The past week has been an extension of my dad’s trip through Europe 36 years ago, and I’ve loved every second of it! Meet my adopted Italian family: Bruno, who my dad befriended as a young backpacker, his wife Donnatella, and his daughter Sara.
I first visited Sara in Mendrisio, Switzerland, and had a riot with her all week long. We went to a workout class led by a disturbingly uncoordinated teacher, wandered around her Architecture school, roasted chestnuts, stayed out uncharacteristically late (for me) at a discotec, and spent a lot of time with her boyfriend Max, Max’s brother Leo, and their friend Daisuke (who served me a delicious Asian lunch on the rooftop of their apartment).
On Friday night, the 5 of us cozied up in Sara’s car and drove to her parents’ home on a lake near Verona, Italy. An absurd amount of fun and food ensued. Most notably, Bruno came dangerously close to popping us with his homemade pizza, perfected with 30+ years of practice, a beautiful wood-fire oven, and the freshest ingredients Italy has to offer.
I also tried donkey meat for the first time, downed espresso after espresso, and got a free footlong (haircut, that is, from Sara). And while these last 2 stops weren’t directly related to running, I had some splendid runs by wild vineyards, under archways of ancient churches, through a quaint and bustling village, and along a lovely lake.
I couldn’t have asked a better group to spend my last week in Europe with. I’m so thankful for the unlikely but precious friendships that traveling fosters, and I look forward to the day when Sara’s and my little offspring keep the Cavicchioli-Wade connection rolling!
I just made it to Rome, where I’m staying with an awesome Italian who works for the Rome Marathon and his 3 roommates. I only have a couple days to soak up the city before I fly to Africa, so I better get moving!