Money, Money, Money by Abba is playing today. I’ve just returned from Lanciano, where I’ve been offered a job, so here’s hoping it’s an omen. (So now I have two jobs, and I thought I came to Italy for an early retirement).

As I was walking from the car park to the town centre I was accosted by two nuns, I say accosted, when in truth a softly spoken girl with an angelic face gently touched my arm and stopped me saying, “Mi scusi.” I looked at her large imploring brown eyes, then at her partner, who was the opposite, a brutish looking nun with a better moustache than I can ever hope to grow and black foreboding eyes. I swallowed hard and looked back to the pretty nun… Is it acceptable to refer to a nun as pretty?


She asked me for directions to a street that I had no knowledge of, I apologised for being no help; in fact, I think I atoned by explaining I was a stupid Englishman with a meagre grasp of the street layout of Lanciano.

The gentle nun nodded and said goodbye while her accomplice grimaced and I’m sure I heard her growl as they walked away. As I walked on I remembered an Italian friend saying to me once that if you need to cross a very busy road, avoid being run over by staying close to a nun. Italian drivers always slow down for a nun as it’s a sin to run one over, in fact I did once hear it was illegal to hit one with your car.

I’m not sure what he meant when he said the same doesn’t always go for a priest.100_3129