My Adopted Italian Family

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!

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