This morning as I took my daily walk to Bar Roma for my morning cup of tea and free Wi-Fi hit, I was warmly greeted as always by two of Soriano’s local characters, Franco & Enrico.

These two elderly gentlemen are only two of many locals who “hangout” at the local bars & caffés in Soriano, chatting about the weather, taking in the day to day goings on and greeting locals and strangers alike.

However, today I was surprised to get an overly excited greeting, with whispers of “vieni qui, vieni qui” (Come Here, Come Here).  As I moved closer, Franco reached into his jacket pocket and produced an envelope, I just thought he’d received a note from a long lost relative in Australia, the US or UK and he wanted me to translate it.

But when he opened the envelope and pulled out the little card with the maple leaf on it, his eyes glistened, his face beamed and his smile grew broad.  He was proudly showing me the special little card sent to him by one of the CDV guests from last year’s vacations.

Carolanne and her father, John, spent a week in Soriano, not just as your typical tourist, but embracing our little town of Soriano, it’s culture and character and it’s local characters.

Most mornings they would arrive at Bar Roma earlier than the other guests and would take their time to sit and chat with the locals in their broken Italian, the locals politely smiling and nodding and not really understanding every word, but connected by the efforts made by both to communicate.

Sitting with the locals and taking it all in was enough for Carolanne and John to start their days off in the most wonderful of ways.

Just as they started my day off today!  To have had such an enthusiastic greeting this morning and to see these two wonderful elderly gentlemen proudly showing their cards to anyone who passed by inspired me to write this quick blog post to make a point of reminding all that CDV is not just another tour company, it’s a family of locals who welcome strangers with open hearts and arms and create lasting memories and friendships.

I am so grateful to Michael and Paola and the whole CDV team to be a part of this, to be able to chat with new friends via Facebook and keep up with their lives long after their return home from Soriano is such a wonderful gift.

Thank you, Michael, Paola, Carla, Rita, Spartaco, Rocky, Pierina, Sergio, Antonio, all the local Sorianese connected to CDV and all the wonderful CDV ospiti over the past couple of years that my family and I have been privileged to be a small part of your Italian experience.

Grazie mille and we look forward to continuing to keep in touch and hope that one day we’ll see you all again back in Soriano!