"This Town Saw Him Growing Up"

Vanessa Bryant and her daughters have enjoyed life in Italy this summer. The family was sure to visit Reggio Emilia, which is the town where Kobe Bryant spent his adolescent years.


Kobe and his family moved to Reggio Emilia during the early 1990s. He was nearing his teen years and had a passion for basketball that led him to practice every day. Kobe also learned Italian while living in Reggio Emilia and became deeply involved in the community. His impact was so great that the mayor and other officials referenced him as a “son” when mourning his death in 2020.

“This town saw him growing up in the sports world, in basketball, in NBA, globally with the awareness that for him, Reggio Emilia wasn’t a stop like any other, but a fundamental piece of his formation,” Mayor Luca Vecchi shared with CNN in 2020. The world was still coming to terms with the sudden death of Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna Bryant, at the time.

“When at the end of his career Kobe Bryant showed up here in Reggio Emilia, I think that has been the moment during which the entire citizenship of the town understood the genuine depths of the connection,” Vecchi said.

Vanessa Bryant joined her daughters in reminiscing about the life of Kobe Bryant during their latest trip to Italy. The family also stopped by the Blue Grotto, which was an activity Bianka did not enjoy.

“That was the worst,” Bianka told her mom after touring the attraction. “Mom, the next time we go to Italy, please do not take us in the Blue Grotto.” the youngster petitioned. Natalia, who was sitting behind her sister, could not contain her amusement. “Tell us how you really feel, BB,” Vanessa wrote online. “BB wasn’t having it,” a fan said after watching the video clip of Bianka expressing her feelings.

What adventures will Vanessa Bryant and her kids explore next?

Photo: Vanessa Bryant/Instagram



Sarie is a writer and editor for BCK's Los Angeles division. She also shares stories on Medium that are meant to encourage thought and discussion. You can catch her outside enjoying nature and classical literature. Pop culture is pretty fun, too!

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