By Jeanne Outlaw-Cannavo
It’s springtime and time get out and enjoy la primavera (spring)! I am so excited because mamma, nonna and nonno are traveling to visit friends in Pisa. Of course I know I will be going with them! When we arrive in la città (the city) e un altro bel giorno (another beautiful day)! Our Hotel Roma on Via Piave is just a short walk from the most famous place in Pisa! We meet our friends Adrianna e Francesco (we met them on l’aereo (the plane) when they honeymooned in the U.S. and we are here to enjoy a few days with them in their home città.
As we stroll along, I am busy annusando (smelling) the fresh cornetti, an Italian pastry filled with a cream or jelly. We are all hungry and tutti (everyone) decides to sit at una tavola (a table) at a nearby cafes. Mamma ordina (orders) several cornetti, due bicchieri di latte (two glasses of milk) ed acqua (and water) for me. Mamma’s friend is reading her guide book out loud and io ascolto (I listen) while I wait patiently for my cornetto.
Dopo (after) we continue on and at the end of the strada (street) we turn the corner and eccola! (there it is), la famosa Torre Pendente (the famous Leaning Tower of Pisa). Mamma must pick me up so I can get a good look!
A man named Bonanno Pisano started building this white marble bell tower in 1174 but when the tower reached three stories high it started to sink so they left it that way for about novanta (90 years). It was finally finished in the middle of the 14th century. At the very top they placed seven bells, one for each note on a musical scale.
I couldn’t go inside (and I would never be able to climb 294 steps!) so I sat with mamma outside on the grass and played with my ball and some bambini (children.) I think I saw mamma’s friend waving from the very top, but it is so high that everyone looks like formiche (ants)! When nonna came back so mamma could climb to the top she was all excited and told mamma her good occhiali di sole (sunglasses) had dropped off the top of the tower.
I went with them to ask a guard if we could search for them in the field and he laughed and said, “Saranno tutti spacciati,” (they’ll be all broken”) but he let us look. I ran all over the field and found them in a pile of mud. Nonna told mamma it was truly un miracolo (a miracle) and the guard told us the locals call the area La Piazza dei Miracoli (The Square of Miracles). Then we went to La Fontana dei Putti (The Fountain of Chebubs) so nonna could pulire (clean her glasses).
After mamma came back down from La Torre we visited Il Duomo (a huge cathedral) and the Battisteri di San Giovanni where they baptized babies. Mamma told me she learned the inside has perfect acoustics. Non so cosa vuol dire (I don’t know what that means) but she was excited, so I was too! After we left the Piazza, we went to look at un muro (a wall) with a beautiful mural called the Murale Tuttomondo (the mural of the entire world).
Più tarde (later) we walked along the Fiume Arno (Arno River) and I watched the people go by as everyone stopped to admire a little church called Santa Maria della Spina. Quella sera (that night) we enjoyed cena (dinner) at a restaurant on the beach. I was so happy because mamma ordered me un piatto di pasta (a plate of pasta) all for me!
Of course there were lots of other places we visited in Pisa, but I had the most fun playing in the sun and helping mamma and nonna. I hope it’s sunny when we get to Venice on our next trip and I hope the people there will let me ride in a gondola. I hope you enjoyed my story and next time I’ll share a fun puzzle with you too! Ciao! IAH