Pietrasanta, that centre of sculptural production with the dazzling marble of the Apuan Alps behind it, was just the right sort of place to spend our New Year’s Eve.
The town was bathed in a richly sad winter sunset light which gilded the beautiful main square with its cathedral.
Inside the cathedral the font even had sculpted fish swimming in it – a beautiful way to remember the early Christian sign of ‘ichthus’ or fish whose letters symbolise the following:
- Iota (i) is the first letter of Iēsous (Ἰησοῦς), Greek for “Jesus“.
- Chi (ch) is the first letter of Christos (Χριστός), Greek for “anointed.”
- Theta (th) is the first letter of Theou (Θεοῦ), Greek for “God’s”, the genitive case of Θεóς, Theos,” Greek for “God.”
- Upsilon (y) is the first letter of (h)yios] (Υἱός), Greek for “Son”.
- Sigma (s) is the first letter of sōtēr (Σωτήρ), Greek for “Saviour.”
Outside and in the adjoining convent there was the Christianity and symbolism of Salvador Dali instead – a truly magnificent display which also included his illustrations for ‘Carmen’.
Christmas cribs abounded in their entire Italian inventiveness in the baptistery.
For me the most memorable part of our New Year’s Eve was the walk along the beach at Marina di Pietrasanta. I think I prefer the beach like this, free from the paraded deckchairs and sun-tanning bodies that fill it for the summer season:
The high pressure area has moved away after perhaps completing a record rain-free and sun-bright December and today we are seeing grey skies and a storm alert. Rain at last to wash away the iniquities of the old year?