A loaf of bread, a jug of wine, and thou…..a fitting phrase in Italia. Since I don’t have a “thou”, friends fill this need to be with others some of the time. I left behind some very good friends, and here I begin again to find people with whom I can share life experiences.
Many of you know that I had been writing to some people in Italy for the last few months. Perhaps the person I came to know best is Tina. We have shared many thoughts and feelings with each other over the last few months via email, and I have been looking forward to meeting her for a long time. I wrote also to her husband Donato for a while; but he was in the process of preparing for retirement, and training someone to take his job kept him very busy. So we hadn’t written for a while.
My greatest pleasure so far has been spending the last two days with Tina and Donato. They drove here from their home in Puglia, on the opposite coast from me and a bit south, to meet me. I was so delighted that they extended themselves to me in this way and brought the hospitality of Italy with them. May I introduce you to my first friends in Italy…………..
We shared bread and wine……………..
Tina had not been in Sorrento before and Donato was here only once on business, so we roamed the streets together for a bit of shopping. There are many, many narrow streets like this in Old Sorrento, lined with shop after shop………….
We discovered some ancient Roman remains…………
and roamed around the Marina Grande where I live. As we sat enjoying the fresh sea breezes, we watched some young people and their families exiting the church. Tina told me the youngsters had just taken their first communion. Some parents had hired this decorated horse and carriage for the very special occasion that this represents…………
That pink building the the background is where I live, and one of the balconies you see in front on the second floor is mine. From there, I watch the comings and goings of tourists from many countries, as well as the daily life of the locals.
Tina and Donato couldn’t find a hotel in Sorrento with an available room, so they stayed in a town nearby. I rode with them to their guest house, and by accident, Donato chose a road that turned out to be the scenic route, up into the higher hills along the coast. The views were breathtaking, but, alas, I didn’t have my camera, and there was really no place to stop for panoramic shots anyway. I will have to hold it in memory for a long as I can.
This week, Tina and Donato will go north to the home of their son Nicola in Modena. He and his wife Daniella, are expecting their first child, a girl, very soon. It will be Tina and Donato’s first grandchild. The word for grandchild in Italian is "nipote", which is also the word for niece and nephew. I don’t know quite how they know the difference when speaking.
Donato speaks some English, which helped our communication, but I had a great opportunity to practice speaking Italian and learn some new words. It was amazing to me that, most of the time, we were able to communicate pretty effectively. We shared many laughs over my mistakes and life in general, and I had just a marvelous weekend with my first Italian friends. They are very, very simpatico.