Up at 5, a little studying, some coffee, my cafe, and my little morning routine. I am officially part of "the hood", as all three baristas know me by name, and how I like my latte "senza schiuma" (without foam). I always stop to speak to Mara at the fruit/veggie shop, and the jeweler next door says "Buon Giorno", hoping I'll return to buy the expensive gold charm of the statue of Neptune for my bracelet.
Today was the first time I have taken a city bus in Italy, (actually anywhere...). I walked from my apartment to Piazza Maggiore, then took the 20 minute ride to Andrea's home, arriving early.
One delightful friend I have made here, I haven't shared, as I wanted her mom's permission before doing so. This is Andrea and Daniela's adorable 5 year old grand daughter, Nicki. She saw a photo of Ego, and has asked about him since then. She spends time with her nonna and nonno each day.
It was an intense morning of study. I one point I was SO overwhelmed, I became frustrated, but Andrea gave me a pep talk, and said I have learned what would take others 3-4 weeks in 3 days. So I will give myself a break. There is a lot to learn, but no one "gets it" all the first time, and he is happy if I retain half. Each day I get better and more comfortable with words and grammar from previous lessons. I will work on giving up my perfectionism! "I do NOT need to be an overachiever!" REPEAT!
Daniela prepared another wonderful lunch, but I was too brain-dead to take photos. We had Penne all'Amatriciana, and meatballs with peas, delicious spinach, bread, salad and fruit. Still enjoying that San Giovese!
After pranzo, Andrea took me to see the charming town of Dozza (thank you, Colleen and Mindy for suggesting it!). It is the cutest town, with murals painted on the walls of the homes along the streets. Here is a photo tour of Dozza:
The next two go together!
Charming, huh? As we walked around the town, of course we spoke Italian, and Andrea takes every opportunity to learn. I read and translated signs, real estate ads for houses to rent of buy, and learned about the area. But there is another reason to come to Dozza: the Regional Wine Enoteca. The wines of this region are less known than Tuscany and Piemonte, so they are very inexpensive. We talked about the organic wine producers, passito, spumante and the castello itself is beautiful inside.
Visit Dozza if you are nearby!
I took the bus home, and had a simple meal in my apartment: tuna, melon, and some parmigiano. Very little studying tonight, and I have a short break from homework, as tomorrow, Andrea is picking me up to tour a parmigiano producer, and visit Modena for some balsamico tasting!
Ciao for now!