By Melissa Cannavo-Marino and Sara
E` primavera. (It’s spring). Il tempo sta cambiando. (The weather is changing). Nonno vuole visitare (wants to visit) some of the sites in “La Ciociaria,” the historic name of an area around La citta` di Frosinone, (the city of Frosinone). It’s a fairly warm giorno, (day) and mamma suggerisce (suggests) la spiaggia (the beach). Il nonno ribadisce (replies), “We can do that anytime.” Facciamo qualcosa differente! (Let’s do something different!)
Nonna dice, (says) “Andiamo alle Grotte di Pastena!”( Let’s go to the caverns in Pastena!) I thought to myself, I hope la famiglia, (the family agrees.) It seems molto interessante (very interesting). Va bene, dice il nonno e mamma. Andiamo! (OK, says grandad and mom. Let’s go!) We’ll pack a pranzo, (lunch) and dopo facciamo una scampagniata and (after we’ll have a picnic.) Evviva! (Wow!) Was I excited!
Dopo (after) a half-hour ride in la macchina, (the car) we arrive at the biglietteria, (ticket booth.) They let me go in gratis (for free.) La guida, (the guide) explained that l’entrata, (the entrance) to the grotte was rather low, so we would need to crouch down to enter. However, when we were finalmente dentro, (finally inside), we found ourselves in an area consisting of due camere enormi, (two large chambers.) After a short walk il sentiero, (the path) led up into a huge hall with lots of fantastic pillars and stalagmites. Il sentiero, mostly an iron bridge, led us through these huge caverns.
We were really having a great time, when suddenly, as we entered a small side cavern and looked above, we saw something that scared me and mamma. Hanging from the ceiling above were centinaia di pippistrelli, (hundreds of bats.) Mamma began to panic and wanted to run out of the caverns. I nonni convinced us that tourists go through the caverns every day. “These pippistrelli are used to people, and they won’t bother you”, dice il nonno. Mamma ed io ci calmiamo. (Mamma and I calm down,) and we continue the tour.
In the end, all went well. We made it to the end of the tour, but Mamma said, mai piu`! (Never again!) A questo punto (at this point) we were all famati, (famished.) Mangiamo, dice il nonno! (“Let’s eat,” says nonno.) It sure was a fun day.