HIDING IN THE MOUNTAINS OF VIGNOLA

Alex and I took two trains and a rickety van up into the mountains to a small town called Zocca. We get to a tiny town after gallivanting up the windy roads with a typical Italian man. They drive like no other. I wonder if there were even brakes on this vehicle. Alex and I spent a day and a night having the best meals of our Italian voyage and hiking the surrounding muddy mountains. We stayed in a bed and breakfast in a town with a population of 30. The town has buildings dating back thousands of years and the place we stayed at was connected to the bell tower of an old castle from 1300 AD. The family who ran the place were so much fun and even taught us how to play an Italian card game! Their cards are so complicated, but we eventually caught on. They also taught us how to properly eat parmesan cheese. Because of this, it's probably a good thing I left. 

Their son, Ricky, was our age and the best tour guide. He taught us a lot about the area, and learning his view of the world was so interesting. Traveling through Europe more and more, I'm beginning to understand the general values, and how they differ from where I'm from. So much of their focus is on each other. On family. Blood is thick and it shows. It warms my heart.