After a long day of chasing 50 rugrats from scavenger hunts to Iced Lolly snack breaks there is nothing better than coming home to a hug from an Italian mother who has a warm meal and washing machine at the ready. Between evening bike rides, pizza dinners with the Jet Set crew and World Cup viewings at the local pub I have not actually had a free moment to get my clothes in the wash and I am one day away from wearing a bathing suit bottom, but I take comfort knowing that I have a home here waiting for me.
My “dad” owns a restaurant with his two brothers and it is closed Tuesdays so that is my parents’ date night. This week they brought me along for an outing to the beautiful Bergamo, a mountain town just at the foothills of the Alps.
My mom — who is fluent in English — told me a story about a great knight named Calliones (cal – ee- own -ehs) who won so many battles everybody told him he must have an extra pair of balls (my mom did have trouble finding the right word for balls here so I had to help here out and it was awkward). In honor of the great knight, the city sculpted a set of three balls into the iron gate at the church. People come and rub the balls in hopes that they will have the same strength heroic strength of Callienes. Thus — according to my mother but no Googleable sources — was born the Italian phrase “big Cajones like Calliones.”