Saturday, 5 January 2008

Back home

Or should I say our "home away from home" as I tease David with. He cant quite cope with using the word home and Annecy in the same sentence yet! Still, its nice to be back. Italy was wonderful and very exhausting. We started off at Bologna in Nonna Maru's apartment above her home. It was funny coming back there as a family of four having spent three months there, just the three of us, three years ago. For the first day, we both kept walking around saying, "who'd have thought...". It was also fun to see some things we'd left behind, just like all the other leftovers from other members of the family years ago. I found my old shampoo in the bathroom and had a giggle at the still almost full packet of Sogni Doro, a tea that italians give their kids to help them sleep at night and that I'd unsuccessfully tried on Lily last time we were there.

We had a wonderful Christmas with Toci, Sergio, Piero and all the family. Unfortunately all the tortellini had been prepared already so we couldnt help with that again. We had to settle for eating it - just like last time, first in brodo then in crema - so yummy! It was great for Lily to meet all the family again and for them all to get to know Jasper who got over his shyness pretty quickly.

We squeezed in a quick trip to see David's cousin Susy and her family for lunch. Like three years ago, we love to all cook together. This time we made baked semolina - we had lots of fun cutting it into shapes. We really hope that Martina will be our next visitor to Annecy - she gets on so well with Lily and Jasper.

Then it was time to head to the Convent at Lake Garda for a stay with Nonno Piero and Mamie Silvana and the rest of their community. Once again, it was a very peaceful place which we hope we didnt disturb too much. Lily and Jasper had fun running in the cloisters, feeding Loretto the parrot and the fish and ringing the bell in the church at midday. David did a reading at the New Year's Eve church service.

On the way home we stopped overnight in Turin to change trains. What a great place. We'll have to get back there to explore some more. We settled instead for a quick walk to our hotel at night and dinner in the restaurant downstairs.

Happy New Year everyone

Opening their Christmas stockings

Jasper loved tortellini en brodo

All the family (Sergio was so proud that he had to add an extra little table to fit us all - his family table has turned the corner and is heading off in the other direction!)

With Nonno Piero

My little man!

Getting to know Martina

At Rastignano (Maru's house)

Back in the Piazza Maggiore again- who'd have thought!

Wonderful Neptune - what a great fountain this is.

The famous sirens (a marvellous breastfeeding statue in my opinion) - check out Lily - and she says she doesnt remember breastfeeding!

At the Convent

Looking towards Gargnano

Lake Garda with its beautiful orange trees

Lunch in the Sun - a marvellous spaghetti marinara for Dav, lasagna for the kids and fresh grilled fish from the lake for me

Ciao Loretto

With Mamie Silvana

Lily on the way to Turin - she was such a great traveller

My dinner of ravioli de zucca en crema de parmigianno (pumpkin stuffed ravioli with creamy parmesan sauce - heavenly!)

Pizza for the kids and wildboar steak for Dav - which Jasper loved!

The Christmas lights in Turin were constellations

Lots of snow during the night in Turin

Seasoned train travellers - so long as its first class!

Relaxing on the way home


Emily said...

Great photos, Penny. Looks like a nice trip overall.

Rosebank Magic said...

Lovely photos Pen. You all look so happy and enjoying yourselves so much even though there isn't a roast turkey in sight.
I'll have to have a couple more runs so I can look at how the kids are growing so fast.

Guera said...

Sounds like a great holiday. Love the photos!

French for a While said...

Glad you had a nice Christmas. It was nice to see your photos -- reminded us of our trips to Bologna. Hope you have a Happy New Year.

mammaclaudia said...

Hi Penny, and welocme back! I'm glad you've had a good time in Italy. Turin is my hometown, I'm glad you liked it...
We have spent last night in Annecy's hospital with Gloria having a very high temperature and convulsions. I thought about you and your "avdventures" with Jasper...

Penny said...

Claudia - I hope that Gloria is feeling better now - that must have been scary for you

The Late Bloomer said...

Oh my gosh, looks like SUCH a beautiful place! How heavenly, and how lucky to spend your holidays there! So glad you had a wonderful time there with your Italian family.