I’ve been thinking about my obsession for Italy. When did it start? I suppose it was always simmering right there under the surface, waiting to appear. As long as I can remember, Italian food has been my food of choice. How could it be anything else? I grew up eating homemade pasta and freshly baked bread and just assumed that this was the way to live. I listened to my grandparents speaking Italian and snuck down to the basement to hide in the dark, dank room that was my grandfather’s wine cellar-where he made wine. As a child it was a little scary down there, but also a little fascinating.
My friend B. traveled to Europe quite a bit for her job and told me over and over that I would love Italy and should go. It sounded great, but as a single woman I never really thought of going alone. My vacations were always spent traveling to the east coast to visit my family. I figured at some point I would make it to Italy, but it was more of a dream than a plan.
Fast forward to meeting J. and getting married and planning travels together. Italy now seemed like a possibility. At one point a few years after we were married I purchased a few guide books on Italy and we started talking about it, but finances and work prevented us from going. Then it happened. I saw the movie Only You with Robert Downey Jr. and Marisa Tomei and I was obsessed! Okay, this is not any great work of art, but there’s something about it that just sucked me in. From Venice to Tuscany to Rome to the Amalfi Coast-I knew where I was meant to be. I took one look at Positano and decided I had to spend my birthday there (well, I soon realized that since my birthday is in December, it’s probably not the best time to visit there). It was like a light bulb went off in my head and I would not rest until we made it to Italy.
And so we saved our money, made our plans and went. It was everything that I had hoped for and so much more. There’s just one problem. It’s never enough. As wonderful as our trips are-the sights, the food, the scenery, the people-it just leaves me wanting more. You’d think that after getting to spend six weeks there this year, I’d be satisfied. Guess again! I know we’ll be back. It’s just a matter of when.
As for the movie- I can watch it over and over again (I think it’s a female thing). Each and every time my heart skips a beat when I see them on the road to Positano. Now I think-“ah yes, it really is that beautiful.”
July 28, 2008 at 2:47 am
oh my god! My grandfather had a wine seller in his basement too. All the cousins would hide in the dark, and we were scared of all the dark damp corners of the cellar. My grandmother would cook all the dinners for the big family. I had 37 cousins on one side and 25 on the other side. I think Amalfi and Positano were my favorite spots we visited last year on our trip. Although Capri was beautiful too. Let’s face it, there is no place in the world like ITALY. I want to go back too!!
July 28, 2008 at 1:07 pm
thanks for sharing your affinity with Italy…I love hearing about how people became lovers of the bel paese. I’ve never seen that movie, but have it on my list 🙂 I, too, watch movies like that over and over…mainly for the scenery (like Under the Tuscan Sun)
July 29, 2008 at 12:14 am
Erin-I watch if for the scenery too! Since I’ve been back from my stay in Arezzo I’ve watched Life is Beautiful twice, just to see the town and places I used to walk.
Linda-wasn’t that a great way to grow up?