Friday, October 15, 2010

Americans Among Us

Our first day in Italy was spent driving from the airport in Rome to Fossombrone (in the Le Marche region) to visit "the family". I say "the family" because it's not my family, but family of my cousin's mother. We arrived at the hotel and spent just enough time there to drop our bags and freshen up. As soon as we were all settled in and freshened, we waited for our escort to meet everyone in town for dinner.
When we arrived at Ristorante Taberna del Falco, the family was already there. Together with our group of seven, we were a total of thirty people. An outstanding turnout!

We sat, Americans among Italians, and did our best with conversation. Only a few of the Italians spoke English and we utilized their translating skills continuously throughout the night. I was surprised at how much I understood and how much I was able to get across with my limited knowledge of the language.

Ed and I had planned on learning Italian via language tapes while driving, but we never did. I think practicing words with my grandparents when I was little and my knowledge of Spanish helped; I retain what I read and what I hear (when I'm interested in the subject) and think over the years hearing the language helped. Marco, one of the family members I was talking to asked where I learned Italian; he said I spoke very well and my pronunciation was eccellente.
The thing that surprised me the most, and I don't really know why I didn't think it actually took place, is that everyone really does kiss on both cheeks; both hello and goodbye. I am absolutely in LOVE with that! I think I might start doing it with everyone I meet. The warmth from people I didn't even know was overwhelming. They were so hospitable, so accomodating, so friendly, so interested, so everything that people should be.

And the food? The food was AMAZING. Everything came out in courses, small plates with a variety of foods; meats, cheeses, bread, vegetables, fruit. Oh my, it was an overwhelming flavor explosion. I think it might rank as the best meal of the entire trip.

Marco sat across the table from me throughout dinner and we had the best conversation; me not speaking Italian, him not speaking english. We talked about the food, the family connection and what we did for a living. He was retired, but when I told him what I did, his eyes got as big as saucers, apparently there aren't many women driving trucks in Italy. I don't think he actually believed me until I showed him a picture of the truck on my iPod. He promptly took it from my hands and excitedly showed everyone at the table, chattering and pointing at me. I think I was a big hit.
Overall, the evening was a fantastic success. It was the perfect way to start the trip and I'm so glad we did it first rather than saving it till the end. I can totally understand why the New York Times Travel section wrote an article titled, Is Le Marche the Next Tuscany?

Between the scenery and the charm of its people, I think it has potential to be.

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Next Time I’m Buying Him Carbon Paper And White Out. And A Roll Of Stamps. And Maybe A VHS Player.
Flash Flood
Consider The Source When Getting Advice
Perfectly Apropos For Bush’s Home State
Soul 2 Soul

1 comment:

Gil said...

Didn't you just love how the food was served? No all you can eat bull like the Olive garden!!