One thousand year old crucifix in the Cathedral in Vercelli.

In preparation for this trip Gord and I started watching the popular Italian sitcom, Che Dio Ci Aiuti ( God Help Us) on line to improve our Italian. It takes place in a convent that has fallen on tough financial times and must rent rooms to a colourful and very beautiful collection of female university students. The lead character, Sister Angela, is a reformed murderer who enjoys helping the police to solve crimes on the side.

Today as we headed towards the convent in Vercelli that welcomes pilgrims we wondered if Sister Angela or her equivalent would be there. While there were no supermodels to be seen, our welcome and stay so far has been magical. We were greeted enthusiastically in spite of our early arrival, and quickly invited to join the community for a meal. Momma mia! We thought the fantastic pasta and tomato salad was the meal and then out came the main course of stuffed vegetables, followed by fresh figs and coffee. Delightful! There are no longer any nuns in residence and instead the priest and the small lay community provide help to families in need and welcome pilgrims.

Today’s gelato flavours: green apple, melon, watermelon and pear.

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