Ciao Family & Friends!
Well, it has certainly been some time since my last post and as I know you all have been eagerly anticipating more of my entertaining prose, andiamo!
But before we start, a note or two (I’m sorry, did you think my first post would be concise?):
(1) This past summer was the best EVER. Not only did I get to marry this delightful man I now call my husband, we got to share the day with some of the best people in the world. To this day, I am completely blown away by the generosity of our family and friends. Most specifically, my parents, who continue to sacrifice to ensure my happiness, growth, and make sure I know I’m loved. I am the luckiest person in the world.
(2) Being stateside was wonderful, and for so many reasons. The primary one being that the majority of our people are stateside and I sure do love me all of the opportunities to hang out with our people whenever possible. The second being, that according to all of our Florentine friends, it was the hottest summer ever here and as an incredibly sweaty person, am happy to have missed all of the chances to be dehydrated.
Consider yourselves now caught up on the last four months of our lives. And, now onto Year Two of our Tuscan Adventure.
So, there’s someone very important to our lives here who I have yet to formally introduce you all to. This person has ensured we have a comfortable apartment, enjoys taking us on small trips, and wants to make sure we experience authentic Italian life. Meet: Alberto.
A few fast facts on our Italian life-guide:
- mushroom hunting (which begins at 5am)
- roadside fruit & vegetable stands
- a giant garden where he can watch his own produce grow
- fixing things
- his fisherman’s cap
- Christmas trees (because cutting down a tree for our own enjoyment is wasteful)
- a bad olive oil season
- adventures destroyed by too much rain
- hefty taxes
- big egos
Alberto has lived on Via Faentina for all but about 7 years of his life. Apparently it’s customary for Italians to settle in the place they grew up in (and, as is often the case, on the same street they grew up on) and so when I say Alberto knows the neighborhood, he really does. Before Alberto became a retired handy-man, he worked for the post office. He was alive and well during WWII when the Germans invaded Italy and has 1 son who is as delightful as Alberto is.
Upon retiring, Alberto poured himself into renovating the apartments he inherited on Via Faentina. As the house was built in the 1200s, he had an awful lot of work to do. While wearing his fisherman’s cap and listening to classical music, Alberto restored crumbling walls, built galley kitchens where there were none, and recycled as much of the original dwelling as he could. Since we’ve been here, Alberto has taught us about sfuso wine, showed us where the best 5 gelato shops are in Florence, demonstrated the proper way to eat bacelli, and told us to design programs for adventure. While he is not obligated to do any of these things, never mind all of them, Alberto is concerned that we know Italy like he knows Italy. Rich and I are also convinced he likes spending time with us (fortunately Rich’s Italian is coming along wonderfully as Alberto speaks about 3 words in English).
As we move forward through year two, there will undoubtedly be more expeditions, better olive oil, and new gelato flavors in our lives because of Alberto.