It's been pretty chilly in northern Italy lately. In the winter, I have flannel sheets on my bed, plus two blankets. Lately, I've added an additional blanket. All this is on top of my feather bed, and then my mattress. If my bed were any more comfortable, it would be a cloud.
This morning, I dragged myself out of bed, down the hallway, and onto the cold bathroom floor. After I took care of business, I went back to my bedroom and began making my bed. When I tugged on the covers, they were still warm underneath, and it took every ounce of willpower I had not to get back in.
These are the days I wish I was Italian because today is Epiphany, a religious holiday of which they take full advantage. Along with Epiphany comes the story of the Befana, a witch who enters homes at night through the chimney and leaves candy and presents for good children and coal for the bad ones. The scenario is very similar to Santa Claus (who the Italians call Babbo Natale--Daddy Christmas), except for one major change. The night before Epiphany, the Italians burn bonfires shaped like the witch to ward off the evil from the previous year, and start things right in the new year. I was wondering why I kept hearing fire crackers when I was trying to go to sleep last night. So, yeah, everything was closed today and none of the Italians were at work. They were snuggled in the warmth of their beds, where I should have been.