Three of Mr P's sisters, a brother-in-law and several old friends are long standing members of the local abbey church choir. They sing before, during and after the Sunday Mass and during other occasions such as weddings, funerals and concerts. The acoustics in the abbey are very good and it's a joy to listen to the singing accompanied by organ music.
The abbey schola cantorum is well known throughout the region and is often invited to sing elsewhere. Whilst we were in Italy a coach trip had been arranged to take the group and their families on an outing to the town of Pompeii. The choir was going to sing at the Sunday Mass in the main church there and we were able to go with them. Despite an early start with the coach leaving the car park outside the abbey at 7 a.m. it was a chance to go out for the day with family and friends to another region. The Naples coast is about two hours away on the motorway from our village. We've been there many times before to visit the Roman excavations, walk up to the volcanic crater on Mount Vesuvius and spend holidays in Sorrento.
It was a hot day and we were glad to be under a sun umbrella as we enjoyed fruit juices. Later we sat in the shade of the trees near the fountains in the piazza.
After the service our group went and had lunch in a nearby restaurant, walked a short way along the main street of the town and did 'the touristy thing'. Some of the family met up again near the entrance to the Roman excavation site, sat under sun umbrellas at a refreshment stall, chatted and enjoyed more refreshing drinks until it was time to leave Pompeii - more about that and the interior of the church next time.
Meanwhile, have a lovely day,