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Three weeks. Three glorious weeks in my father’s hometown of Rocca di Monte Calvo, just outside of Ascoli Piceno and within an easy drive of San Benedetto del Tronto.

I cannot even find the words to express how blessed I am to be able to step out of a plane into the heat of the Pescara sun, get into a car and in just over an hour be driving up into the Appenines to the small town where my father was born.

And there I find our little house, waiting, warm and inviting. And perhaps even better, my family, always waiting with open arms and smiles and love.

I am so blessed.

I took over 600 pictures and it will take me some time to work through them all but this is just a brief glimpse of the beautiful experience of the past three weeks.

This is my thanks to my family, my friends and Italy.

I go to a place called Rocca di Sotto (Rocca di Montecalvo).

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Where our little house is always waiting.

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Where there is an always an opportunity to sit side by side, shoulder to shoulder …

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Ready to share a plate of pasta.

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Where the charmers start young …

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And the old seem ageless.

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It’s a place that is sweeter than you can imagine.

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Always there are beloved faces …

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You are never alone.

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The table is always set.

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It’s a place where pork fat rules.

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And friendship is forever.

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I go to a place where people still make things from scratch. Beautiful, delicious things.

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It’s a place where everywhere I turn, there is a hero standing before me.

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It’s a place of great beauty. There are zucchini flowers everywhere.

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And plums. My most favourite of plums!

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It’s a place where you watch your aunt make gnocchi outside, on a hill facing a valley that takes your breath away.

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It’s a place where pizza is king (especially if it has tomato and frezh mozzarella on it).

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It’s a place where you dance under the lights, in front of the church.

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And where you listen as marching bands play in front of your house on feast days.

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It’s the place of tiramisu’.

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And other sweet little things.

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It’s where cousins gather to take a picture (look at us … all together!).

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It’s where familiar faces find each other again.

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And where some interesting characters tend to pop up …

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It’s the place where I can sit in my living room, look outside, and watch the sun come up over the mountains to cover all of us in light.

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It’s home.

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Thank you – grazie – to all my loved ones who made my three weeks a time of joy, laughter and peace!

Ciao!

To read more about our town, visit the Rocca di Monte Calvo site.

You can also visit the Circolo Acli La Rocca to read about town events.