Thursday, October 22, 2009

A Day with Cynthia

I spent a beautiful day together with Cynthia. She picked me up in Florence and we headed for our favorite seafood restaurant, La Trattoria del Pesce in San Casciano. Cynthia and I share alot of the same tastes in food, style and political views, not to mention our common love of Italy. Today we swore that we weren't going to have wine with lunch, but that intention didn't last very long, and it was an excuse to linger longer and really allow ourselves to do some deep talking.

We talked about our friendship and we realized that we've known each other for 30 years! How hard it is to believe how our friendship started as a student-teacher relationship in Staten Island, New York and ended up in Tuscany.

After lunch, Cynthia brought me to the dentist, Stefano, a friend of the family. Stefano is going to perform some major dental work for me. This was a major decision for me. To leave my American dentist behind and to throw all my faith into an Italian one. If I was in America, the dentist would be able to do the x-ray in the office and then do the treatment in the same seating. But Stefano gave me a prescription and made an appointment for me to go to an x-ray lab that is 20 miles away, which means that I have to make two more to the lab and then a second trip back to Tavarnelle to see Stefano again.

After the dentist, it was time to pick up her 2 gorgeous kids, Dario and Julia, from school, which, right in the heart of Tuscany, is is reached from a gravel backroad lined with olive trees. What a nice little life they have in Chianti country. Here, the children wear a robe-type uniform with a big, round white collar that is worn over their usual clothing. The boys wear blue and white checkered uniforms and the girls wear pink and white. The kids are starting to get to know me, and greeted me with smiles and kisses.

We went back to Cynthia's house, which is in a small and quaint borgo surrounded by vineyards and olive groves. And then we headed out again to take Julia to her gymnastics class. We then had a caffè at the local bar in the piazza. What a charming, story-book town. A Carabinieri walked across the piazza, in full uniform, looking handsome and starched, with a commanding presence and authority.

Before I took the bus back to Florence, we made arrangements for me to come back on Tuesday to celebrate Julia's 7th birthday and to spend the night at their house.