We're home. Tired, with our suitcases filled with dirty clothes and our heads still full of Italian. And my camera full of photos! We drove back through France, having decided that the St. Bernard pass was not for us―it was still foggy and raining up there when we left. Torino is surrounded by the Alps, and they are normally visible from all over town. We only saw them as we were leaving. But never mind, we'll be back. We still have lots of Torino to explore!
We had two weeks of cloudy, rainy weather. And cold, it was cold. But we didn't care―we were in Italy. I love just BE-ing there. I love the food, and the air, and the language. I love the way that Italian people live―full speed ahead. I love seeing people zipping by on their vespas and their bicycles and their motorcycles. I love walking cobbled streets and seeing lovely little shops full of fresh, local food. I love it that the widest streets were built by the Romans, and we're still using them today―with new stones over them, of course.
We also had two weeks of wonderful language learning. The school we went to, L'Italiano Porticando was probably the best we've ever attended. Every day we learned things that we then used in the city after school. The school also had arranged some awesome after school activities, and when we weren't going to those, they gave us recommendations for other things to do.
In my group, we were interested in food, so the teacher adapted the lessons to include recipes and discussions of restaurants and typical Piemontese dishes. The school wasn't too large, so we could get to know the other students—some of them quite well as we stood in line to see the Shroud!
To the teachers and staff at the school, I say: Vi ringratio tutti, abbiamo passate un soggiorno incredible! Grazie mille.
Home again. Home, where the trees have leafed out since we left, and the cherry blossoms are past. Home, where it's cloudy and cold today, and feels like Italy (heh). Home, where I can sleep in my own bed and cook in my own kitchen with my own knives. Home, with unlimited internet access. Home, where our neighbors welcomed us back with smiles and our mail. Home. There's no place like it.
Stella: you asked if Torino is the home of a chewy candy with nuts in it. Nougat? Torrone? While you can find both of them there, I don't think Torino can claim either of those, but there are some awesome chocolate shops there! And grissini—Torino is the home of grissini, or breadsticks.
Linda: That pastry WAS sfoliatella! I've never seen them in the US. I love them. My favorite ones are made with lemon filling.
Canadian Foodie: I'm working on getting the email subscription thing-y. Stay tuned.
Now I'm off to see what you've been up to...