This morning, whilst I was at home working at my computer, I could hear the distinctive strains of bagpipes drifting up from the village. I have always preferred the sound of the Italian zampogne to that of their rather more piercing Scottish cousins and of course here they mean that Christmas is on its way.
In fact December brings the zampognari down from the hills and into the towns and villages to spread a little Christmas cheer in exchange for a coin or two or a glass of wine.
A little later, the door-bell rang, and outside were the 2 musicians, (they usually play in pairs), dressed in their traditional shepherd’s attire of sheep-wool waistcoats, hats and breeches. One of them was clutching the zampogna (bagpipe), the other the ciaramella, a kind of rustic oboe.
They proceeded to play to their solitary audience of one, plus 2 dogs, who even managed not to bark, growl or howl.
The Christmas spirit was definitely in the air