Una lettura da Firenze

In 2006, I studied abroad for my junior year at Syracuse in Florence. Going abroad alone, I was beyond nervous. When my housing was assigned and I learned that I was assigned Maria Pia Brini, I saw a petite, no more than 5 foot tall, old Italian lady walk up to the stage. She took my hand and my roommates hand, and off we walked- an unlikely trio. Immediately, my heart sank- how could I end up with an old lady? I thought. In my visions of my Italian host family, I pictured a cute couple with a young child or big, boisterous (if not stereotypical) Italian famiglia with children, aunts, uncles, grandparents, all visiting.

I called my mom in a panic and spilled out the details of my fear and misfortune. Little did I know then that spending four months with this little old lady, who would be my "grandma"-Nonna, would be one of the best times of my life. Since I left Italy, I have corresponded with Nonna, and her husband Nonno (grandpa), in letters written back and forth. I wrote to her over a year ago and had not heard back, until yesterday. Still in limbo on my employment status, nothing brought me more joy than seeing this letter in my mailbox yesterday. I nearly screamed. She and Nonno are still alive though "molto vecchi", very old, as she reminds me.

Nonno, Nonna, e me, May 2oo6:


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