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Ronchi78 It’s a kind of magic is a true life inspirational story about the author and her experiences in Milan Italy. It is a story like no other, filled with faith and manifestation of the impossible. This story also have a twist in the end that will leave you as reader truly shocked but will leave you with a content heart in the end.

Chapter 1

Fell from the sky

CHAPTER 1: Fell from the sky

I felt very peaceful as I was staring out of my window seat knowing that in a few minutes the aeroplane will be landing at Malpensa Airport in Milan. It was simply unbelievable that only a short 18 hours before, I left a sunny South Africa, taking a journey across the world on a one month holiday, invited by a friend for both of our birthdays. I shifted around uncomfortably in my seat, wondering “what if?” but shrugged it off immediately. This was my holiday and I was prepared to make the most of it!
My friend, Christian told me to take the train, called the Malpensa Express from the airport to Milano Centrale, something I was not keen on doing, for in South Africa the public transport services are almost non-existent and dangerous, so I decided that once I have landed, I am going to rely on a good old taxi to take me to my hotel.

The aeroplane was then slowly starting to decend and a jolt of excitement pumped through my veins. Suddenly I felt so nervous but still peaceful in a funny way.

While waiting next to the conveyer belt for my two pearly pink suitcases, I felt exhausted all of a sudden, I just wanted to get to my hotel room, rest for a while and then to meet Christian for dinner that same evening. I was sure that jet lag caught up to me!
When my lugguage finally approached, I loaded my suitcases onto the luggage trolley, sighed in relief and browsed around for an exit, I felt a little lost and unfamiliar but happy.

And then disaster!! Near the exit, I was stopped by a security guard, who asked me to open my suitcases in front of everybody, knowing that my personal products were lying on top of my clothes in my suitcases, my cheeks turned into the colour of beetroot with embarrassment but I had no choice. After exposing my underwear and tampax to him as well as the rest of the people that walked past, he just smiled at me and said: “It’s Okay!” I was sure he got a kick out of it, seeing a young girl blushing from complete embarrasment. I quickly closed the suitcases and still heavily humiliated, my attention was then focused on getting to a taxi very quick while I rushed to the exit, trying not to think about the half exposed feelings I had at that time.

The rest of my travel to the hotel was peaceful, all went smoothly and once I was settled in my hotel room I could relax for a few hours before I was going to be courted through the Centre City of Milan by Christian that evening, the evening before my 23rd birthday.

Christian arrived in front of the Hotel 21:30 that evening. He greeted me at the Hotel entrance and walked me towards his car. I blushed while he opened the car door for me, knowing the gentleman that he was and I felt somewhat excited. We spoke while we were travelling through the city; my ears was not completely absorbing everything Christian was talking about because my eyes were fucused on the breathtaking city and the century’s old buildings. It was absolutely amazingly beautiful.
The car came to a stop in a parking area and I was introduced to a very intimate and small, but warm and quiet restaurant. It was mostly empty as we entered and I noticed that there were only one other German couple sitting a few tables away from us. The restaurant had warm brick colours, true Italian atmosphere and there were many wine bottles that huggled in their little nests around the walls. I felt relaxed and comfortable while we dined and spoke about many unimportant things. The conversation between us was bodiless and shallow and I realized the spark between Christian and I was non-existent, therefore I directed my attention to my surroundings and the excellent Italian food with tastes that were exploding in my mouth.

After a beautiful and elegant dinner, Christian settled the bill and he proposed for us to take a stroll through the centre of the city. I could not resist such an opportunity and I agreed to take a long walk with him.

After several minutes of walking, I realised that my choice in shoes was not wise. The magnificent and gorgeous streets of Milan are somewhat uneven and walking with high heels was a challenge mentally as well as physically. Let’s just say that my feet were killing me.
All I could possibly do at that time was to look down at my feet while we were walking so that I could pay attention and concentrate not to trip and fall.

