We started the day with a stroll to Cousin Tullio’s house, but he wasn’t home so I left a note on his door and we continued down the street to visit with my friends, Domenica and Lorenzo DiValerio. They have the same family name but we don’t think we are related. They are always so gracious, and their granddaughter (who speaks English quite well) was visiting so my Italian took a break.
After a short visit, we were ready for lunch, so off to Castel di Sangro, the next town over from Alfedena. A great salad with tonno and a Peroni, and we were off for more adventure.
On the way back to Alfedena we took a detour and drove up to see the village of Scontrone, a very picturesque place with great views. We drove around looking for the perfect location to take a couple of pictures. You have to be careful driving on these tiny streets because you’re way up, and if you’re not used to driving a standard shift, you could easily do a “Thelma and Louise,” which would make for another great picture, but not exactly what Jodi and I had in mind.
While we were taking pictures, my Italian cell phone rang. There is only one person who would be calling me… Cousin Tullio. He said he was at home now and wanted us to come over. I told him we were up in Scontrone and would be over to see him in a short while. Hooray… going to see Cousin Tullio.
We dropped the car off at the hotel and walked through the town to his home. Ding dong goes the bell. The gate buzzes open, and in we go to the courtyard. And then the hugs and kisses started. We are always thrilled to see each other, and this year was no exception. Jodi was amazed that his 86 years were not evident in anything about him. We sat at the kitchen table and caught up on things. He was happy to show Jodi the sculpting on the fireplace that his grandfather had done many years ago. We invited him to dinner, and he agreed. Everybody should have a Cousin Tullio.
We all met that evening at La Ruota, a little restaurant in town with great food. The wine flowed and the cinghiale pasta was delicious. It was a good day in Alfedena!!