Last week while my family and friends crowded around a stateside table set for 33 feasting on turkey and sausage-leek stuffing, my friends and I hosted a tomato, mozzarella, fusilli pasta party.  We plunked ourselves in a circle on our living room floor, sharing our greatest thanks and our family’s Thanksgiving traditions. We were collectively and overwhelmingly thankful for adventure, cappuccinos, and aperitivi.

I spent the week leading up to our psuedo-Thanksgiving dinner with my friend Rachel, who came to spend her college break with me. After three days of touring the city’s best kept secrets, we jaunted off to Venice. In the city of archipelagos, my college friend Becca met up with Rachel, Sam, Sam’s friend and me. Though physically and culturally far, far away from our families, we five American gals forged our own Venetian family for the holiday weekend.

Non c’é nebbia!

Venice and its narrow, winding alleys is a distinct and eerie beauty. Friday was a clear and crisp, blue-skied day. We basked in its beauty on a picnic of cheese, prosciutto, and prosecco on a sun-bathed Ponte del Formaggio (a quite fitting, Cheese Bridge). Unalike Friday, Saturday was dim and ghostly—a perpetually thick and heavy fog hung in the city air. After purposively getting lost all day, we met up with my college’s Italian TA who studies in Venice. That evening, Paride shepherded us around the city. Assertively twisting and turning throughout the city towards his favorite cicchetti bar, Paride showed us the hipper and younger Venice. We sat and snacked, munching on various cicchetti (not sure how thankful I am for cow tongue), catching up on our lives far away from Colgate.

Though there was no tryptophan or pumpkin pie, there were Select spritzes and gondolas. In Italy, Thanksgiving may only be the third Thursday of November, but I’m nevertheless thankful for our Venetian take on the holiday.