Day 4, Tuesday, July 9
By now we’ve completely got over our jetlag and every morning we risk making Giovanni late for work. This morning we leave Winchester at about 8:30 and head for Boston where the Science Museum is waiting for us. We arrive after a pleasant walk. We buy our tickets, leave our rucksacks in the automatic lockers and begin right away with the temporary exhibition on the exploration of the human body by Von Haghen, famous for the techniques with which he shows the muscles, skeleton, nervous system and organs of this fascinating perfect machine that is our body. After some initial hesitation at the “slices” of brain, the girls are intrigued by the various positions in shape of the musculature of the body, the shape of the backbone and the more raw less healthy organs, including a smoker’s lung.
Leaving the temporary exhibition we head for the Green Wing and the natural science section with animals, habitats and odours (yes you can smell the habitats of the animals) and listen to a short lesson on the shape of tortoise shells. At 11:30 we head for the planetarium where we take an unusual trip, “destination Mars”, where we discover and observe the marvels and fascination of the red planet. As we leave the planetarium the call of virtual reality is too strong so we take a trip on the rollercoaster. Thanks to the camera mounted on the capsule I too can laugh seeing the terrified faces and streaming hair of Miriana and Ilaria. Finally we head for the blue wing where there are the more scientific experiments. Our kids become water engineers, sound engineers, construction engineers and mathematicians and discover they could spend at least 24 hours in this interactive museum. But unfortunately time is short and is still a lot to do, it’s almost 2 o’clock and soon we have to be at lunch at Eataly, where the PIB has booked us a table to taste an Italian pizza in Boston. We top up our underground tickets, take the green line and in a few minutes are sitting at table in the Prudential. The Boston underground may not be the most beautiful in the world, the stations are quite normal stations, but the trains are frequent. After lunch we have a quick trip around the Prudential, then go to the public library in Copley where the girls have the chance to see a library without access barriers. You go in, take a book, sit down and read and if you want you can even eat or drink something (yes, here you eat and drink everywhere!). But we can’t stay too long, at 5 o’clock we have to be at the MIT club and we get there again by underground stopping at Kendall station. After a short walk along the Charles River we reach the club. Today it’ll be harder for Miriana and Ilaria who will be competing with expert students and professors of the MIT but the young Mascalzones will give them a run for their money especially when the wind drops a bit (Ilaria finishes the last race in second place!). After eight races we get back on land at 8 o’clock, leave our pennant with the MIT and receive a lot of compliments to the way the girls performed on the water. Waiting for us on land were Guglielma and Gabriele who took us to dinner were a lot of other Italians were waiting, eager to get to know Miriana and Ilaria and to tell their stories and how they get on in this incredible city. But by now it’s 10 o’clock and time to get back to Winchester. Tomorrow another day in Boston!
Day 5, Wednesday, July 10
Today we pack and move on. We say goodbye to the whole family that has put us up as if we had always lived with them. Outside Giovanni Saraceni is waiting for us and, kind as ever, takes us to the centre of Boston to start our day. After a quick coffee and a bun at the Prudential we meet Rosario, another friend of the PIB who together with his family visiting Boston comes to say hello and comes with us to visit the sky walk on the roof of the skyscraper. It’s the perfect way to get a view of this splendid city from above. After a while we head for the Fine Arts Museum, taking advantage of a relatively free morning. Waiting for us is Guglielma, who accompanies us that this fantastic visit. The girls are surprised how interesting a museum visit can be. We start with ancient African, Egyptian and Greek Roman art and then move to painting from the 16thcentury to modern times. Perhaps the section that most impressed Miriana and Ilaria was Impressionism, both because of the immediate impact of the paintings and for the references they find between what they see and what they have studied. See, there’s a reason for what you do at school! At 145 we go for lunch in a Neapolitan pizza house called Mast, not far from Park Street. I would dare to call it “the” pizza house of Boston. I don’t like eating pizza away from Naples, as people who know me are aware, but at Marco’s place (he is the kind and very Neapolitan owner) you eat pizza that is equal to the best in Naples (the best, not just anyone, try it if you go there, I’ll say no more!). At 3 o’clock the Saracenis come to pick us up to visit Rockport, a very characteristic village on the coast to the north with a rocky coast that almost makes you forget you’re in America and on the ocean. The bay is full of dinghies that against the background of this particular and very green coast resemble one of the impressionist paintings we admired this morning. After an ice cream we get back in the car and head off to where we are staying in Cambridge, not far from the prestige University of Harvard. For a few days will be guests of the very likeable Valentina who greets us with a classic barbecue in the yard with some friends. Here too everybody has plenty to ask Ilaria and Miriana. But we can’t stay too long. Tomorrow will be a busy day as always.