by Kristi Machado
"La porta d'entrata no aperto." My very first attempt at constructing an Italian sentence was not what I had expected. I had always believed the language to be lovely in its melodious ebb and flow, but I had never imagined a sentence could sound quite so sweet, especially when it resulted in our new landlady freeing us from our temporary imprisonment.
To be honest, I could not have asked for a better start to the day. After the intensity and energy of Florence, Cagli offered a pastoral charm of which some can only dream. The day was off to a late start, after our pilgrimage to Assisi, and my roommates and I decided to start our day slowly, each in our own way. With Mindy up early and off on a hike, Sally decided to discover Cagli's version of a cappuccino while I made use of the shower. To my surprise, when I turned off the water, I heard a knock on the bathroom door.
"Kristi, have you tried opening the front door, yet?" asked Sally. Surprised by the question, I quickly dressed and wrapped the towel around my head. I followed her to the door, and she explained our current predicament. Apparently, it would not open. Tried as I might, I came to the same conclusion - the door was somehow locked from the outside. We started to plan. Realizing that Mindy would be back before class, we abandoned the idea of dangling from the window and jumping to the street below. We did, however, hope to still find that cappuccino before class, and decided to take the plunge. We were going to call our landlady, Francesca.
Francesca is a kind, helpful woman whom also does not speak much, if any, English. How does one convey this situation in a quick, easy-to-translate sentence? Settling upon, "The front door won't open," we found the words in our Italian-American dictionary, and called the number hung on our front door. We seemed to pick the right words, for not long after, we heard a rattling at the door. There she was, Francesca, rescuing us from our tower. Thankful for being freed from our locked front door, we set aside our morning plans, anxious to regale our returning roommate with our first Italian adventure.