I was tickled pink by the way children had to dress for school; the little ones still at nursery school wore a white smock, pleated down the front, belted and with a smart white collar, the primary school outfit was the same, but blue and the older children also had the same outfit, but in black and always with the white collar. To see the little ones pouring out from school at the end of the morning, was a colourful sight. The older ones were certainly less colourful, but always looked smart. The advantage of these outfits (called ‘grembiule‘) was that they were drip-dry and could be worn clean every day. I remembered my early school days, when some children were embarrassed by not being as well-dressed as all the others and how difficult that must have been for them. These attractive little outfits meant they all would look the same and for a very low cost – very democratic!
Our little ex-pat group liked to take advantage of our few free hours, before our children came home at lunchtime, by enjoying a morning coffee together at our favourite bar in Piazza Duomo and maybe a short walk, before preparing lunch. At that time the schools closed somewhere between 1 and 2 o/clock, (no full days then, it was home to eat, usually followed by several hours of homework) but whenever there was some afternoon activity for the children we usually would all meet up again. Happy days!