The first few days back at our second home are always such a blur from jet lag that we remember them only through photos. Already yesterday is a fuzzy recollection. Here's our first night's walk to dinner. Back in the 'hood. Already I've seen Coat Man (the guy who roams all over town wearing as many coats as he can seem to collect, the top one being fur) three times. He seems happier this year and says, "Buon giorno, Signora." I smile and greet him back, but apparently another option is to just give him a dirty look. It's startling to come upon him because he looks like a bear.

We're here this year for the first two weeks sans sons. It feels strange. The apartment is much neater, the refrigerator much less full, and my head much less carefree. I saved a few bucks on car rental by not getting one till tomorrow, hence I had to do the grocery shopping on foot. These two bags were packed so heavy I had to stop several times on the way home. I know they don't look it, but they were. A man helped me for a block or so as I led him to a working ATM. (Not an easy task—to find a working ATM.)

Our first night here we had dinner at the Spaghetteria with the group. Delicious pasta, as always, followed by tiramisu and mirto, an aperitif— Again, Fred and I were zombies for most of it.

On the way to dinner, we came across a palazzo with a big screen set up and a schedule of movies for the summer. Tonight's show was Spotlight. What I would have done to be there for the end of that. I imagine having only an elementary grasp of the language wouldn't matter.

The next day, Saturday, was of course wedding day in Italy. Here's a unique wedding car!

And the wedding party—more typical.

Last night, we were only semi-zombified and watched the Italy/Germany Euro Cup game in the piazza of our Duomo with about two thousand other Viterbese folks. An ambulance and five EMTs stood by, waiting for God knows what.

It was quite moving to stand with them while they sang their national anthem at the beginning of the game. We had not heard it before. The whole town was there, young and old, drinking beer, water, wine. Cheering till what I imagine has led to some serious vocal fry today.

Then we lost. I'm grateful it didn't hurt as much as when my son's teams lost championships. You have to pick and choose where you put your whole heart and soul. I kept mine safe this time around. We actually watched the penalty kicks in a bar near home because we had to use the bathroom, so the final half hour was a different experience. About eight of us in there, watching a TV that kept pixellating and threatening to freeze, but nobody could get up and look for someone to fix it, for fear of missing the action. When we lost, everyone stood up immediately and simultaneously, and walked out.