For my last blog post, I was planning to write about saying goodbye to Rome. But as I started it, I realized it was too hard and sad for me. You probably didn’t know this, but when I make my blog posts, I write them out on a piece of paper and then my parents type it on the computer when I am done. But when I started the blog post that I was going to call “Goodbye to Rome” I barely finished a page. I thought you would probably want to know about how I am feeling about moving back to Madison and saying goodbye to my friends and teachers. It was confusing to me because I had so many feelings about leaving Rome. I was also thinking about the cobble stone streets, the motor cycles, the small streets and sidewalks and all the cars. I have these pictures in my head about things I won’t be seeing every day. So instead, for my last blog post I decided to write a happy blog post.

At the beginning of the year, I thought it would be too hard to be friends with the kids who lived here in Rome. At first, I only played with other kids who came from countries that spoke English. But then I started to play with a few Italian kids at recess. And we all became close friends.

One of those Italian girls is named Costanza. She has a great smile and I knew that I wanted to be friends with her. At the end of the year, her family invited us to come to their summer house in Tuscany. Costanza’s family goes to their house there every summer, and Costanza’s mother went to the same place every summer of her life growing up.

We all really wanted to go, so we made a visit the week after school ended. Before I tell you about what we did at the visit, I will tell you all the people in Costanza’s family. First is her mother, Francesca, then her father Benedetto. She has two brothers, Jacopo and Ludovico, and a baby sister named Bianca. One reason that I am very glad that we made this trip was that I did not have to say goodbye to Costanza at the last day of school. She was a very good friend to me this year.

Costanza’s house is on the coast of Tuscany. The temperature there was lower than in Rome.

Here is what we did.

We arrived at Toscana. We went straight to the beach. We got caught in a traffic jam on our way there, so me and Eli didn’t have lunch because we went straight into the sea when we arrived. Except my Mom and Dad had lunch at a beach restaurant. We stayed at the beach to swim and play games until we were all exhausted. Then later that day, we went to an outdoor restaurant for pizza. While we were eating, a show started, so all the kids went to watch the show. It was like a comedy show for kids. We stayed up late watching. Then the people in the show started dancing and so all the audience started dancing with them.

We spent the next day at their pool, had lunch at a neighborhood farm, and then went back to their house. Then the kids had a big water fight with a hose. For dinner, Costanza’s mom served a lot of foods from Toscana that I really liked. For instance, white Tuscan beans, olives, and a local cheese from the farm that was amazing.

Did I mention that Francesca is a FANTASTIC cook? If you know me well, you know that I only like cakes that are chocolate. For Costanza’s birthday, her mom made a non-chocolate cake. I tried it and I liked it the same as chocolate cake!

The next day, we went to a town nearby called Orbetello. I got my favorite breakfast pastry I have had in my whole life. It was an apple struedel. Then we drove back to the beach, spent a few hours there, and said goodbye and drove back to Rome.

This trip was very special for me and I will never forget it. It was special because at the beginning of the year, I never thought I would make a good Italian friend here. And when Costanza’s family invited my whole family to their summer house, I realized that I had made a good Italian friend here.

– Nell

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