When my phone rang last week and my friend Nan said she was going to be in Italy and could she stop by, I was elated. Well, first I was startled because my phone hardly ever rings, but then I was elated! Nan’s visit coincided with my fifth month anniversary here and I was excited to see one of my New York friends and have the opportunity to show her my town.
I met Nan at the dog park a few years ago and we’d bonded over a mutual love of Italy. She’d lived here for over twenty years before moving back to New York. She had a wealth of information on living in Italy and I spent more than a few hours in the park torturing her with my questions. She had even been willing to speak Italian with me. And if you’d heard my Italian back then, you’d know how laborious that was. Definitely a good friend. When I came to Italy a couple of years ago for a scouting mission, Nan offered me and my friend Bob the use of her apartment in Rome.
Nan usually comes to Italy for a few weeks each fall and on this trip she brought her friend Susan, also an alum of the Upper West Side, but now living in North Carolina. The two of them together were a lot of fun. They’d spent the week at Nan’s house in Barbarona before settling in at my friend Laura’s agriturismo for a couple of nights. Aside from the fact that neither of them has any sense of direction and proceeded to get lost more than a few times, we finally connected on Friday evening. I took them on a tour of the town, showing them all of my favorite spots and introducing them to my new Italian friends. They met Bonnie’s kids too because they were coming out of their apartment, spotted me and began shouting my name. I have reached minor celebrity status with the kids, which is fun!
Nan and Susan treated me to dinner and we shared a lovely bottle of wine and caught up on our lives. I left them to their sightseeing around the Tuscan countryside yesterday, but saw them again this morning to say goodbye. Cinder was also thrilled to spend a little time with Nan–she gave her a huge welcome on Friday and spent the whole time at Angela’s bar this morning with her head on Nan’s lap.
They wished me good luck with the grape picking which I am attempting tomorrow and I promised to tell them all about it…if I survive. I was sad to see them drive away, and more than a little concerned that they would get lost on the way back to Nan’s house. The good thing is I know I will see them again, probably next year.