view from our house
Seven years ago today, I was settling down in my temporary home at the Gioventù in Missione base in Cadegliano, Italy. In many ways, that period of my life seems like a dream. I was only 17 years old when I left North Carolina for Italy. Eager for change and adventure, I graduated early from high school, worked and saved my money, took a semester of Italian, and eventually landed in this tiny village near the Swiss-Italian border. Our “school” was very structured. Breakfast (involving the Italians, my friend Jordan & myself ) was served no later than 7am, and morning class began promptly at 8am. The afternoon consisted of chores (luckily I was on kitchen duty), some down-time to read, followed by evening class or the rare outing.
I occasionally embarked on early morning runs. These were pre-ipod days, so my friend Cara would graciously allow me to borrow her disc-man. I would run by the old church and up the hill to the village of Vicango, all the while listening to the Dixie Chicks or another equally un-Italian group. The home stretch was my favorite; I looked downhill onto the chimney tops brimming with smoke, and in the distance I could see Lago Lugano in Switzerland’s Ticino district.
Sleeping in Boboli gardens…Seeing Florence by bike…Imprudent hitchiking…Eating my weight in Swiss chocolate…Weekend trip to Zurich…Adventures with Cara…Long walks to Ponte Tresa…Really wonderful people…Cheap, seedy hostels…Jordan’s visit…St. Francis’ hometown…Eating entire pizza Margheritas…Learning Italian at the breakfast table…Midnight train rides…Lots of table wine…