Piacenza with Family

Our road trip to see family was one of the highlights of all our adventures of late. 


We left Rome by ship which stopped in Genoa—the birthplace of Christopher Columbus. Despite finding ourselves in the coastal city of the famous seafarer, we were more excited that it was just two hours away from our niece’s home. So of course we skipped Genoa and headed to see them. 


Anticipating our arrival, Matteo said it felt like Christmas morning, and we agreed. They gathered us around their family table where we basked in our reunion and savored a homemade meal which was the collaborative effort of Danielle, Andrea, and the gifted hands of Andrea’s mother Fausta (whose tortelli is legendary). We toured their beautiful home and walked together around their city which was frocked in its festive cloak of Christmas and swirled with the aroma of roasting chestnuts. And we were treated to the best gelato we’ve had to date. 


But the highlight of our visit was spending time with their kids. Mila (6) has taught herself to read and so she proudly read to us, carefully sounding out each new word and smoothing them into a story. Scotty (9) patiently translated some of the Italian words we didn’t recognize and later showed us the elaborate creations he’s been building from a construction set. Matteo (7) has the heart of a giver and lavished us with two Christmas ornaments that were among his personal treasures, and sweet Emma (4) generously gave us one of her coins. Our hearts felt full as they unfolded their day and swept us into the little corner of the world they call home. 


We may have missed Christopher Columbus’ birthplace, but getting a glimpse of where Andrea grew up, and where he and our niece Danielle are raising their family was an even better discovery. 


There’s a curative feeling that comes from seeing the far-away place our family and friends call home. As we explore and map out the context of their everyday lives, it seems to draw us all in closer and they no longer feel so far away. 

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