Our yearly Italy trip this year started in a different way, not with a stroll under the hot sun in the nearby market, but with a March fluffy snow shower covering the red roofs of Turin. While trying to take Tronk to school in my short jacket, with my light canvas shoes with the snowflakes melting on them, I was feeling cold, probably for the first time in twenty years, cold in my home town. Yet I was feeling happy, as I haven't felt in a long time. While drinking my second cappuccino (I had forgotten the real taste of one) and eating apple filled fluffy pastries for breakfast (le barchette), I couldn't help thinking of those pretty, I should say cute, photos of Turin I looked at so many times from the other side of the ocean. And I wanted to say loud and clear: Turin, I had forgotten how pretty you are when it snows! How could I ever not see that when I was in my twenties?
This morning Tronk got a warm welcome at his Italian school, the school he attends every year here in Turin, and these are the words we heard: "Wow! E' William! Il bambino americano! Io lo conosco! Anch'io lo conosco! Che bello che e' ritornato! Vieni con me William!" (Wow! It's William! The American kid! I know him! I know him too! How fun he has come back! Come with me William!". And explosion of love followed. Three or four teachers arrived and filled William with affection, the hugs and kisses I see very few moms giving their kids in public in the US. Surreal and beautiful.
Then I had a chat about my health issues and life in general with the sweetest landlady of all, sat next to me at the apartment's dining table, a nice lady in her sixties, - I felt I was talking to my old grandma Enrica, not to a landlady! She couldn't stop asking me what else she could do to help me in addition to come clean the apartment weekly and take the rubbish out for us. Special.
So here I am now, looking outside the large windows of a beautiful apartment in Turin, which happens to be next to my former Institute European of design school, the last school I attended in Italy, with the very last exam I passed to get my degree. I am getting ready to go have lunch in the bar downstairs under the arches. I will not need an umbrella and I will not get wet. At the bar at lunch the Italians find REAL food, including risotto, cooked from scratch for the office workers - what a cheap luxury! And that happens to be the bar where I drunk coffee before going to take my exams at my former design school. I'll meet John and William there. Amazing and so weird to go back there with my Italian American family.
And I had forgotten the pleasure of meeting in a bar simply for coffee or for a healthy squeezed FRESH orange juice. And this is only day one of my Italy trip. Awesome. Really.