I awoke each morning to the faint sound of the computer printer, and I knew that Sira was preparing my custom lesson, incorporating our activities and my language experiences from the day before. She understood what I needed to become more confident about speaking and even thinking in Italian What had been a struggle to overcome problems turned into a journey of discovery. Since I had already visited the famous and spectacular areas of Cinque Terre and the Bay of Poets, Sira chose a castle with pre-Christian, little-known statues, a working marble mine in a cave, a beach and a canal, places that define the character of Lunigiana, the ancient civilization at the border of Liguria and Tuscany. I learned how events in Europe, pilgrimages and politics, have shaped the region. I shared the rhythm of Sira’s daily life, laughing with her friends, loving her cats, shopping in the charming pedonale of Sarzana, and absorbing the spectacular view of the mountains from her terrace. Finally, there is the wisdom of Sira as a teacher. She knew when to revert to English, when to explain grammar, when to ignore mistakes, and when to pause for an in depth explanation of a nuance. I left with resources like a slow talking Italian news channel and a long term assignment: to learn to sing an old Italian popular tune that would clear my head of rules and anxieties and free up my inner Italian self. I have visited Italy as a tourist many times, but my week with Sira was the first time I understood where I was. Truly a magical experience!