We were just getting ready to go out for the evening, when three cars parked at the top of the road, effectively blocking our car in. People tumbled out of the cars and began milling about, taking photos and talking loudly in English. In the centre of this mêlée was Maria, who we purchased our house from. I walked up to ask them if they could let me move my car when I was spotted by a stout man who strode towards with hand outstretched, I took his hand and as he pumped my arm up and down vigorously, in an American accent he told me he had come to take photos of the old family homes. Maria saw me and explained that this gaggle of people were a mix of first and second cousins from Philadelphia.
Turns out the late Zio Gasparino who owned our house for a while has a brother who left for America years ago, and who is now in the late autumn of his life. The family have come to take photos of the area that he played around in as a child and the family houses he knew. I’m having questions fired at me faster than balls from a tennis ball machine on a high-speed setting. They take photos of my house and need little encouragement to wander around the rear of the property.
They brave the brambles to take photos of the old ruin above the lane, turns out this was also one of the families homes. The youngest member of the group accepts my invitation to give me his email address so I can forward him some interior photos of our house. We’re running late for our dinner with friends, so leave an exited group of Americans with cameras roaming the Italian countryside collecting memories.