After a long boat ride, and a quick train ride, I finally arrived in Salerno, Italy, where my new host Dino was waiting to pick me up and bring me to his home in Torellino! I had no idea at the time just how much Dino and his family would truly come to feel like home.
So! Let’s meet the family!
Dino, Businessman and Artisan Extraordinaire!:
Dino immediately struck me as someone who was easy going, and easy to talk to. Later, I would add intelligent, philosophical, wise, incredibly compassionate, and downright hysterical to the list.
Dino is a talented and creative artisan. He is the Designer and Co-Founder of his Italian leather handbag business, “Insettoamaro“. He designs and makes every bag by hand himself, and they are truly incredible! I highly recommend checking them out Here.
All that Dino asked in exchange for my staying with him is that I help him improve his English. This mostly entailed having constructive conversations with him, and going over his websites to help improve the English versions of them.
His beautiful wife, Grazia, Winner of Imagined Arguments:
Grazia worked with stuff. I mean, she did things, on the computer, or something. I don’t recall all the details of her work, but I’m pretty sure it was related to photo editing. She spoke almost no English, but I think she tried harder during my stay to learn some English, than I tried to learn Italian. She was always asking Dino how to say things to me, or ask me questions in English. Despite our lack of ability to communicate without Dino’s translation, my interactions with here were always a delight.
Since I know almost no Italian, I always played a little game with myself. Anytime that her and Dino were having a conversation, I would act like it was a silent film in my head, and invent what they were saying. She was always the funny one, always had the best comebacks, and she won most of my imagined arguments.
My imagination of her aside, she was always kind to me, and she always made sure I had anything I could possibly need.
His wonderfully mischievous mother, Anna Ida, The Bringer of Food And More Food:
Anna Ida and I had a very special relationship. She knew just enough English to make any communication between us more confusing than it otherwise would have been. We teased each other quite a bit through pantomiming, and what little of each other’s language we knew. We had several running jokes, and her laugh was incredible. Most of our direct communication was through smirks and eye contact. I’ll never, for as long as I live, forget the exact sound of her voice when she would call me by name. It always sounded like I was about to receive the most important lecture on life.
Anna Ida was the bringer of food and more food. I have never eaten so much, or such amazing food in my life! And yet, it was never enough for her. I truly believe it was her goal to fatten me up so that I couldn’t fit through the door by the time I had to leave. She would pile more and more food on my plate, without even warning me there was another course on the way!
His delightfully chill dog, Rico:
Rico was by far the coolest, calmest, most well behaved dog I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting.
And of course, his cuddles-to-claws-in-zero-seconds-flat cat, Lucio
Lucio was a much needed cuddle buddy. I miss my own cat, Agamemnon, very much. Though each cat cuddle cost me a few holes in my arm or leg.
Dino’s home was absolutely gorgeous. His garden was breathtakingly beautiful and the epitome of relaxation. I was given the flat adjacent to his house to stay in, and it very well furnished, delightfully decorated, and spacious! By far Dino’s flat was best accommodations I’ve had in all my journey! (bear in mind I’m writing this 2 months after the fact, and it’s still true!) Unfortunately, I didn’t take any pictures of the flat, but you can check out his Airbnb page here to see more if you like. If you’re in the area, I couldn’t recommend a nicer place to stay!
Here are a few pics I took around the garden:
Speaking of Accommodations, Dino and his family can cook! And I mean they can cook! I have never eaten so well (or so much!) in my life, as I did during my stay in Dino’s home! On his Workaway profile, he had said, “You haven’t had real Italian cooking, until you’ve tasted what Italian moms cook.” and wow, was he ever right!
Unfortunately, it’s only now, as I’m writing this that I discover how few photos I took of these mouthwatering meals!
So that’s Dino and Family, beautiful garden, and amazing food! Stay tuned for some awesome adventures we had together, and great memories made!
Also, I promise more frequent updates ; ]