci listening to the KJ Denhart Band and the Allan Harris Quintet, while eating porchetta and jambalaya.


Later we encountered Tuba Skinny playing in Via Mazzini; they are a true traditional New Orleans jazz band, and they are phenomenal; they look the part as well as playing the parts. For Pedar, they are the best thing going at Umbria Jazz: they play the truth.


So far, one of Micah’s favorite events is the twice daily “parade” with Funk Off. All week, at noon and 6:30 pm they parade from Piazza Italia to Piazza IV Novembre where they stop for a performance. Here’s a clip from yesterday:

And here is Micah channeling their vibe with one of his friends (stay with it to 0:52…):

He’s learned that the show must go on, even with equipment malfunctions; maybe someday he will be on the main stage.


Forza Italia

Jakob's divided loyalties

Jakob’s divided loyalties

In two hours, Italy will kick off vs. England in the tropical rain forest city of Manaus. The game begins at midnight here. We are waiting for the minutes to tick away.

We are meeting friends at Elfo’s, a party of 10 people trying to fit into a pub that will be overflowing with fans. We were there last night for four hours with our friends from Arezzo, watching two matches (Mexico 1-0 Cameroon) and the stunning 5-1 drubbing of defending champions Spain by the effervescent Dutch team.

Jakob and Micah were both pulling hard for Holland; Jakob because he had accompanied me three years ago on a Winter Term to the Netherlands and Germany, and got to train at the KNVB, the Headquarters of Football for Holland. Micah just loves orange. Two tall young Dutch women seated on the other side of the aisle were both pleased and puzzled to see the little boy in front of them, head-to-toe in the national uniform of the Netherlands, jumping up and down with joy as Holland scored one after another in the second half.


Another goal by the Oranje

20140614-215957-79197162.jpgThe boys will be exhausted; with their friends from Arezzo here today, they went out to a local park to kick around the ball just before noon. Then it was time for lunch, so we met our Australian friends below the church of San Ercolano (which was actually open, for once, so Rebecca got to see inside, and inspect the late Roman sarcophagus holding the saint’s remains which is used as the altar of the church. What did the boys do in between munches? Kick the ball against the massive stone foundation blocks of the building. Then we had an end-of-season party for Micah’s team; the parents played a match vs. the kids at Don Bosco; and Jakob and Simon came down a bit later and they all played some more (3 more hours of kicking a ball).

You have to say that the game keeps them fit. They’ve almost beat the stitches out of our ball. It only has days to live.

So we have to make it for two more hours. It should be an even match. And while we like the England squad and the older boys have some loyalties to St. George from our last sabbatical in Yorkshire, we’re in Italy and we’re all blue tonight.

Well, except for Jakob. He’s cheering for both.

Castel Rigone, Weeks 33-34: To Morality and Beyond

28 April 2014: fans of Vigor Lamezia celebrate their salvation after their team defeats Castel Rigone to remain in Serie C.

This past Sunday, May 4th at 15:00, at Stadio San Bartolomeo, Castel Rigone played their last match as a team in the professional division of Lega Pro (soon to become ‘Serie C’ again). They lost 2-0, their seventh setback in a row. They had already been relegated the previous week. I wasn’t there to watch. The eyes and ears of everyone in Perugia were at Stadio Renato Curi, where Perugia played Frosinone in the last game of the season for one of those two teams (the team that prevailed won the league, and was promoted to Serie B). For the other side, it was the start of a tortuous 8-team playoff to determine what other squad will be promoted. Heading into the match, Perugia led Frosinone by one point, and needed only a draw to return to Serie B, where they’ve not been since 2004-05, the (first) year they went bankrupt. The previous Sunday, when Perugia earned a draw in the mud of Salerno (winners of the League Cup), the commune set up a giant screen in Piazza IV Novembre, and the songs and shouts of the fans gathered in the pouring rain could be heard throughout the city as Perugia buried a late penalty to tie the match. The outcome of the Perugia’s season appears in another post. The philosopher-chairman of Castel Rigone, Brunello Cucinelli, is not finished, however, he has a “progetto speciale” in mind (Giornale dell’Umbria, 29 Apr. 2014, p. 36) which he will reveal in 2-3 weeks. I would not be surprised if he doesn’t invest even more deeply in his vision of a new calcio, one in which ideas, form, and comportment are still important than wins or losses. A more striking contrast could not be found than with Jose Mourinho, the incredibly successful yet hard-to-like manager of Chelsea. Continue reading

Marble Marvels

Micah and a marble worker

Would Magritte say that Micah was with a marble worker?

We just finished our Easter (Pasqua) break; the kids were off 10 days from school, and Alan and Barbara were visiting. We took a tour of coastal Tuscany, from Lucca in the north to Cerveteri in the south, accompanied by lovely spring weather.

One day, we took the A11 north to Carrara, location of the great marble quarries that the Romans first exploited in bulk beginning in the second century BC. Above the town, the peaks are white — not from snow, but from being cut down for the bright stone that makes up the mountains.

We visited the Civic Marble Museum in Carrara, had a fantastic pranzo at a Calabrian restaurant next to a working marble yard, and then toured one of the underground quarries before finishing the day at Forte dei Marmi, now a posh holiday beach town.

Micah was keen on the adventure; all day (and after) he talked about the ‘marvel quarries’. Continue reading

Auguri Micah!


This week Micah celebrated his 6th birthday. He had been anticipating this event all year. We tried to keep it small, by Italian standards. Micah has a few very close friends from school and soccer, so we invited them to a meal at Il Cantinone, a restaurant owned by Caterina, the mother of Francesco, one of Micah’s friends from soccer. The restaurant has long been one of our favorite spots in Perugia. The food is superb, reasonably priced, and the service is ‘down-home’ and friendly (TripAdvisor agrees).

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