Sunday was both departure and arrival day. A day for hugs good-bye and double cheek kiss 'nice to meet you' or 'molto lieto.'
Claire was leaving back to Liverpool, and Martina was joining me in Scorze for opening night of the family reunion. We spent the morning packing up and then went for one last walk through town. The streets were full and half the stores were open. We made it to the arena, where some industrious actors were dressed up as Gladiators. For a small fee you could have your photo taken.
After a quick lunch, we said our good-byes. These trips never seem quite long enough, every minute so important. Quiet conversations over breakfast, the long moments over wine and dinner. Will I see them next year, or will it be longer? Juni will change so much even in the next few months.
So. Martina and I arrived in Scorze with Dad and Margaret on the hotel porch to greet us. A quick greeting and check-in, then a clean up before 6pm cocktails and reunion dinner.
Since Sara, one of the Italian cousins, had come to the US last year, there was one Italian I knew. I obviously don't look like the long lost Italian cousin, so there were many rounds of who are you? And 'I'm the daughter of Margaret's husband.' Then pointing to my dad and their 'Oh, si, si si' as they see the resemblance.
Prosecco on the patio followed by dinner. 20 Americans and 30 Italians. Margaret prepared a speech in Italian, and there were toasts and laughter. Then a four course dinner and wine with family stories being told everywhere. As the Italians began to disperse, there were kisses and ciaos and see you in America. A group of us stayed on the porch until 11:30pm finishing drinks and telling more stories.
Then, the joy of skype con mi amore on the hotel porch with the late evening breeze. Perfecto.
A pleasant morning breakfast spread and the last hour with Martina and Juni. A round of pass the baby, which included Juni and Frank, Kate's baby, playing a game of flirt. Good-bye to Martina and Juni, hoping time and finances will cooperate.
Then, 12 of us hopped in cars and made our way to Treviso for a guided tour. I felt all sorts of nostalgia from the tour I took in Oxford in November. In just a short time (2 1/2 hours), you learn so much about history. You are looking up and around instead of in a guidebook.
Treviso's story includes ancient rome, feuding families, powerful bishops, poetic traditions (ala Petrarch and Dante Aligheri), various ruling states, and WWII bombing + rebuilding. Withering frescoes, quaint bridges, bell towers, old buildings crumbling, new buildings incorporating the old arches and architecture.
A simple lunch in a cafe with sandwiches where I had a grilled vegetable sandwich and an espresso. Our weary feet and eyes, our sun-flushed skin, taking a brief respite under the cafe umbrellas.
Now, back at the hotel waiting for departure for family dinner at one of the -talian's restaurants.