We decided to miss Mass in packed Volterra: the underground car park, the noise, the clicking mobiles. Instead we set off on the road to a small, ordinary non-tourist local Italian town. For all that, a gem set upon a hill. I love the way that on Sunday morning the men sit in the cafes.
The first church was chiuso. So that was that. But then one persevered, rounded a corner and found Mass, at the Gospel. Try as I might I could not understand it. For the (long) sermon, a cafe beckoned outside. And then back for the Eucharistic Prayer. A confused way of attending Mass.
Why in England cannot life on Sunday proceed in a cultured way? No chain stores, a few cafes, people nipping in and out of Mass. What was the Gospel reading? No matter. I caught just enough. Have no fear.