Four years ago I came back to the United States. I left pasta and pomodori for hamburgers and french fries. No more wandering around busy cobblestone streets, now there would only be waiting in rush hour traffic. Lunches would be limited to one hour and I would no longer be able to give and get baci every time I saw someone I knew, met a new friend or just talked to a random old man on the bus.
Italy had gotten in my heart and it was there to stay.
Come October 14 I will be leaving the land of the Deseret for a nearly two-week vacation to rediscover that piece of my heart forever imprinted by the Italian people I came to love on my mission for the LDS church.
Even after living there for a year and a half, I’m not quite sure what the magic of Italy is, but almost everyone I’ve ever met wants to go there.
Is it that they want fresh, creamy gelato?
Maybe they want to eat the softest mozzarella they’ve ever dreamed of tasting?
That magical smell in the air from the multiple bakeries on every corner with fresh baked bread?
Eating an entire pizza topped with arugula, salty olives and prosciutto?
Americans have watched Audrey Hepburn discover her independence in Rome, Minnie Driver find her love in a piazza and Mark Wahlberg find riches on the canals of Venice. Is that what we all want? Independence, love and riches sounds pretty good to me.
In just over a month and a half I’ll enter the land of blood oranges, street markets and hand gestures. If I find out the secret behind the Italian magic, I’ll let you know.
Have you ever been to Italy? Where did you go? Where do you suggest we go? What about hostels or places to stay? What was magical about your trip?