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Family, family and more family


Columbus Day 2006 was a day for celebration of both new and old worlds. Tyler and I passed on the Pinta and instead chose to take Ryan Air from Girona (near Barcelona, Spain) to Pisa, Italy. Mom and Dad (Jan and Santo) left from San Francisco to meet us in Italy before embarking on what would be their very first adventure on the high seas. We spent 2 days with Isabella and Claudio before moving into the perfect room at the Piccolo Puccini overlooking the piazza.

We arrived at Galileo Galilee airport late Wednesday night and cousins Isabella and Massimo were there waiting for us. Isabella and family (Claudio, Robin and Gretel) graciously hosted us for 2 nights - all the while reminding us of how lucky we are to have distant relatives so close at hand.

On Thursday night, we offered to cook and ended up making Tortilla EspaƱola (Spanish Omelette) for the entire Pierucci clan (Jan or Anna's aunt "Zia" Tina's children, Paoletta, Vincenzo and Francesco and grandchildren were all there). We also made green beans with coriander dressing and Isabella supplied the bruschetta. Graziella wasn't the only one who enjoyed the coriander dressing on just about anything but the green beans; however, the biggest hit by far were the Cinnamon Snaps (thanks to Didi Emmonds and the Vegetarian Planet cookbook!) that we baked in Spain and brought over with us. While the rest of the relatives feasted on cookie after cookie, "golosos" Vincenzo, Gina and Tyler finished off a small vegetable torta in under 10 minutes.

On Friday afternoon, we met Mom and Dad for a walk through town followed by a gelato at Venetta. Luckily, we had saved room for a typical Pierucci dinner complete with several courses, dessert, coffee and the traditional digestive glass of Limoncello.

Saturday mom was feeling under the weather, so dad, Tyler and I headed to Marameo for the best Caprese in town. We browsed the antiques fair in the afternoon and spent the rest of the day on a long leisurely walk until dinner. Mom unfortunately still wasn't very hungry for dinner, but Tyler, dad and I enjoyed a great meal at Giglio. We met Isabella and clan for ice cream that night.

Sunday was another leisurely day that started with 4 laps around the walls of Lucca for me. We had another great meal at Da Leo (my homemade pasta i funghi was wonderful) before saying our goodbyes. Despite Isabella's certainty that he'd be late, Massimo picked us up and swept us off to the airport right on time. We savored one last cappuccino and we were on our way home.