I haven't seen anything like this in any other country (except Greece) - on the walls of houses Italians put a poster saying about the death of their beloved people.. So everyone in the neighbourhood knows what happened and can express their condolences to the family.
Imagine - we are in a hurry going home for lunch (for those who don't know, in Italy food is a religion and you can't be late for eating!), lots of traffic in the streets and suddenly we stop in front of little shop selling lotto tickets..!!! ah... we can't miss lotto even we miss lunch!!!
I happened to be in Termoli on 3-5 of August, 2003 when some really great festivities of its Saint Basso were taking a place there. It appears that San Basso is a care-taker of all sailors and the region of Termoli and according the story, San Basso has died in the sea.
So during these festivities, the sculpture of San Basso is taken from the church-basilica in Termoli and with a loud procession is escorted to the port where it is supposed to be taken to the sea by one chosen boat which is decorated with colourful flags and of course full of people who want to participate in this ritual.
I couldn't see that part of the ceremony because this year the wind was too strong and the port authority didn't authorize the sailing with San Basso sculpture because all the boats in the port are supposed to follow after the sculpture and it might cause some danger for crowds of people who are in the boats because of the weather conditions.
Anyway, I suppose that would be a great view..
Just one advice - the ceremony takes place really early, so if you're on your vacation and like to sleep longer, make some sacrifice and get up early to be in the port on time, at about 9 am! :)
I have seen that only in the movies.. But it's true - they put their laundry down in the street, so tourists must be careful not to stumble over them;)