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Italian Couple's Return to Siping
Post Time:01/11/2016 Browse Number:

  One year ago, the very moment they walked in the house, the host lady was in the middle of the preparation of a sumptuous lunch; this time, as they entered house, the host was cooking in the kitchen, too.

  They are the Italian couple, Giovanni Ciuoli and Elettra Barbagli, who lived in the Home Plus 10 of Siping during the second session of the Jinhua Homestay project. Dai Jicheng and Xiaomei are the host of this house, in which the grandma and grandpa live, too.

       On October 20, last year, Giovanni and Elettra were about to celebrate their eighth anniversary together in Siping. After learning such a good piece of news, the volunteer working with them on the 21-day project, Jin Haiqiong, secretly planned a surprise for the couple involving everyone in the project. At 8 pm, the music started and the picture presentation prepared by Haiqiong was played on the screen of the salon area. Especially prepared for the couple, the presentation included pictures of them enjoying the second session of the Homestay project and traveling around the world. As a conclusion, the volunteers expressed special wishes to the couple by singing the love song “The Moon Represents My Heart.” Giovanni and Elettra could not have been more surprised in Siping.

       At about the same time this year, on October 22, Giovanni and Elettra gathered two friends from Ai Qing Middle School – Giovanni's cousin with fiancée, arriving directly from Italy – and Marco Lovisetto, foreign consultant of the Jinhua Homestay project, and decided to return to Siping's Home Plus. Such a sudden visit surprised and moved the hosts: Dai Jicheng happily hugged Giovanni. The host's father ran back to his old house to fetch the liquor brewed last year during the project.

  Elettra said that when they left Siping for Italy last year, they bought a lot of Chinese art crafts and traditional objects, which are now in their house in Italy. She added: “When I was in Italy, it felt like I never left Siping. The only thing I could not get used to was that I missed a lot the Chinese-style breakfasts made of rice soup, pickles, steamed buns, and youtiao.”

  In Italy, Elettra even looked for Chinese rice and spices to try to reproduce some Tangxi dishes she learned from Xiaomei during their work on the several tasks of the Homestay project. In fact, every time they have friends come over to their house in Italy, Elettra wants to share the tastiness of Jinhua’s dishes.

  Giovanni's cousin was also honored to visit Giovanni's “Chinese hometown.” “Back home, they often mention Jinhua and Siping, as well as the affectionate members of this family. They tell me that if I want to understand the real China, experience the real traditional life, I must come to Jinhua's historical villages.”

  The pictures Elettra shared on the second session's WeChat group made everyone else envious. The Bulgarian star, Maria Ivanova, replied: “It's so beautiful! It seems like Siping hasn't changed, it's still our home.” (By Wang Lei, translated by Marco Lovisetto, edited by Kendra Fiddler)

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