The end of the school year is another cause for celebration.
Italian students and families commemorate with a big get-together centering (of course) around food.
Tuesday night was the sixth grade party. We heard that it went so late that only two kids showed up for school on Wednesday. However, we weren’t there; Tom didn’t want to go. He said he would rather go to Rome for the day where he can buy glow-in-the-dark sling shot rockets from the unlicensed street vendors. Since we all wanted to go to Rome, we took advantage of his request for a final visit. Tom got his rockets but also got a talking-to by the police. He’s getting use to it.
Ray’s party was yesterday. This group of families is especially close since many elementary schools in Italy assign teachers in first grade who stick with the same kids for five years. Even though Ray joined the class in its last year, he fit in well. In the end, he made good friends.
The festa was held at Il Pioppo, an agriturismo outside Perugia where the ingredients are sourced right there on the farm. And this was no light summer lunch. Our plates were filled to capacity. We started with a black truffle pasta tossed with the chef’s homemade tagliatelle followed by a second pasta course with tomato and sausage. Then we had a plate of roast pork and sauted greens and finally jam crostatas. Pitchers of wine and sparkling water were abundant. The kids’ menu was equally huge but styled to suit their tastes. However, with a pool and grassy field, they chose not to linger at the table.
While the kids played, some of the parents told us about a new thing that schools are doing in Italy. It’s called “American graduation” and it entails a celebration after eighth grade and another one after high school. Previously, a graduation ceremony was held only after someone finished college, but several schools are importing our excuse to pomp and circumstance more often. We told them that American kids even get to wear graduation caps when they finish preschool and fifth grade. That made everyone laugh.