Last weekend Paul and I took our first day trip in the new car. Up to Lake Bracciano, about an hour outside of Rome. It’s a lovely old village with a castle, actually the one where Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes were married. Naturally, I wanted to take a tour (because I like castles, not TomKat). So in my best Italian, I walked up to inquire about rates, time and language. After being told that the next tour would start a mezzo giorno, noon, tickets were sette Euros, seven, and that it would be en inglese, in English, we were sold. Money was exchanged. A few minutes were passed on a bench. But as we walked through the iron gates of the castle, we realized that only two of the above statements were correct…

For the next hour and a half, Paul and I wandered through the enormous castle listening to–but not understanding more than a word of–the tour in Italian. Here, it’s important to note that Italians are not known for keeping things brief. Each and every room, nook and cranny was fully described in more detail that I can possibly imagine it’s original residents might have been aware of.

So, by next summer, we need to be able to understand the language. At least enough to know when someone’s telling us the tour is in English…or not.





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