LIFE/Anna Matteucci: Thanksgiving in Italia

For the first time I celebrated Thanksgiving without my family, boyfriend, traditional food, and country. I woke up without rushing to the television to tune into the live footage of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade, and found no warm comforting smells coming from the kitchen.
I love Thanksgiving. Nothing beats spending the day with my family and feasting on food that only graces the table with its presents once a year. From the roasted turkey to the cornbread stuffing, I always pile my plate high, only to be covered with a generous river of homemade gravy. The pumpkin pie is the last item on my list; I would much rather focus on the full meal itself.
This year was different. This year would be without family, and the stuffing I usually eat the leftovers of for breakfast in the week following Thanksgiving. Instead I was given a totally new experience this season in the form of an American “Friendsgiving.”
With only around four weeks left in Viterbo the entire USAC group was in need of a great night together, complete with the food that brings us all the comfort of home. Some amazing ladies slaved away for hours preparing the base of the meal, because without the turkey and gravy, is it really Thanksgiving?
The rest of the group supplied all of the sides, drinks, and dessert for the meal in order to ensure everyone’s belt needed to be loosened before the night was up. All of us stood around the table that was absolutely covered with trays full of hearty starches and vegetables realizing how much of a family we have become on this big adventure abroad.
Hours of indulgence and laughs followed, giving me the little taste of home I needed to carry me for the next few weeks as I end my time in the nation. I sat in bed at midnight thinking just how fantastic my holiday had been. I was properly stuffed, and wanted just to crawl into bed and sleep off the food-induced coma that was inevitable. Luckily throughout the day the Internet kept me connected to my loved ones, and my wonderful boyfriend even made it possible for me to enjoy the footage of the parade I was so disappointed to miss.
I may be thousands of miles away from home, and in a location where many of my favorite foods cannot be purchased, but this crazy Italian Thanksgiving will always make me smile. Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Gobble Gobble!