We are here in Italy reporting live from our Wine and Food Week in Tuscany. Here is what struck us today.
Italy is always wonderful, beautiful, but we love it most when special moments open and give us a sense of the people and their heart. Case in point above: Squadra del Cuore – the Team of the Heart. This soccer team plays in San Fermo up near Lake Como in Northern Italy. They’ve come here to Tuscany for a little “teambuilding” (same name in Italian) prior to the “preparazione” for the season that begins in September.
For Italians that live in Lombardia up north, a trip to Tuscany can be something a little exotic; after all, Italy has only been a country for the last 150 years or so. So, our friends from the Team of the Heart spent yesterday seeing the sights in Siena, where each adopted a contrada (neighborhood) and is now sporting a scarf with the corresponding logo (caterpillar, goose, giraffe, etc.).
We got to know them at dinner, and inbetween broken English and Italian, and after many pictures and glasses of wine, three of our group members (including Nancy!) became honorary members of the team. This exchange of the heart seems to happen when we are all out of our comfort zone, when we get to know others not deeply, but in a way that in the moment is nevertheless genuine and true. As I write, I am watching these guys (who should really be on their way home by now) sit in the Tuscan sun, talking and laughing as they drink one more glass of wine, have a little cheese, and talk about the season to come.