We have finally arrived in the small seaside village where we will spend the next 4 weeks. Summer is winding down here and soon the tourists will return to their homes. School begins around the 10th of September. Our dear exchange student Sarah Colombo and her friend Francesco drove us from Milano to the apartment here in Santo Stefano. As you can see from the picture, the balcony overlooks the sea. From the balcony we can look over the center of the village and distinguish the oldest part of the village from the new. The coastal road is called Via Aurelia referring to the Emperor Aurelius dating from the Roman Empire. A beautiful bike path follows this road and you can ride from village to village along the sea. In the evening it is the custom to stroll along the walkway and so at this time you can really get a sense of the community. Last night after cena (dinner), we walked along the path to a grotto dating back to the 12 century and dedicated to the Virgin Mary. Napoleon's army came this way to invade Italy in the late 1700s ( not sure of the date) Our hosts have been explaining, guiding and teaching us important locations, skills and words so that hopefully we will able to survive a few weeks alone. Our brains are requiring us to work double time...which quite frankly we have not had to do in many years. We are right at that point when learning new information that can be a little frightening and thrilling at the same time. Last night we went to sleep feeling perfectly happy and quite "fried". Meals are quite different than we are accustomed to in the states. For breakfast, caffe e un biscotti, for lunch a prepared meal in la casa and for dinner(typically beginning at 8 pm) a prepared meal in la casa. Needless to say the food is delicious! Today we will drive to San Remo to investigate car rentals and to visit a supermecato to buy caffe and meusli. Tomorrow, Franca ( Sarah's mother) will return and we will begin our solo adventure.....wish us luck.