Italia 2018 – Part 1 – San Michele

I’ve spent the last few days visiting with friends Luca, Gloria, and Enrico in San Michele, Italy – not too far from Bologna and Modena. The district, Reggio Emilia, is famous for Ferrari and Pavarotti and balsamic vinegar and parmesan cheese, among other things.

I first met Luca and Gloria rather serendipitously online in 1999 when I was working in Bosnia and ICQ was the online chat programme that was popular then. We have seen each other several times in several places over those 19 years. I first met Enrico when he was 3 months old. Now look at him!

It’s always wonderful to spend time with them and to have the opportunity to experience Italy with my Italian family. Gracie, amici.

Here are a few photos of my time there.

Centre of Modena. The reflection in the pool of water caught my eye.

I always enjoy a hike up the hill behind San Michele for a “divine” view of the surrounding countryside and the town below.

The historic covered bridge, an icon in Pavia, near Milano.

The courtyard of the Castello Visconteo in Pavia

Downtown San Michele. Not a metropolis.

I revel all week in Gloria’s cooking. This is a ricotta and chocolate cheesecake/pie. Delizioso.

Photos -I had a very good Friday in Italy.

Enrico and Lilli  by the  Secchia River, San Michele, Italy.

Enrico and Lilli by the Secchia River, San Michele, Italy.




For the past 14 years I have been friends with Luca and Gloria Tracendi who live in San Michele, Italy.  We have met many times in Italy, Canada, Florida and Barcelona.  I rocked their son Enrico when he was three months old.  We met serendipitously on an internet chat site in the very early internet days in the late 1990’s when I was working in Bosnia and have chatted online every couple of weeks since then. Enrico is now almost 13 and as tall as his Dad.   I enjoy visiting them from time to time and they make me feel very much at home. I now know the neighbours and family.  What a delight to have them as friends.  This week I am visiting them again at their home in San Michele. Yesterday Enrico and the dog Lilli and I did some wandering by the river and the hills around the village, appropriately ending up at the top of a big hill where a crucifix overlooked the village below.