We finally came to a stop and I heard Christian say: “Look up, Bella!” My eyes slowly left the focus from my feet on the ground moving upwards and feeling almost bedazzled by every second of upwards glance. My mouth fell open as my knees became weak. On the 19th of October 2010, 23:55 in the evening, five minutes before my 23rd birthday, I saw and stood in front of the Duomo di Milano in the heart of Milan.
Complete satisfaction flowed over me, I felt peaceful and in love with the remarkable Cathedral right in front of me. The attention that was directed to the enormous pain in my feet suddenly turned into little puffy clouds and it felt as if I was floating about in heaven.

My eyes were studying every single detail carved into the palace-shaped cathedral. Every single story written in the bible was carved into the outside marble, one enormous symbol of absolute passion, patience and love. Saints as well as angels marble statues are carved on top of this cathedral and then finally visible on the highest top, is Mother Mary.
Tears were flowing slowly over my cheeks as I stood stunned, breath taken, grateful, in love and unbelievably happy.
The never ending flowing words spoken to me by my friend Christian still could not penetrate my ears; I was too lost in magic and thought. “Am I boring?”, he asked and my attention was directed suddenly back to him that left me somewhat annoyed before I replied; “No, it is just beautiful.”; “You can go inside during the day tomorrow but now, I want to take you back to the hotel because I must work tomorrow. We will meet here at lunch?” he said eagerly. I thought for a second and accepted his proposal for lunch the next day on my birthday.

The walk back to his car was not as painful for my feet at that time because we took a shorter route back.
The words spoken to me by my friend Christian while we were driving back to the Hotel was still going into one ear and flowing out of the other as my eyes and my brain were taking snapshots at the City every second, it was absolutely magnificent.
The car came to a stop and I realised that we were parked in front of the hotel. “Thank you Christian, I had a wonderful evening.” I kindly thanked him when I then noticed that he was leaning in towards me for a kiss, I panicked and instantly I found myself outside of his car and on my way up the stairs to enter the hotel. The sound of his car speeding away gave me relief because I kicked off my shoes immediately. I walked hastily into the elevator and waited for it to take me to my floor.
When I entered my hotel room, I smiled and fell backwards onto the bed.
I fell in love with a City I knew nothing about, I felt excited knowing that I will be spending time in the most beautiful Cathedral I have ever seen in my life. I was peaceful and thought about the evening, slowly drifting into my beauty sleep while my visually stimulated mind was processing all I had experienced and seen that night.

I woke up the next morning with great optimism for a wonderful first day in beautiful Milan, Italy and then I managed to get lost for a few hours. My friend forgot to tell me where the Metropolitana was or I simply forgot to ask. Oh, but it was wonderful getting lost. I tried to communicate with the people on the street and the older Italian nonna’s helped me. They were so helpful and friendly. I could only say “ciao” and “buongiorno” and use some sign language so they took me by the hand into the correct direction, onto the correct bus, towards the correct Metro yellow line and after a while I found myself walking up one flight of stairs, standing right in front of the Duomo once again, when a big bright smile appeared on my face and I was in love again, I had a jolt of excitement that rushed me forward towards the beautiful cathedral.

As I entered the inside of the Duomo my heart melted even more, it was enormous! The quadroni dangling along the nave from this magnificent cathedral depicting of the life and miracles was breath-taking. Every step I took deeper inside of this brilliant beauty gave me goosebumps, knowing that I was walking through one of the biggest Cathedrals in Italy that took six Centuries for building completion. This Cathedral is a symbol of art, patience and passion.

