Biella, Italy - Coming Home to Family

Trip Start Sep 13, 2006
Trip End May 25, 2007

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Friday, November 17, 2006

     Our Mother's Mother, Esther, was born in the US to an Italian mother who came to America as an adult. Some other brothers and sisters came to the US but others stayed behind in Biella. I (Sara) was able to visit them while traveling through Italy in college, but  my mom had not come to see them until now.
    We stayed at the home of Christina and her 82-year-old mother Lilianna. They were wonderful hosts and had a lovely home. My biggest memory of Lillianna was when she overfed me her delicious Italian food during my visit in 1996. Americans are not used to the concept of "courses" so when the bowl of spagetti comes out you dig in, not aware of the meat and vegetable course to follow. Luckily Christina built a new house where we ate in the kitchen, so we could see what food was waiting to be served and pace ourselves accordingly. Lillianna spoke no English so she communicated with food. We ate so well at each meal that I don't think we felt hungry the whole time we were there. She made some of our favorite Italian food like polenta, gnocci, risotto and others.
     Christina was able to take us around the area a bit and we also spent time touring around with Maria Carrola and her father Pierre. Maria Carolla and I used to be pen pals when I was in high school and I stayed with her family when I visited before. She looks all grown up now! It was fun for us to see each other as real adults. They took us to a medival city near their town, where they now host medival faires in the summer. We told them that Medival faires were also popular in the US, but we have to settle with faux-medival buildings. A highlight of that visit was visiting some instrument shops where they made medival instruments like Italian bagpipes and the amazing Hurdy-Gurdy. We shot some videos and have them on our You Tube Page here and here.
Nella (sister to her late mother) and her family, plus her uncle John Franco. We had a great time getting to know everyone and looking at photos of the family, both our generation and previous generations.
        The time didn't seem enough but we had to say our goodbyes and head off to Assisi. Christina vetoed our idea to take her mother back with us to America. Apparently Mom's cousin Susie tried also had this idea when she visited a few years back. But we did make Christina and Maria Carolla promise to visit us in the states.

To see all our photos of Biella and the Family, visit our Smugmug Biella Page!
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