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Starting Holy Thursday until Easter Sunday there are processions and rituals that take place in Nocera Terinese, Calabria.  The beloved Madonna is carried by several men from the church through out the village, up and down hills. The statute weighing heavily on the backs of the chosen men who have the honor of carrying her.

Women will bake bocconotti (tartlets filled with chocolate, my family prefers Nutella  or jam) and prepare special flowers to bring to church.

DATE: Friday  July 1st, 2011

TIME: Before our famous Penne and Sausage Party

VENUE: Temesa Village Hotel Soccer Field - La Grande Partita

PLAYERS: Basically all my cousins against AJ’s friends from Germany

As part of our weekend wedding festivities, AJ and I organized a soccer match between Calabria and Germany. As a thank you for participating in the match, AJ gave his German teammates brand new soccer shirts. I stayed true to my heritage and rooted for the Italians of course.

In the end, we only had one small ankle injury and both teams got along famously with each other on and off the field.  Thank You to the Temesa Village Hotel at Marina di Nocera Terinese for reserving the field for the big game of the summer.

My hubby

First half of Italy vs. Germany Soccer Match

Roberto Mendicino - Team Captain? for Italy (Calabria)

Possible goal for the Germans?

My superstar nephew has the ball!!!

The Italians have lots of SKILLS!

Uh oh.. my brother "the coach" on the field.

Things are heating up between both teams.

American spectators. My sis and Sean (who BTW is wearing a team Germany shirt)

My hubby and cousin Roberto in action.

Hmm...I don't think my hubby was playing fair here.

Roberto has a chance to regain the lead.

But the Germans have a secret, younger, faster player named Tobias.

The Germans can't seem to shake key Italian player, Roberto.

It's Bubu's turn to try to get rid of Roberto.

Danilo won't quit either.

MVP for the Germans.

GAME OVER! FINAL SCORE. TIE 10-10.

Apparently, Italians are proud of their bellies and fine physique.

Two great soccer teams. Now it's time to cook for the Penne Party in the piazza.