A few meters of walking down the marble isles, I saw a sculpture of Christ on the cross, in front of this sculpture was a long table with white candles on the top where a person can pay a few cents for donation, take a white candle and burn it, then one has the option to sit on a wooden bench and pray. I took a candle, lit it, then I retreated and sat on the bench and I prayed. Tears filled my eyes, gratitude filled my heart and I was enormously happy. I thanked God for granting me the opportunity to visit this magnificent city, for providing me with sight to see all the beautiful old century magic and to experience this City that stole my heart in an instant. Seeing how Archangel Michael as well as all other angels are drawn into the thin and long stained glass of the windows, sculptures and statues of Saints and angels, statues of mother Mary and Christ everywhere was overwhelming for my soul. Every sphere of this beautiful Cathedral had been more than magical to me, I felt so peaceful, in love with the surroundings and safe.
I sat in the Duomo for about 2 hours before I had to meet Christian.
I met him on the corner of via Torino, in front of the clothing store called Zara, a street and store visible from afar when standing in front of the Duomo.

We walked down Via Torino talking about my morning experiences and his work. I could see him better during day time. He was much taller than me, my height is 1.6meters while his are 1.9meters. Seeing Christian and me together must have been similar as seeing David and Goliath. He is a very handsome, with a perfectly toned white olive skin, Milanese Italian. Milanese; meaning that he was born and raised in Milan. The Milan born and raised Italians are very tall and slim – unlike the Italians born in the southern parts of Italy. Christian has brown eyes, perfectly straight teeth but he is going bold, very odd for his 29 years of age. I cocked my head over to the one side while secretly studying him. “Overall he is actually a very handsome man”. I thought to myself.

We started to walk faster as Christian told me that his time was limited and that he had to get back to work shortly after lunch.
We walked past a store called FNAC and curiously I wanted to take a peak inside when Christian took my hand and rushed me right over the street into Via San Maurillio, a beautiful tiny street. I noticed the brown/grey and warm stone shaped road that looks ancient, rustic and somewhat like the streets in my favourite fairy tales, “Cinderella” and “Beauty and the beast” and I stood in quiet shock because I dreamt about that same particular street a few moths before I decided to travel to Milan. Still astonished by this sight, Christian opened a door on the left side of the street and I was engulfed by this beautiful, warm restaurant filled with men all dressed in black and white suits and I felt a bit underdressed. I looked down at my black pants, pearl pink top, thick leather belt and huge Gucci bag and felt like I stuck out like a sore thumb, but the owner, named Giaco, made me feel welcome immediately with his broad smile. Giaco I noticed is about 1.7/8 meters tall, well built with brown hair, brown eyes and a beautiful olive toned skin, he was absolutely handsome and charming.
When the wine arrived, Christian toasted on my birthday and we had lunch at Ronchi87, for me it was the first time.
I had a very fascinating pasta dish, which tasted divine but I can for the life of it not remember the name. The pasta itself, I remember, was in the form of little balls.
As we were about to leave, I tripped and fell over a chair, I immediately felt ridiculously clumsy while everybody was staring at me. Yet, once again the owner made me feel better as he was smiling at me with big eyes and a face full of interest. It was somewhat overwhelming and made me blush even more as I looked down at the floor.
Christian and I then walked over to the bar counter and we were standing in front of Giaco at the cash register when I then reached for my wallet and stood waiting patiently to be told the amount owed. Giaco looked at me in distress and told Christian to translate to me that women do not pay. Christian kindly translated to me what Giaco told him and I nodded. 
Christian and the owner, Giaco had a quick discussion in Italian where I heard Christian telling Giaco something about South Africa and I knew that Christian was explaining to him why I tried to pay in the first place, it was because I was not European. In South Africa many women pay for themselves and sometimes for the man too!! 
Giaco had an even bigger smile on his face and he called me: “Miss Vuvuzela”. The Vuvuzela is the typical South African soccer horn known by everybody because South Africa hosted the Soccer world cup earlier that year. I felt that it was sweet of him to make me feel at ease and welcome at the same time.

