As the week later became sunny, the snow ceased to fall and the weekend approached for much needed to rest from taking in the rapid immersion of the Italian culture, language, new duties at my placement, finishing a number of bicycle tour projects, the jet lag and making myself at home. I looked forward to getting some extra sleep.

Or so I thought. (Little did I know I was going to be introduced into what would be some of the “best” of the Forli’-Faenza” in the Emilia-Romagna region of (northeast) Italy. My family and friends of the family were excited to show me around to nearby spots.

(Reflection of the small body of water. Side note: trekking around the pond after it had snowed and then melted away did not make the ground the greatest for walking around. I slipped on the muddy surface and fell flat on my behind. It was a fun incident to explain what happened and why I needed to do laundry in Inglese-Italian…with lots of laughter.)
(Reflection of the small body of water. Side note: trekking around the pond after it had snowed and then melted away did not make the ground the greatest for walking around. I slipped on the muddy surface and fell flat on my behind. It was a fun incident to explain what happened and why I needed to do laundry in Inglese-Italian…with lots of laughter.)

One of the first destination on a list of many includes the “lago” (lake) (actually in comparison to what many of us know in California as Lake Tahoe  know the what lakes are like; this “lake” by comparison on the nearby farm seemed more like a pond). The pond is a little hidden treasure less than a mile away. It is a new favorite place I can go to after work for tranquility.

The day became warmer and warmer. A sign for the better weather to come in la primavera. Meeting up with Ale’s friends we went to a Carnevole festa on the outskirts of Faenza. We play a few games and went on a few rides and relaxed finally able to take in the sunshine.

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Next on our day of long adventures was to La Torre d’Oriole. It is historic tower that looks out to Forli’ and Faenza (if lucky one can see as far away as Bologna and the sea). We were pleasantly surprised by the crowd of kids, adults, locals, tourists and a band surrounding a fire pit. It was a once-a-year celebration that Emilia-Romagnia has each year. What were the odds of stumbling upon a traditional festa?

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We spent a nice portion of the day catching up and hanging out before grabbing piadinas from a place in Forli’. Piadinas come in a number of flavor but the simplicity of “pomodoro e mozzarella” seem to be a clear winner, although the varieties of them seem endless. (Non solo piadina: via Emilia Levante, 231, 48018 Cosina, Faenza).

In the course of the first official week in Forli’, I have been able to meet many of the people in the community. Everyone in one way or another is family (or seems like family because of how welcoming they are). I have met a number of Manuela’s  and Lucca’s family and Alessandro’s friends. Forli’ has a sweet sense of community.

Arrividerci,

Courtney

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