|The tree in Pietrasanta Piazza|
The Piazza is decorated for Xmas, but no brightly coloured Santas and not a reindeer in sight - it's all very tasteful.
|Pietrasanta Piazza at midnight|
|Ready for High Mass|
Some people go to High Mass at 11.30pm, but not many. I look in out of curiosity and a sense of tradition, but - like many Italians - I don't stay. The rituals and the music remind me of my childhood, even though I can't believe any more.
|Having a quick cigarette before mass|
On Xmas morning it's still raining and now blowing a gale too. We have a quiet coffee beside the stove and then take the dogs down to the beach, where the Mediterranean is giving a good impression of the North Sea.
|Frankie and Ellie|
Then back to Peralta to huddle beside the stove again with a rather nice local wine - Vermentino from the Lunigiana (a small area just to the north of Tuscany). Later I cook some Italian lamb with rosemary, garlic and red wine. We ring the children in various parts of the world and then fall asleep in front of the TV, in the great English Xmas tradition.
Hope you all had a good Xmas too - comfortable, peaceful and neither flooded nor frozen!