For my first assignment as an intern, I was asked to take pictures around Florence of places and things which caught my interest and would appeal to people looking to travel here. My initial thought was to find the first restaurant my friend Bianca and I went to upon arriving in the city.

For us, Trattoria al Trebbio defined Italian cuisine. From its picturesque entraceway covered with brightly colored flowers to its warm, cozy interior of wooden tables and checker-board tablecloths with dimly lit candles; it was the quintessential Italian restaurant.

I arrived outside the restaurant in the midafternoon when I would be sure not to disturb anyone by taking annoying tourist photos. As I stepped inside I was surprised to find an empty room with no one in sight. In the distance I could hear singing that seemed to be getting louder.

Within a few short moments I was surrounded with a giant crowd of people who were apparently having a private party in another room of the restaurant.

With my limited Italian vocabulary and embarassing accent, I reluctantly asked if they would mind if I took a few pictures. Upon opening my mouth they immediately knew I was American and excitedly invited me to join their party. Before I had a chance to respond, I was being led downstairs to a private room with the largest table I have ever seen. As I sat down to figure out what was going on, I was generously offered an Italian pastry (that looked far too good to pass up) along with endless champagne and wine. Together we ate, drank, and managed to have a basic Italian/English conversation. Although extremely out of place, I felt completly at home.

Being so far from my family in North Carolina I often feel very homesick. However, as I sat at the table, I was overwhelemed with a feeling of happiness. In a matter of minutes I felt as if I had become part of their family. I will be forever thankful for their kindess and generosity. Without hesitation, they opened their arms and hearts and left me with a memory I will never forget.


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