After we greeted Giaco and stood outside, Christian told me to take a stroll down via Torino for some sight-seeing and he went off to work. I did exactly as I was told and also bought myself my first pistachio gelato, oh dear, it was divine, I was in heaven.
I was walking, tasting the wonder of the pistachio gelato, looking at the beauty of the city around me when I received a text message from Christian, explaining to me that he did not want to see me again because apparently I was not his cup of tea; luckily I was still eating my gelato so I did not care too much and was not heartbroken either because I felt the night before the lack of spark between us.
Afterwards I pondered about the situation, it was after all my birthday, I have at that moment only been in Italy for 24hours, not knowing how to get back to my hotel or where I actually was but when I found my way back to the Duomo I was grateful and I knew that I will manage to get around eventually.
I did not get angry at Christian, I was quite peaceful, my mind was at that moment still busy processing all the new around me so I could not really worry too much about him, but I forgave him at once and told him afterwards that it was alright, we could remain friends, but I could never be with him again because I would never be able to even think about doing to another what he had done to me, it was very rude and careless.

So it was still my birthday, and I found myself walking through a building called The Galleria. The beauty of the City Milan astonished me; every corner was like a new surprise for me as I would admire and appreciate like a child discovering something new and wonderful for the first time. I was walking and found myself standing in the Centre of the Galleria, noticing that it was a shopping square shaped in a little cross with four exits and within the centre is a very high and beautiful ceiling. I had the choice to go back towards the cathedral, to take a left or right corridor or to go straight ahead. I decided to walk straight and as I was walking through the galleria I found myself standing in Piazza Scala when I suddenly saw the statue of Leonardo da Vinci and my heart leaped with joy once again. I decided to sit and stare at him for a while. Sitting in serenity at the feet of the statue of Leonardo da Vinci, I silently spoke to the statue in my head, saying: “So, I guess it’s just you and me.” I giggled at my silly self and decided to take a taxi back to my hotel where I had a lovely shower and relaxed.
I then thought to myself: “I am here for a month, why not make the most of it”?

Later on I decided that I wanted to go out again that evening, it was after all still my birthday and I didn’t want to be all by myself in a new city cooped up in a hotel room. I found my way easily, taking a bus to the Metro and made my way to the Duomo, where I looked starry eyed at this enormous beautiful Cathedral once again and my mind started to see the City alive for the first time. Being alone and unfamiliar, my mind made my surroundings magical. At this point in time I felt it wise to stick to the things I knew and took a walk down Via Torino again, trying to remember where I had lunch with my friend that afternoon because it felt so warm and safe inside Ronchi87 but then I suddenly felt discouraged because I have been lost so many times in the last 24 hours in Milan, I almost felt like giving up! I did at least manage to buy a little map book the afternoon and only later on realized that the map book were written in Spanish. (Giggle)

While I was walking peacefully down Via Torino, my eyes caught a familiar sight – the street of Ronchi87! Ohhh, my heart started to race and I was so excited. I was so relieved that I finally could be with friendly people that I didn’t hesitate to enter this beautiful and warm restaurant that kept me curious and interested from the moment I set foot in it.
The kind waiter helped me, such a friendly person, he told me that he visited South Africa many years ago and that he liked it (hehehe). Giaco, the owner, was standing behind the bar counter, still calling me “Miss Vuvuzela”
I was so happy because I felt safe, the atmosphere felt unbelievably peaceful, kind and loving, the people so warm and friendly, I was floating on a cloud called number 9. Giaco looked confused because he saw me sitting peacefully in the corner table writing in my big leather dairy with an enormous smile on my face. What made him confused was the fact that I was alone.

I looked at the remarkable and astonishing warm setting of this little place and suddenly a kind of magic took hold of my heart. The colours of Ronchi87 are warm, elegant and welcoming. Wine bottles are packed on a thick and long top shelf at the left side wall, there are little windows that show the outside street and in-between the windows is the door. At the right side of this little restaurant is a long and enormous bar counter, very classy and elegant. On top of the far end of the bar counter is an old cash register, bronze, with huge, round button-like keys. It was absolutely old-time beautiful. Between two long walls, the bar counter and the door, are wooden tables and chairs. It is a Toscana style type of atmosphere with a little extra elegance, comfort and style.
The little candles lit on every table brought about feelings of serenity, peace and romance.
Sitting in the little corner in Ronchi87, paying attention to every detail of this restaurant and allowing myself to feel how this little restaurant made me feel was overwhelming. I fell in love with Ronchi87 the evening on my birthday. The welcoming smile of Giaco, the owner and the kindness of the head waiter, Massimo added to whatever I allowed myself to feel for this beautiful restaurant. 

