Family life in Italy in some ways is no different than living in Los Angeles. For example, yesterday was Sunday and we did what any family would do on a Sunday: we went to Church; we went to have lunch at Great Grandma’s house; and then, after the children woke up from their naps, we went to… the mall. I realize that this does not sound so exciting, but it was too late in the day to drive anywhere and go to the museum and the weather was not so warm to permit us to stay outside. What is known as “the Mall” is really a modest shopping center with one large supermarket and a few small stores and one little area where kids can play.
The highlight of my day, aside from spending time with my kids and husband, was lunch at Nonna Lidia’s. She is an 81-year-old great-grandmother who enjoys cooking for her family. Nonna Lidia is a retired chef, so you can imagine how great she cooks! We had homemade pasta (pici), known only in this area, great tomato sauce with mushrooms, and grilled chicken. Everything is very homemade in that the mushrooms (she later told me) she found along a road. She promised they were not the poisonous type and said she almost had to wrestle an old man with a cane for the mushrooms as she said she saw them first! The pasta was homemade and the chickens she boasts she killed herself! Then it was time for dessert. She made a pie with jam that was so delicious. After this big meal we had a nice espresso to keep us awake.
Sundays in Italy are really a time when you should not do anything but rest and be with the family. I used to be so bored on Sundays and yearn to find anything at all to do in our small town. Now I look forward to Sundays and enjoy simply taking in the sleepy atmosphere around me!
By Lucia Mancini