Friday, January 19, 2018

A Stroll Through Venegono Inferiore and My First Skorpions Practice


Thursday, 18 January, 2018

Since the sun ALWAYS shines in Skorpion country, it came as no surprise that I awakened to a relatively warm (53°F) day.

As usual in Europe, my morning started with a walk foraging for sustenance.

Next to the Venegono Inferiore
train station

It is only about a ten minute walk from the Villa Skorpion and the coffee and brioche were perfect!

Since it is advertised as a Sardinian and Sicilian bar we should call it a cornetto not a brioche as they call it in northern Italy.

Fully nourished, it was time to do a little more exploration in Venegono Inferiore.

City Hall

Interesting Chimneys

Venegono Inferiore's
big church

Cinema Paradiso?

The big church is named for two
Saint Jacob and Saint Philip

It was nice inside

Its altar was nice as well

As was this candle holder

Pope John Paul II

Totus Tuus is Latin for All Yours

The church's bell/clock tower

The BVM ever vigilant

Gnarly old trees

restaurant at the far end
of this serene courtyard

The BVM stepping on
a hideous snake

How old is this structure?

Airing out the shoes after a workout

Always a good idea.

Interesting Street Name

This was the first time I've ever seen a street named after blood donators. 

Two cannons just outside of
the Venegono Inferiore Cemetery

Honoring the War Dead
from the village

Two mourned from World War I

Both died in 1918, one was a Sergeant who fell Albania, the other a Private who was slain in Germany.

A Private who died in World War II
in Germany in 1944

And a Sergeant who died fighting
in Russia

These two Venegono Inferiore natives died just 15 days apart in 1944 and have the same last name, Cremona.

In a village this small they were more than likely related in some way.

There were 43 of these name plates from WWI and WWII casualties in this mini-plaza in front of the cemetery.

Sad.

As for the cemetery itself . . .

. . . it was definitely upscale

Two big family crypts

All three of these Abatini family
members died at the age of 75

Hmm . . .

Nice Mosaic

Well, it was Thursday and after an afternoon doing odds and ends at the Villa, it was time for my first . . .

. . . Skorpions Practice!

We have an actual 100 yard field
where to practice and play games

The facility includes locker rooms too.

The local Art School for kids did
these murals

Good looking football

I don't like the look in those eyes

Originally, I had a practice planned but I went to Plan B at the last minute opting to observe how the Skorpions were used to practicing first.

After watching tonight, we will definitely be making a few changes at next Tuesday's practice. 

With Defensive Line Coach
Luca Pinto

Skorpion Team President
Aristide Mangano

Skorpion GM Enzo Petrillo
and his bride Nancy

Posing at practice with the
Skorpions U15 and U13 Flag Teams

The Seniors practice Tuesdays and
Thursdays from 8:30 pm-10:30 pm

Stance and Starts with the
Offensive Line

We only had five tonight, the bare minimum.

One had to leave and missed the last 20 minute of practice while another one hurt his shoulder boy ten minutes later.

Adapt, overcome and advance.

Offensive Coordinator Gigi Bravin
at work

Team Time

Surveying the Defense

The Offense had its moments
but the Defense was clearly ahead
at this early point of the campaign

That is normal at the start of any season.

Skorpion Field

When we left tonight, the outside temperature according to the car thermometer was a balmy -2°C/28°F.

Only two words came to mind, SCORPION WEATHER!

All in all,
It was a GREAT night for American Football!

Thursday, January 18, 2018

First Full Day in LOVELY Venegono Superiore, Italy


Wednesday, 17 January, 2018

After a solid night's sleep, it was time to check in with social media and start exploring my new surroundings.

Laurie posted two pictures of my newest travel sign that arrived the day after I left California.

The Varese Skorpions are now part
of my collection

A big thank you as always to Sandy at Hampton Refurbished Wood for making all of our signs.

The EuroBall Wall is just
about out of room

Villa Skorpion from outside the gate

The Villa Skorpion is located in the village of Venegono Superior about ten minutes southeast of Varese.

Our street translates into
Flower Field

I am ALWAYS aware of
dogs on my walks

I started my walk going south
towards the neighboring village
of Venegono Inferiore

Nice cross at the traffic circle
just outside of the cemetery

Alert Eagle

Not sure what this group does

So many gnomes is part of what
makes Venegono Inferiore, well,
inferior

After my morning walk,
Dario D'Adelfio took me
to the supermarket to get
much needed supplies

He also got me registered in the supermarkets discount program.

GRAZIE Dario!

After lunch, I took another walk, this time towards . . .

My new hometown

The map of the village

We have a nice sports complex

The new City Hall building

It translates as
Julius Caesar Road
Roman General

Who knew?

Giuseppe Garibaldi Road
General Patriot (1807-1892)

I think that every city, village and hamlet in Italy has a Via Giuseppe Garibaldi.

Nope, not going in here

The old City Hall

I need to get a library card ASAP

Access to free English language books and DVDs makes life overseas all the easier.

Of course it was closed

I'll try again tomorrow.

What is that building up on the hill?

Well first there was this old,
intriguing Chiesa Santa Maria

St. Christopher

The back side of
Chiesa Santa Maria

This was the base of the building
that caught my eye from a distance

African Mission Institute?

The BVM standing guard

This is now the
Missionari Comboniani

It is an extremely good
looking building atop this hill

St. Joseph and the Baby Jesus

A brightly colored old building
that was once a trattoria

A butcher shop specializing
in horse meat

Works for me if the horse meat tastes as good as it did in Catania nine years ago.

Chiesa San Giorgio

I stepped to take a look around but a Solemn High Mass had just begun, way too much singing for me.

Just liked the look

I may need to investigate
this in the near future

Another cool building in Venegono
Superiore that has seen better days

Uh-Oh . . TROUBLE

Oh my . . .

Goodness gracious

Somehow, I was STRONG!

I only had a small cup of coffee that had chocolate, whip cream and sweet, diced peanuts in it.

Not to be outdone,
Venegono Superiore has an eagle too

Texas A&M grads getting ready
for the return of the Texas game?

 I got to talk with Mary via
Facetime in the afternoon

In the evening, we had a
Skorpions coaches meeting

Of course it was at a restaurant that served excellent pizza, wine, beer, tiramisu and coffee.

It was a productive meeting with much lively and purpose driven discussion. We are off to a good start.

Tomorrow night I will attend my first practice with our Skorpions and I am sure that it will be . . .

A GREAT night for American football!