I did not have a late evening there at Ronchi87 because I was unbelievably exhausted, thus I decided to retreat to my hotel early. The gentleman who was driving my taxi spoke to me in almost perfect English; while we spoke I mentioned to him that it was my birthday so he offered to take me out for a drink. I know in South Africa you could never accept such an invitation, but looking in his kind eyes and seeing only honesty, I kindly accepted and we went to a wine bar. It was fun, he was kind and took me back to my hotel afterwards and explained to me how to take the metro back to my hotel during the day from the centre, what the street name was and all the little “have to know” things. That night I went to bed, feeling happy knowing that as long as I knew how to get to Piazza Duomo and to Ronchi87, I would be alright…

The next morning after my birthday…..

I woke up optimistic about the day knowing how to properly travel from my hotel to the Metro. I also knew Via Torino street but I had a problem, my laptop charger did not want to work in my hotel so I had to buy a universal charger. I had no idea where to go.
I started at the basic shops to gather information as to where I can find a proper electronics store and I found myself walking into a Supermarket. There were obviously no chargers but every helpful Italian that could speak “poko poko Inglese” directed me to a store called FNAC, which rang a bell, but I could not remember where it was. 
FNAC is a large electronics store situated right down Via Torino and across FNAC is Via San Maurillio Street, the street of Ronchi87.
Once again I did not know this information, I walked with my GPS all day finding places, and when the employees in FNAC told me that they were sold out, my optimism levels dropped and therefore I decided to play on the Wii Party in the store. It was amazingly similar to Zumba – a dance-excersise routine I have on DVD. I wanted a Wii Party WOHOOOO!!!! A while after I danced, giggled, laughed and amused everyone with shaking my butt cheeks on the Wii Party, I took the exit out of FNAC. I magically floated into Via San Maurillio and I found myself back inside Ronchi87.
It is like “all roads lead to Ronchi87”.
I entered and Giaco told me that my friend Christian was downstairs having lunch. My heart immediately stopped for a second on the spot and then I shook my head using hand signalling to say: “no thank you, I want to be by myself.” Giaco was talking so loud it was impossible for Christian not to hear him; he then nodded to me fast closing both his eyes and after the last nod I understood that he was agreeing happily and understanding at the same time.
I was sitting in the far corner of Ronchi87, close to the kitchen and decided to have lunch, it was wonderful, I cannot exactly remember what dish I had, but every meal coming from the kitchen in Ronchi87 have always tasted delicious. 
I saw when my friend Christian descended from the bottom of my new best restaurant on the planet and I became aware of it that there was a bottom section too. I was curious how it looked downstairs in Ronchi87 but I was too shy to ask Giaco, so I rather played it safe in my corner.
Christian noticed me and I looked away quick to avoid eye contact. I looked up and Giaco was looking at me from behind the cash register while Christian was paying and he pointed with a finger toward Christian again signalling to me if I do not want to speak to him, my head moved quickly left and right letting him know that it is still a NO, and he nodded once again with a smile on his face.
As Christian was walking away he turned to look at me and I returned my eyes to the table, determined not to have any eye contact with Christian or to even make room for uncomfortable conversation.
He left and I sipped on my glass of red wine, ate my lunch peacefully while writing in my leather Dairy some notes on writing my first book. 
Time was nearing 3pm and I was still scribbling in my dairy.
Massimo came to my table and told me that Ronchi87 will be closing at 3pm but they would be re-opening at 8 pm that night. I blushed as I looked into the direction where Giaco was looking at me making the Vuvuzela sound smiling warmly at me. I gathered up all my things and placed it safely into my bag, reached for my wallet and moved towards the cash register. I had been alone and this time I had to pay but I was very happy about it because I could tease Giaco about the fact that I am a woman that was about to pay. I called over to Massimo and kindly asked him to translate for me. He agreed immediately and all that I said was; “You see; now I pay”. I gave a little giggle to declare that I got my way. 
Giaco looked at me with a grin, amused and annoyed at the same time as if being defeated but then he smiled and said; “Only 10 Euro”. I was a little confused because I know that the amount had to be more, Oh well I won half way. I did not exactly know how to argue my case with Giaco to pay my full and correct amount because he could not speak much English so I nodded and gave him the amount he asked for. We both had a sense of challenge and fun with that experience and I felt amused. I then moved towards the door greeting them all as I exited Ronchi87. 

