Episode 7 of Ristorante Paradiso, “A Special Day”, begins with Luciano walking with a sleeping Francesco and his mother, talking about how it’s almost Francesco’s birthday. However, Francesco’s mother worries that the father won’t be around for the birthday considering he missed it last year. So we see Luciano promising to his departed wife that he would make the day an enjoyable one for his grandson even if the father doesn’t show up due to his work.
After the opening sequence, Nicoletta is having wine with Marina and Margerita after the restaurant closes. Margerita is Francesco’s mother and Luciano’s daughter that we first saw in the beginning whom Nicoletta also finally gets to meet. While Nicoletta would have liked to spend some more time with them, Marina has to leave early because of a date with her husband, even if it’s just jogging. Margerita also needs to leave early to prepare for Francesco’s birthday party the next day, and she welcomes Nicoletta’s offer to join the party, although Nicoletta asks Margerita to keep her participation secret from Luciano.
Nicoletta gets the idea to have everyone from the casetta dell’orso to help out with Francesco’s birthday party, and everyone is agreeable to the idea. It helps that the next day is also everyone’s day off, which is why Nicoletta offered to join the party in the first place. The plan also includes keeping everyone’s participation secret from Luciano, which is probably motivated by Nicoletta’s desire to see Luciano in a personal situation when he isn’t all gruff. Not to mention Luciano would probably rebuff their attempts to help.
As Luciano walks his daughter home, he offers to arrive at about noon to help out with the party preparations, but Margerita says it’s OK and tells him to arrive at about five o’clock. This helps keep everyone’s participation secret from Luciano, and the next day everyone is having a fun time preparing the birthday party for Francesco. Even Francesco seems to be having fun watching the preparations, although he’s not part of them because it’s his own birthday party being prepared. This is becoming an odd surprise birthday party, where the grandfather is going to be surprised rather than the birthday boy himself.
At about three o’clock, while Luciano is busy trying to buy a birthday present for Francesco, Nicoletta and Claudio are out on the streets. It’s a nice time for Nicoletta because it’s almost like a date, and seeing a reflection of themselves in a clothing shop window where it looks like Claudio and Nicoletta are wearing paired sweaters must be a nice experience for her. They still need to waste some more time before the birthday party, since they’re accompanying Francesco who needs to be out of the house while his birthday party is being prepared.
They decide to spend the time at a cafe. While Francesco is inside waiting for his dessert to be made and Claudio is looking the other way, Nicoletta gets the urge to hold Claudio’s hand. However, when Nicoletta gives in to the urge and is about to touch Claudio’s hand, Claudio suddenly grabs her hand instead and starts dragging her somewhere.
Claudio had been keeping watch and had seen Luciano walking towards them, so he and Nicoletta had to hide themselves in a side street. The effort to hide may have come to naught if Luciano saw Francesco, but the boy had the good sense to stay indoors when he saw his grandfather. It was a close call where Luciano could have easily seen Claudio and Nicoletta together, but Luciano passes by without noticing them. It was sort of a romantic moment for Nicoletta which had to end with the danger gone. However, the danger wasn’t quite gone when Claudio and Nicoletta head back to the cafe, since Luciano turns back after remembering he has to pick up the cake for the birthday party.
When Luciano sees Nicoletta and Claudio walking together, he remembers how Nicoletta decided to keep her plans for the day secret in retaliation for Luciano keeping his own plans secret, and probably thinks that they’re on a date. At least it’s doubtful that he thought Nicoletta was secretly helping out with Francesco’s birthday party, considering that he didn’t tell her about the birthday in the first place. Little does he know the schemes for the day that are going on behind his back …
As it nears the time for Francesco’s birthday party, his friends and paternal grandparents arrive. Thanks to the conspiring of Nicoletta and Margerita, Francesco’s birthday party gets the full casetta dell’orso treatment, and only when Luciano arrives at five o’clock does he realize the conspiracy. What follows is a great birthday party for Francesco, with Furio making Francesco’s favorite food pizza, Teo preparing great dessert incorporating the birthday cake, GiGi having prepared the orange juice for the kids and wine for the adults, and the waiters serving the food.
Despite Luciano’s grumblings, he’s grateful to his friends for helping out with the great birthday party for his grandson. Francesco realizes it, too, and he thanks his grandfather for having such great friends. It seems that Francesco also enjoys seeing Nicoletta and Claudio as a potential couple given the way he looks like he’s knowingly smiling whenever he sees them having a quiet time together.