In Boco al Lupo

J and I have decided we will be charming old people. Like the people here in Ferrara, Italy. Everyone rides bikes, young and old. Everyone wears adorable, flat shoes. Many have dogs, many wear little dog sweaters. It makes me miss Mina, who, Vinnie and I decided, must be Italian. She's not difficult, or anti-social. She is Italian. She would wait patiently for me while I drink my coffee not really paying attention to others on the street, just like these little Italian dogs.

The coffee is all espresso. As in that is what you get when you order coffee. And it's wonderful and quickly efficient. The stores feature ham, bottles of olive oil in windows. There are shops completely dedicated to selling fruit.

The people of Ferrara have been ever so gracious in letting J and I try our few Italian phrases. Two coffees, please. Minerale water, please. I don't speak Italian -etc.

The same things happen here as everywhere else. Teenagers gather at certain landmarks (here, the beautiful, historic cathedral), people eat a quick lunch (sandwiches with mozarella, or a slice of pizza), friends drink a beer - or sprizze con compari, my new favorite. But here, in Italy, it all somehow seems more interesting. Of course being on vacation in an unfamiliar location is part of that. But, also, it is an adorable city, easy to love. It will be hard to leave - luckily, we've got an entire week.

We're going to make some plans for the rest of our days, including perhaps a trip to the country, a wine tasting, and visiting some of the more well-known cities. For this moment, I am completely content. My jeans are a little tight from the washing I gave my clothes before packing them so tightly into a little suitcase. My hair is a little wild, as there was no hot water in Vinnie's apartment this morning. My father just informed me over the phone that the dogs have "shit half a dozen times" inside which I stressed about before owing some of that up to my exaggeration on his part. All in all, however, what better vacation could there be? None, I say. I want Italy to love me, too - become adopted by Ferrara, and ride my bike all over town.