Earlier in April, my mom came to visit Malta for a week again (she is my second most frequent visitor this year)! While I was at work, she ventured around the island with a family friend for dog walks and rooftop spritzs. On Good Friday, we flew from Malta to Bari, Italy and drove to the province of Foggia (which is the spur of the Italian boot) to visit some family! After some poor navigation skills on my part, we made it to Manfredonia for some much needed gelato (have to keep that blood sugar level steady!) before arriving at our B&B in San Giovanni Rotondo.
San Giovanni Rotondo was a very special place to visit for Easter, as it is the home to St Padre Pio and the Padre Pio Pilgrimage Church. Padre Pio, as he was called before he was canonized, was a friar, priest and a stigmatist. Fun Fact: Padre Pio had occurrences of stigmata, which is the appearance of bodily marks, pain and bleeding in locations similar to the crucifixion wounds of Jesus Christ… and this went on for 50 years! Not to mention, Padre Pio also saved my cousin, Stefano, from an 8-story fall to the ground when he was a child. We went to visit the new church in San Giovanni Rotondo on Easter Sunday and it was beautiful! I also saw Padre Pio in person (picture following) which was a unique experience.
This was a big Italian Easter, in a small Italian town with our Zanetti family. My mom and I stayed in a near by B&B so we could see our family as much as possible. We visited my great uncle and aunt’s house for at least one meal a day, which was no less than 3-courses. We also saw my cousins from Bologna and their children and my other cousin and her son. Besides the four from Bologna, I hadn’t met my other family, so it really was a special weekend.
The weekend was filled with wine from San Severo (a DOC of the Puglia wine region), gelato, a trip to Monte Sant’Angelo and Manfredonia, pasta and all the Italian desserts… and a highlight: homemade “clemoncello” (Clementines+ Limoncello).
Goals for my next visit: to know more Italian. Ergo… I will be starting Italian lessons in September!
This post is dedicated to my travel partner and mother: Happy mother’s day! Thank you for all your patience, support and love these last couple years abroad. Hearing of your travel stories from your life continuously inspires me to do the same. Life isn’t meant to be lived in one place, but don’t worry, I’ll come home… eventually. I can’t wait to see you and the boys in August on Heckman’s Island. Love you to the moon and back!