An Italian-American living la dolce vita in the Deep South

An Italian-American living la dolce vita in the Deep South

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Where a Bishop Walks

There is a saying my Nonna used to quote: pulire dove cammina il vescovo (to clean where the bishop walks). It refers to the days when a priest visited parishioners in their homes, thus warranting a serious house cleaning in anticipation of their visit; the level of cleaning, however, was directly related to the type of priest who was visiting.

For example, a visit from the parish priest meant a deep, thorough house cleaning. The priest, who was responsible for the spiritual well-being of his parishioners, felt it his duty to poke around and make sure everything was good. So, homes were buffed, shined, mopped, and dusted because a clean home reflected a clean soul.

On the other hand,  a bishop's visit meant cleaning would be more cursory in nature. A bishop's importance meant that his visit would be short, he would sit in the main room, and he was above poking around; basically, you cleaned only where the bishop would go . . . no deep cleaning involved.

Pulire dove cammina il vescovo, then, is a tongue-in-cheek reminder to do only what is necessary. And sometimes that's more than enough.

So, why am I telling you this today?

Because in the past three weeks I've cleaned our house as if expecting a visit from the bishop, which means that if you visit me don't look too hard or poke around too much.

Just walk a bishop's walk.


Ellen Stewart (aka Ellie/El/e/Mrs. Seaman) said...

Boy I wish I lived closer! So the power washer request on fb was for the outside?

tiziana said...

E' verissimo!!! Pulire dove cammina il vescovo vuol dire proprio pulire dove lui camminerà per andare da un posto all'altro e nulla di più.
Devo dire che in questi ultimi tempi
devono venire spesso a trovarmi dei vescovi, perchè voglia di pulire bene la casa ne ho molto poca.

GrandmaK said...

Indeed, I remember those days. We worked our wee fingers to the bone, but it was a special time!!!! Have a wonderful week! Cathy

GrandmaK said...
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Lisa said...

Haha! I love this! Especially since, on the surface, it's the opposite of what you might expect. I wish I were so confident the Bishop wouldn't poke into my corners that I wouldn't clean the whole house anyway, though!