Benvenuti a Calabria! Welcome to Calabria and in particular, the very small town of Cessaniti where my mum was born and lived the first 19 years of her life. Cessaniti is set in amongst the rolling, green hills of this beautiful countryside. From here, I can see the sea as well as lots of other small towns along the way.
We were met at the airport, Lamezia Terme, by my uncle and cousins. The welcome was huge. Massive bear hugs, several in fact and lots of kisses! We have missed them heaps and them us! Our car ride to Cessaniti is a wild one. No one uses seat belts in back seats hear and the roads and autostrada's are bumpy so we leap into the air several times. No one is worried except for us! Zio Franco & Zia Rosina's house is a 3 storey high palazzo but only the first storey is complete. That is how houses are built here; bit by bit and over a long period of time! We are met by Zia Rosina who waited for us at home and we give and receive more bear hugs and kisses.
Dinner is not far away and here the specialty is always pasta! We have homemade white wine and after some Tiramisu desert Zio brings out the spirits! He tells me that I should drink more because it is good for me but I keep that disagreement to myself.
We spend a lot of time, five hours in fact, reflecting on my mum. There are more sad moments and also moments of surprise as we are told things that were never explained by my parents.
The photos soon come out and it is early morning before we finally get to bed! We are exhausted but satisfied that we are finally here again!