It was like the sun had set the duomo on fire and I just had to look up even though the brilliance of the white stones against blue sky hurt my eyes. Looking up in the tight piazza wasn't easy. My neck craned as I tried to squint into focus the busy maze of sculptural features. I wanted to see the details of the faces nestled in the arched niches.
But then the noise of the piazza drew me away and I had to look around, and down. The ground was a sea of color covered with tiny pieces of paper. My son was trying to get my attention: "Look at the cornflakes". I smiled and tried not to laugh. "You mean confetti?" (In the background I hear Sicilian hubby repeat the word in Italian, coriandoli). He smiles back with a grin realizing the mistake. "What are cornflakes"? "Cereal you eat for breakfast" I reply. We belly laugh together and start to move through the crowd. "I want some confetti, too". "Yes, lets find a vendor".
Families with kids dressed in store bought costumes filled up the piazza, huddled together in tight circles trying to keep warm or else running back and forth to avoid being showered by fistfuls of confetti or squirts of foam.
It was carnevale and the town of Como was having a party.
We headed away from the crowds to wander the pretty side streets full of medieval buildings and sgraffito covered facades.
Out of nowhere some tall lanky figures crept up on us and shouted out an invitation: "Run between my legs!". A nudge or two of encouragement was all that was necessary before the 5 year old was through and out the other side.