When I walked through the doors past security at the Galileo Gallilei Airport, I almost immediately spotted my host mom and dad anxiously scanning the arrivals for me. I made my way over to them and in a broken combo of English and Italian, we greeted each other. Then, we went to the car and within 15 minutes arrived to their apartment home in Pisa. Giancarlo and Marina gave me a tour of the apartment and Marina had even gone to the store to get me shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, sunscreen, etc., which I thought was very sweet. Then, I took a nap because the early flight and the stress of RyanAir had made me tired.
When I woke up, Giancarlo had prepared tortellini pasta with a home-made ragu (finely chopped beef with tomatoes in olive oil). We had ate pasta, then bread and cheese, then coffee. We hung out in the house until it was time to go pick up the boys from la scuola – basically Catholic daycare in the summer, around 4:30. The boys, Lucca and Frederico, were very very shy at first. We walked back along the path towards the home and stopped for a gelato – I got chocolate fondant… yum! The apartment is right beside the old city wall of Pisa from Medeival Times (La Mura), so we sat on a bench under the wall and enjoyed our gelato. A piccolo (small) cup has two generous scoops and by the house, which is away from the tourist area, costs only 1.50 Euro.
We went back to the house and I elected to go for a short walk before dinner. In 10 minutes of walking from the house, it is possible to reach Piazza Emmanuele Vittoria – the main square of Pisa. From there, I continued down Corso Italia, the main shopping and pedestrian only area, until I reached the River Arno and made my way back to the house. For dinner, we enjoyed salami with lemon vinaigrette over lettuce with fresh mozzarella cheese and bread… Yum! After dinner, we watched Ugly Betty, subtitles in English, main acting translated into Italian. My first day with the family was a success, even though Giancarlo is the only one who knows how to say more than numbers and colors in English!