Anything I had heard about Italian drivers was true. He pulled out in front of traffic and went twice as fast as the speed limit. For some reason, I did not care. I had prepared myself for this reality beforehand. I reminded myself of the few times I rode in a car with a foreign driver. I did this before I ever buckled my seat belt. To prove how comfortable I was, I went to sleep.
I awoke as we pulled up a stone driveway. We got out of the car. I had no clue if they had been giving me details about the area, or how long I had slept. They might have been asking me questions too. I was oblivious. I got out of the car and followed them into a building.
We went up five flights of stairs and into an apartment. They introduced me to two more people. Their names were Anna and Carlo. We walked back down the stairs. The group proceeded to get into Carlo’s car. He was driving. He was a mountain climber and preferred to be dropped from helicopters on the highest peaks of the Alps. I took this to mean his driving style might be a bit risky. I sat in the back with Dominico. Anna sat on the hump. Vanessa was up front with Carlo.
We sped onto the highway. He squealed around corners too big for two cars to pass. It seemed like we were rolling on two wheels. Then we entered a forest road lined with trees. After a hairpin turn, we began climbing a mountain.
Vanessa asked, “Are you doing O.K.?”
I told her, “I am doing fine. We have similar roads in Tennessee.”
I decided to once again show them my comfort level with their driving and I went to sleep.
I awoke as we pulled off the road and behind a line of cars edging a stone laden cliff. We exited the car and entered the town. I was given facts about the festival, the homemade foods, and the area. We ate soup with bits of lamb. I spat occasionally to jettison a sheep bone that had made its way into my mouth.