Merry Christmas to you all, it’s certainly different this year with all of the restrictions in place but we hope you have a lovely day and are able to celebrate it with family and friends where possible.
Restrictions here are very complicated over the Christmas period moving in, out a bit, in, out a bit, in and then hopefully out of lockdown (The Covid ‘Hokey Cokey’).
Italy is divided into 3 regional zones labelled yellow, orange and red. Currently the region of Sicily is in the yellow zone which is the most relaxed. You can travel around the region, shops are open and bars/restaurants are allowed to open until 6pm.
However the whole country goes into temporary lockdown, with the maximum red zone restrictions applied for a few days over Christmas, New Year and Epiphany. Leaving home is only allowed for work, health or emergency reasons, non-essential shops, restaurants and bars are closed. Thankfully movement around the marina seems to be acceptable and 2 families can meet up with a maximum of 4 adults at a time.
The days in between that are not public holidays or weekends are slightly less restrictive being in the orange zone. Shops can reopen, bars and restaurants can open for takeaways only and some travel within the region is allowed.
Hopefully by 7th January we should be back to the more relaxed restrictions of the yellow zone.
Unfortunately this all puts a stop to some of the planned events including group celebrations, a Christmas Day swim and drinks on the beach.
Everyone here has been entering into the Christmas spirit (and plenty of it!) over the past week while it has been allowed. Many boats have been decorated.
We had to join in with lights inside and out
There is a Christmas tree, and lots of poinsettia flowers have been planted all around the docks.
The town square has a more contemporary style of tree.
We have been carol singing to spread a little Christmas cheer around the marina. We had mulled wine, eggnog, a violinist to try to help keep everyone in tune, and a very amusing sing a long to the 12 days of Christmas with different people singing each line, (think we may need more practice for this one) everyone of all nationalities joined in.
We had a great day on our American friends boat this week when we were invited to a ‘Yankee Gift Swap’. This was essentially the same as a ‘Secret Santa’ but with a twist. Everyone had to bring a wrapped gift labelled ‘guy or gal’ which were all placed in a designated area. Each person was given a number to choose a gift from the pile in sequence. If after opening your gift, you preferred someone else’s rather than your own, you had the opportunity to swap.
This was a lot of fun, particularly when more than one person wanted the same gift!
Paul was holding on tight to his flexible grabber with built in torch and monster can of WD40.
After a stormy weekend, the weather here has been very warm and sunny all week with temperatures up in the high 20’s in the sun. We had to laugh when we overheard a 7 year old from a neighbouring boat commenting “it’s the 24th of December and I’m roasting.” It looks like Christmas day for us will be Australian style eating dinner al fresco, but with virtual celebrations with family and friends as will be the same for many this year. We do hope the internet is up to it! (Paul said he’s glad that he’s not part of the Zoom Technical Support team)
Wishing everyone a wonderful Christmas x