The church bells mark our day. In the morning they ring at quarter to eight... not eight, but quarter to... so Punkone knows to start putting on his shoes and I make sure I didn't forget his marenda (snack). Perfect timing for him to walk the few blocks to school with his father without rushing. No one likes to rush in the morning.
They ring again at noon, when the shops close and again at 3 when they open. If I'm home, the three o'clock bell reminds me that it's time to get my shoes on and head out to pick up Punkette from nursery school at 3:15. The final bells at 7 pm mark the end of the busy day, time for pjs and brushing of teeth. It's almost as if they consulted us about the scheduling.
And then there's the music of the street musicians. It brings Italy in... where I'm working with the kids or picking up the house... into my head... romantic and exotic and bringing that awareness, that recognition that small things are so important, that you're doing exactly what you should be doing, by definition of the fact that you are doing it.