This is Nonna, my Italian grandmother. She is precious.
I first met her on my second day in Italy when we went to her house for lunch. As soon as I walked through the door, she said, "You are beautiful!" Then she started speaking really quickly in Italian and lost me.
When her husband was still alive, they would travel all the time. She has been literally all around the world. I'm pretty sure she has visited every continent, minus Antarctica. Because of this, she spoke a little bit of English. She also studied English about 30 years ago. She can understand more than she can speak. She really wanted me to learn Italian. When the kids told her to speak English for me, she told them that the only way I would learn Italian was for me to hear it all the time. She thought that I would just pick it up if she kept speaking it to me. If only that were so...
I went back to her house twice more for lunch during my trip. She would make some sort of pasta (homemade, of course), as well as meat and vegetables. And she always had dessert. It was just like eating at my grandmother's house in America.
The last time I went to her house, I asked her to show me her travel pictures. She pulled out stacks of photos and explained them all to me. By this point, I was able to understand a good amount of Italian. She would explain where each picture was taken and I would just gawk at how gorgeous everything looked. Moscow, Australia, Peru, Mexico, Austria, Norway, and Egypt were just a few places she talked about.
Because it was the last time I would see her before I left for America, I asked the boys to take a picture of me with her. She got so excited and then freaked out about her appearance. She ran so fast into the bathroom and fixed her hair. It was so cute. She wanted to take the picture outside because she is so proud of her garden. That picture only shows a small part. Her yard is so green and beautiful with flowers everywhere you look.
I'm so glad I was able to meet her on this trip. She is such a precious woman and I loved being in her home. I am looking forward to my next trip to Italy and some more of her delicious food!