Standing outside of Ronchi87 was Christian and his best friend waiting for me. I almost went into shock as my friend Christian tried to have a conversation with me and I walked backwards almost knocking over a lady on a bicycle. I then turned to look at Christian and said; “ciao” with enormous feelings of embarrassment once again so I left immedietly. 
When I walked into Via Torino I realised that I was still without a notebook charger, I made a sigh in discouragement and took the metro back to my hotel giving up on my universal charger quest. 
While I was walking down Via San Carlo towards the direction of my hotel, I suddenly noticed an electronics store. Surprisingly this was a shop with a universal charger, so I baught one and went back to my hotel room and it worked perfectly.
I was exhausted and I felt odd, I had the feeling of missing everybody at Ronchi87 already so I had to have supper there again that evening, besides it was a Thursday, why would I want to stay in and write? The thought of seeing them excited me just to let them know about my experiences since I arrived, but of course, communication was a problem and so I told myself that it was time to self-study Italiano.

I went back to Ronchi87 that evening about 9pm and as I entered Giaco made his vuvuzela signal immediately, almost as if he had been expecting me. He was absolutely adorable and I was happy. It somehow felt like home, like family, warm and happy unconditional acceptance as well as unconditional love, everything felt so right.
I was peacefully sitting in my corner trying to self-study Italiano when two men entered the restaurant. I felt shy because I noticed how these two strangers and Giaco were speaking fast in Italian and looked towards me at times. I felt like leaving but a magnet pulled me down, keeping me rooted onto my chair. The taller stranger of the two was very handsome, he had light blond/brown hair, a perfectly toned face and his posture was elegant. He also seemed arrogant and like he thought the sun was shining from his bottom but he glanced and smiled in my direction and I blushed unwillingly.
He then started to move towards me slowly and I began to panic, not knowing if I should run. He stood confidently in front of the table, looking at me with a bottle of wine in his hand and topped up my wine glass. He then moved slowly back to the bar counter to join Giaco and his other friend.
I was speechless but I relaxed and started to write again in my dairy, looking up solemnly when this tall and handsome stranger came to top up my wine glass all of the time pretending to play waiter over me.

After what was about an hour, getting topped up with vino by the tall, generous, possibility to be friend or acquaintance stranger, I almost went into shock as he and his friend sat down at my table to talk to me. Obviously I was feeling a little too relaxed after a few glasses of wine thus going into shock could not be an option and therefore I decided to speak to them. What else could I do, they were sitting right in the front as well as next to me so my choices at that time had been limited.
I felt relieved after I heard the first word coming out of the tall and handsome Italian’s mouth was English and I was more than willing to talk at that point. 

