It’s hard to communicate this. One party (our friends Ben and Lisa) are leaving the home they have lovingly created by hand over the last 11 years. Another party (the newcomer Americans) are meeting “the locals” for the first time. The guest list includes many British expats, local neighbors and local Italian friends who have been significant in Ben and LIsa’s (and their 9 year old son Felix) life. Lisa swore to us she would not get emotional or cry. Because I am who am I ( a Southerner raised by a Southern mother), I always carry a handkerchief. Let me just say that it was used tonight at Casa Mosaica. Ben is an amazing mosaic artist. You can see his work here: http://www.bencravenmosaics.com/#
Not that it was all sad. On the contrary. It was una festa. A party. A lovely party. A glorious party. The guests thanked us– my sister and me– almost more than they thanked the real honorees, Ben and LIsa, who are moving on to their next adventure in India. We started with a considerable supply of Prosecco and red wine, and it only grew during the evening as friends brought more bottles. Local sausages, cheeses and party fare weighed down the kitchen table. Kids ran in and out and under the eye level of the grownups. Discussion topics included Italian government red tape, the olive harvest and friendly competition over yields, local wines, favorite restaurants… I met Italians, Brits, a Canadian and a Czech. The good-sized farm kitchen, previously damp and cold, was bright and warm and overflowing with food, wine, friends and chatter. I got to jam on guitar with an older English gentleman, and serenade a couple of beautiful little English girls before they ran off to terrorize little Italian boys.
I awoke slowly, but without a headache… Italian wine doesn’t contain sulfites, so is much easier the morning after. Today we ran errands, and Ben, Lisa and Felix boarded the plane that will take them to build a grand new life in a faraway land. Something they are very, very good at. We’ll miss them. Arrivederci.