I woke up early, excited to see my dear friend, Katia! I finished packing, had some yogurt, paid my bill and left my luggage in the lobby. Then, I went down the the bar near the lake for a delicious caffè macchiato.
I also took more photos of the adorable baby coots and their momma and dad feeding them seaweed.
Katia arrived a little bit earlier than anticipated. I quickly went back to my suite to grab my luggage and met her at her car. I first met Katia and Guido (boyfriend at the time and now husband) back in 1999 while sitting on a bench in Vernazza (Cinque Terre) at the train station. We were all waiting for a very late train to arrive. We kept in touch over the years and I have visited them on every one of my trips to Italy since then except the for the year I traveled to Sicily. This year would be an extra special visit because it would be the first time meeting their new little twins who just turned two!
On our way to Coccaglio, we stopped at Guido’s work to say hello and then drove to Katia’s house to drop off my bags. Then we walked to Katia’s parents’ house where her boys were being watched. Right near Katia’s house is a community gathering place. Back in June, 2006, someone constructed this giant moka made from soda cans. I took this photo of Katia next to that moka.
I was so surprised when I saw all of the soda can displays this year next to the community gathering place. They were pretty amazing, especially the replica of the Campanile di San Marco (St. Mark’s Bell Tower).
At Katia’s parents’ house, I finally met Katia’s twins. They are adorable!! They were shy at first but eventually warmed up to me. It was really interesting listening to their language and how they used such similar two-year old phrases (in Italian) as do two-year olds that speak English.
It was also wonderful to visit with Katia’s family again. Her parents are always so kind to me. Her mom made a HUGE delicious lunch for us – pasta, vegetables, cheese, bread, fruit and dessert treats. I did not pace myself and was full too soon to eat all of the courses.
After lunch, we walked back to Katia’s house. Guido came home from work and the twins took a nap. When they woke up, we walked to a nearby park. On the way to the park, we walked by this interesting memorial monument.
For dinner, we walked to a delicious pizzeria. I was a little hesitant at first about ordering another gluten free pizza after my experience in Iseo, but Katia’s sister-in-law (who is gluten free) said the pizza was good there. She was correct. The pizza was very delicious!
After dinner, we walked to a nearby church where a fundraiser was taking place. There was a band playing old music, kids playing everywhere, and some games & other events taking place to raise money for the church. Katia’s brother, sister-in-law, and their two children met us at the fundraiser. I was excited to meet their children for the first time. Their oldest daughter was born a week or so after my visit with them in Coccaglio in 2011.
As we walked back to Katia & Guido’s house, we enjoyed this beautiful sunset.
While Katia & Guido put their boys to bed, I watched a bit of an Episode of Genius in Italian. We talked some more and then we all went to bed. I was so great to spend time with my dear friends again!