The Italians Are Here

Monday 25th July

A couple of weeks ago we first got notice that there was going to be an Italian Market in Eymet.  We didn’t really know what to expect, but a few days ago some tents were being erected in the Parc Gabriel.  This is also the venue for the Thursday Gourmande evenings and come Thursday there was indeed some confusion; was the Gourmande going ahead or not.  As it happened it did, though there were fewer tables and chairs, and the whole thing felt a bit cramped and disjointed.

The Italian Market officially opened this weekend, it is a few tents with Parma Hams and cooked meats, Amaretti biscuits, Pannetones and wines and large Restaurant and a jewelry tent.  But a couple of times a day there is a parade by three or four masked and beautifully adorned Venetian characters slowly parading and twirling through the town square.  Everyone rushed to be photographed alongside them and they were quite spectacular.  And last night we had a meal in the tent.  It was only pizza or pasta and not that exceptional, but it was nice to be sitting in the park and eating a proper meal.  The waiters were all middle-aged Italian men who looked and acted as if they would far rather be somewhere else entirely; that serving us French and English was quite a bore.  Still, we had a good time and the whole Italian market will be over on a few days time.

There seems to be much more cross-cultural movement here in continental Europe.  After all France does border 7 countries and 9 if you count Monaco and Andorra, whereas poor old UK only has Ireland and France, and you mostly have to cross a stretch of water to get to either.  Perhaps that is one of the reasons we have always had a semi-detached (soon to be completely detached) relationship with Europe; that and our far closer cultural ties with America of course.  Anyway, we will return to the Italiian market in the days to come and stock up on some of that Pannetone and cheese.