Here you will find an occasional Italian lesson, an essential word or phrase, and deep dives into the history, art, the architecture of Calabresi, our beautiful Tuscan hill town and some back stories about the lives of our characters.


Pets of Calabresi

Bella and Principessa edition

As we learned in Installment 10, Matteo helped give birth to his cow, Bella, in the middle of the night when her mom went into labor prematurely and delivered her before the vet had a chance to arrive.

Bella was very small and very sick, but Matteo never left her side and, over the weeks, nursed her back to health. He named her Bella because he “always wanted her to hear people tell her she’s beautiful.”


We also know how Bella came to be in a snowy field outside the walls of Calabresi the day Matteo and Anastasia met—she’s a bit of a wanderer!

Bella is bigger now and will not fit in the trunk of a Fiat.

Bella as a calf. [Photo credit: Matteo Vinci]

A few days after Francesca and Anastasia finally bonded that afternoon in Beatrice’s yarn shop after the knitting group wrapped up, Francesca found a tiny, abandoned tabby in the alley behind the bookstore. She knew immediately where the kitten’s new home should be—just as she knew what her name should be.

Principessa has the requisite amounts of cattitude (as all princesses should), but she is sweet, affectionate, and is almost always sitting on Anastasia or where Anastasia wants to be sitting.

Principessa on her first day with Anastasia. [Photo credit: Francesca Corelli]

A cat and a cow, so far. But will there be chickens? We’ll see!

In the meantime, tell us about your pets: How did you find them—or how did they find you? Calabresi is a very pet-friendly town; maybe you can bring them with you to visit someday.