I spend two nights at this countryside home, and my bedroom window overlooks a beautiful lake, Lago di Vico, with the many walnut trees that surround it. When I arrive, the whole family (including the three sizeable dogs) welcomes me. Soon after, we turn on the soccer match on the television and enjoy a family meal together. Giuseppe, who is just about to start college, is a great translator and we bond over several cups of coffee, a digestive or two, and many games of pool and backgammon.
The next day, I explore the nearby town of Ronciglione, where I run into a few driving challenges based on the tight and steep roads of the area. I also make my way around the small lake, stop a couple times for snacks and coffee, and enjoy watching people pick the walnuts. At first glance, I cannot figure out what everyone is doing, but it soon becomes obvious that people are picking the walnuts off the trees that extend over the fence onto the road.
The second night, I again enjoy a family meal, this time with a couple of their friends. The energy in the room is high and the mood is very jovial. The family guests only speak Italian and so I pick up pieces of the conversation here and there, and occasionally Giuseppe brings me back in. The food is very traditional Italian cuisine, and as I wrap up my second and last night at this wonderful host, I thank Airbnb for providing the opportunity for me to find such an experience about an hour north of Rome.