Poem about San Donato Val di Comino- tiny town with a soul.

Posted by Joanna Leone on October 06, 2004 at 04:59:21:

As I hiked along the trail, passed the silver beads of the waterfall, my mind began to wander back to the tiny town.
The New England landscape surrounded me, with patches of gold and scarlet sheets on top of the trees, the wind fighting against my fleece jacket.
The beauty of the trail brought my mind and my heart back to the piazza, and the "tiny town with a soul".
After the leaves have fallen in New England, I will be returning to visit the tiny town, my suitcase filled with my jeans and trendy boots.
Most of all, it will be filled with the gifts for my extended family, everything from Levis, to Nike sweatshirts, anything with the "red, white, and blue".
My relatives will wait for me at the Fumicino airport, and the tradition is to stop at the "Agip" station for an espresso, or "aranciata".
It will be the usual discussion, of my family wanting me to eat a calzone, or some other fattening food, which the debate will take about 15 minutes until I convince them that I have to eat healthy, and I do not want the ricotta cheese to settle in the wrong places on my body. Those jeans in the suitcase have to fit me well for my vacation!
The Italians are convinced that olive oil and ricotta do not make you gain weight, but after much discussion, I will have only my cup of espresso or cappuccino.
Of course, the suitcases will be held together with rope on top of the fiat, and I always will look back to make sure that my luggage has not fallen off the back.
Each time I hear a thump, I am convinced that my Nike duffle bag or suitcase is hitting the curb!
As we drive to the town, I will look at all of the tiny towns nestled in the green mountains.
I know all of the names of the towns by heart, and I can predict which town is coming up next around the corner.
My favorite sign is the one that reads "benvenuto", the welcome sign of San Donato Val di Comino, just around the corner from my family's vacation home.
Just around the bend, I see the "tornante" sign in front of the vacation home.
It is an appropriate name for the vacation house, as it means, "sharp curve", or means that there is a bend in the road that loops back around where you can do a u turn.
The mopeds speed past the house each day as the teenagers take their joy ride.
I know that when I arrive on my vacation later this month, that the old, iron gate, will be even more rusty than when I saw it this past June.
Of course, our doorbell does not work, because we never replaced it since 1985.
I look forward to the tranquility of the house, and the stack of firewood that will lay next to the fireplace.
It is strategically placed so that I do not have to get off the couch to get it, all I have to do is stretch my arm, grab a piece of wood, and throw it right into the fireplace.
This is the fireplace where my grandparents roasted chestnuts, and baked potatoes.
I can still see my grandmother making dish towels or knitting me a sweater on the old, wooden chair next to the fireplace.
We do not have luxury furniture, as my grandparents were quite simple and frugal.
The red couch reminds me of furniture you would see on the "I Love Lucy" show, and probably was purchased by my grandparents in the late 1940's.
Although the leg of the couch is crooked, it has character.
Each lump in the couch fits my body perfectly, and I doubt that I would ever want to throw it out.
I will be awaken each morning by the knock on the door of my friend, Ingrid, or my relatives.
They want to be sure that I have stocked the refrigerator with food, as they will worry that I would not have enough to eat. (again with the eating argument)
The first day, there will always be green or black olives, provolone cheese, and, of course, the homemade wine made by a relative.
San Donato Val di Comino is all about tradition and family ties, including the type of food that is left for me in the tiny refrigerator.
The second day there, I know it will be the relatives discussing which night I will eat at their house for dinner, and which relative will have me over for lunch.
It is a major decision, deciding where to eat and what to eat.
At least 4 courses each day at 1:00.
In comes the fruit, the pasta, the meat, the salad, the vegetables, and at least 3 kinds of cheeses.
Yes, this is my idea of a vacation, which is why I have to go hiking at the Forca D'Arcero mountain each day, or at least walk several times a day throughout the town, to burn off the 10 pounds of cheese sitting in my stomach.
It will take me about 1 week to catch up with all of my friends and hear about their news.
Such a tiny town, but so much news to catch up with.
I know that my vacation on October 29th will go by quickly, and then it will be back to reality again, including starting a new career.
The itinerary for my trip is to sleep until noon,
hear the knocking at the door or the yelling through the balcony window as a reminder that 1:00 I am due to appear at someone's home for dinner.
The town will be the same, but the stories will be new.

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