We arrived in Sardinia, Italy, late Wednesday night, July 9th.

This wonderful island is famous for its "casu marzu" – literally translated as "rotten cheese." More commonly known as "maggot-cheese", it is a large chunk of decomposed, moldy goat cheese ingested with "piophila casei" – or "cheese flies". These feisty insects can jump six inches into the air, prompting some people to wear glasses while eating their cheese. We didn't taste this delicious delicacy. Aside from it not being kosher, it has also recently become illegal due to the health hazards involved.

Our search for Jews started early Thursday morning. While back in New York, some time with Google had yielded the email address and phone number of an Israeli medical student named Gabi, in the city of Sassari. Back in New York, I emailed him that we would be coming to Sardinia.

Thursday afternoon, we drove the 160 mile drive to Sassari to meet Gabi. Strangely, instead of giving us his home address, he asked us to meet him on the corner of Via Roma and Piazza Italy, a populated area in the center of town. Together, we schmoozed into the night and invited him to bring two other Israeli students to our hotel for Friday night Shabbat prayers and dinner.

Although, the food was simple (bachelor cooking), the Shabbat meal was wonderful. We sat around until 1am sharing personal stories; it was as if we knew each other for years.

As the meal came to a close, Gabi told us that he had a confession to make. He told us that he had originally thought that we were terrorists targeting the Jewish students. "When you emailed, I called the Jewish Community of Milan and they did not know who you were. To me, it seemed a more likely scenario for terrorist to target Israelis then for Chabad to invest so much just to visit a few Jews in a small island off Italy. I had told you to meet me in public place so I was able to scout you out from afar and evaluate if you're safe or not." He smilingly informed us that we had indeed passed the test with flying colors and asked us to thank Chabad headquarters for sending us.