I'm not sure what made us think Z would have fun on a trip to Italy. When we first talked about going, her cousins had planned to come. We chose a place with a pool and an ocean and a kitchen so we weren't going, going all the time but we went a lot and she did so well, even though her cousins didn't come. She walked miles upon miles on cobblestone streets. She drove in the car uncomplainingly for hours. She slept strangely and scratched her bug bites with good humor.
She has always spoken Italian--she's been saying 'a' for 'to' since the she started to talk, as in this morning's "read a book a me," but now she's added 'mama' inflecting the 2nd syllable all latinate and lilt-y. She also says 'bella' and 'grazie' in a whisper but the coolest part is just that she understands language and culture a little bit. She wonders what people speak in Utah (Erik answers, "Texan drawl") and she wonders why girls here where tops on their swimming suits and why they don't in Italy. She also thought that the villa was Italy and that Rome was Rome and neither the twain shall meet but you could see the mental cogs that clicked as she understood 'gelato' was also 'ice cream.'
She still complains that her feet hurt--a week after all the walking but her mosquito bites have healed and her cough is almost gone and for now she remembers Italy fondly. When you ask her what her favorite thing about the trip was she answers the snowman with a headband, the bad cats, the frogs, the lizards. The fauna seems to have made more of an impression than the flora, even the fruit!, and who wouldn't have fond memories of Italian, headbanded, snowmen?