Clockwise from left: Cris, Davide, Mr. D'Alessandro, Carla, Nonno, Nonna, and Mrs. D'Alessandro.

Laura and I have been having a wonderful time here in Lanciano, thanks entirely to our hosts, the D’Alessandro family. The family runs the Canadian College of Italy here in Lanciano, and life around town with them is non-stop. I call the old part of town the D’Alessandro Campus, as guests, students and staff are constantly bouncing between the school, the Allegria (for meals), their dorms, and the family-owned market. Luckily they’ve been finding lots for Laura and I to help with, and we’ve been only too happy to do so.

Things have quieted down in the last 24 hours or so, as Davide flew back to Canada, and Carla and Mrs. D are off to a conference for the next week, but I’ve felt very lucky to have finally met the whole clan while they were all here.┬áNot only do I owe this amazing family a huge thank you for helping to see my future wife through her appendix surger(ies!) all those years ago, but we also owe them a huge thank you for putting us up in such style and feeding us while we’ve been here.

We did a family portrait session while they were all around. Unexpectedly, Cris’ 83-year-old grandparents also dropped in for a surprise visit all the way from Toronto.

Anyway, thank you so much D’Alessandros! You guys are fantastic!

Yes, Davide is this cool.

What a beautiful family!

Mr. and Mrs. D.

Nonno is Italian for Grandpa.