“My name is San Carlo” he seductively introduced himself to me “and this is my friend San Marco, What is your name?” A few things went through my mind before I answered because I know that San before a name means Saint and I knew that these two strangers were no saints. I was not willing to give my knowledge away so I stayed naive and replied: “That is beautiful, pleased to meet you, my name is Marilette”. They thought for a moment then the next half an hour turned into a pronunciation game, called “how to pronounce Marilette”, eventually I became somewhat annoyed and told them that my second name is Barbara, also a common female name in Italy. Phewww… finally the conversation changed from how to say my name into something worthwhile talking about. 
“Where are you from and why are you in Milano?” San Carlo asked, “I am from South Africa and I don’t know any more why I am in Milan”, that was my only and honest response to him. He tilted his head backwards looking at Giaco most probably exchanging a glance towards Giaco I could not read because I could not read his facial expression with his face turned away from me. Giaco gave a grin back towards him and I really still did not know what the secret sign language was about. He turned his head and face back towards me and asked me why I love Milan and Ronchi87, I then explained to him what the Duomo meant to me and how I felt entering Ronchi87. He laughed out loud realizing that I love Milan because of the Cathedral and not because of fashion. According to them I was unique and strange. With my long brown hair, big round and long eyes with the colour not exactly set, changing according to my emotions and puffy pink lips completely born with and all natural, to them I was nothing out of the ordinary. One can assume for me being in Milan for a modelling contract but my interests, passions, experiences and depth of heart spoke differently. 

San Carlo supposedly according to my appearance assumed that I fit the profile for being in Milan but realised that my interests were not exactly what was normal according to Milan standard so he told me to visit some Cities in Italy. He also noticed that I was self-studying Italian and suggested for me to go to a school on a 2 week’s course for my month intended stay. I listened and valuably stored all the information he had told me. 

I was having fun talking to San Carlo and his friend until I heard music drifting upwards from downstairs of Ronchi87. My attention shifted immediately from my company towards the stairs where the amazing fun-filled melodies filled my ears that spoke volumes to my soul from where the music drifted from. 
I packed my study material away and I asked Giaco if I could go downstairs. He smiled, nodded his head up and down and replied “Si”.

Downstairs I saw the singer in the corner with lots of people around the place, just having fun. Apparently that night it was “Musica dal vivo”, a form of karaoke. Everybody was hovering around the singer in the corner, singing from their stomachs and they were all happy, being festive, it was magical….. I was standing on the stairs seeing the happy smiles and the joy, the laughter, the love and I fell hopelessly and unconditionally in love with Ronchi87 all over again right and at that moment, so much love filled my core being I became emotional, my heart filled with so much joy, tears poured down my cheeks with happiness, knowing that if I am not going to be part of this forever I will not exist. I knew already by then that if I had to leave ever I will die of a broken heart!!!! 
That night I realised that I was blessed with two magical gifts on my 23rd Birthday: the Cathedral – my beautiful Duomo – as well as Ronchi87 and the strange fact was that I entered both of them on my birthday. I cried again out of gratitude.

On the 22nd of October 2010 my heart was lost unconditionally on a number of people I hardly knew. What I love about the Italian language is, is that some things should be left unquestioned. Just accept things as they are without asking why?

I felt so passionate about Ronchi87 at that time because my last happy memory as a family died at the age of nine. Being given everything, also struggling and battling life, taking worry as well as responsibility onto my shoulders as a really young child, just trying to survive and to keep sane with all the bad that had happened and to try smiling trough all these experiences.
I did survive I did pull through and I am too grateful and happy today because I have seen and lived through the worst already. If it was not for God I would have not been here today, I am so grateful.

I fell in love with a Region I love more than windsurfing, with a warm Italian family restaurant I always imagined family to be like and have, and a cathedral considered a masterpiece and an art in so many forms, I cannot imagine living without… I am more in love with Ronchi87 and I cannot imagine a world without the people, without the guests and without the festivity.
I have never experienced a Restaurant in my life with so much passion for excellent cuisine, wines, music, singing, festivity and with so much warm and loving openness.

My heart was stolen and I did not even want it back….. Keep it forever and another day.

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Marilette van Heerden

Cape Town, south_africa

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