Friday, November 28, 2008

Dinner with Nicola's Family

I had a delightful evening tonight at the home of Nicola, in San Casciano, the birth town of Machiavelli, high on a hilltop just outside of Firenze. Nicola is my landlord....but feels more like family. He and his wife Nicoletta (who, as I do, share a passion for opera) are a happy, beaming, warm and loving, artsy but conservative couple who have two adorable children and a small and intimate 500 year old apartment in centro San Casciano. Nicoletta prepared an outrageous meal....lasagne, beef carpaccio rolatini stuffed with artichokes, mortadella and cheese, potatoes and a wonderful chocolate torta. I must be doing pretty well with my Italian to have not uttered a word of English all night long. I am feeling more and more comfortable every day.

One week ago I discontinued going to school full time because I was overdosing from too much "grammar" and not enough practical conversation. So, instead, I increased my time with Lucia... who is now coming to my apartment on a daily basis for private lessons. Lucia is also something special...not only is she a great teacher, but she is also becoming a friend. I am very lucky.

It's really cold now, and it rained all day. There are times when I really struggle with feelings of missing my sister, friends and loved ones.... in California. Today was one of them. I don't want to lose them, but I don't want to give this up either. I just feel so "at home" comfortable and natural. Florence is the perfect combination of city and has so much to offer, yet it is compact and very manageable for a city. Italy has accepted me in a way that I didn't really expect. Especially being a woman, at my age....I didn't know if it would "click"....I considered it an experiment....but the experiment is feeling more like the road to a new life. I don't know how this will end....or if it will end...I only know that I am discovering many beautiful people and emotions and a spiritual peace that makes me sing.