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My First Kiss…

It had been just over 16 months since I was last in Italy. In that time the COVID-19 pandemic has swept across the globe. The day I left Italy, the USA had just prohibited Europeans from entering America and things were heating up. I returned to Italy the first day that Americans were allowed to come without quarantine restrictions. I was lucky to be one of the last to leave, and first to return.

Before I left Italy, almost a year and a half ago, I had dinner with a friends – a multi-generational family. That evening, as I leaned in, the nonna (grandmother) that I had always hugged and kissed (one on each cheek), stopped me. She said no and signaled that we should soccer kick (toe-tap) each other. 

On the day I returned to Italy, I was in the kitchen cooking, looking out the window. There was the nonna, her sister and friend walking down the cobblestone street. I rushed out to greet them. When seeing other Italians on this trip we had stayed socially distanced, or a few fist-pumped. This nonna signaled to me that she would have none of that. She opened her arms and drew me in. A big hug, a kiss on each cheek and then, another hug. 

My first kiss, from the woman who taught me to kick, was priceless. 




Eatalianos never forget their first kiss.

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