“I feel at home right from the moment I step out of the plane into baking heat and sunshine. This region of Italy holds so many childhood memories, fuzzy with age. The smell of pine trees and sunscreen. It’s like visiting a place you used to live in, familiar and strange at the same time, a tugging at the spider web of memories. The places have moved on but your memory of them hasn’t.
I am travelling with my dad, to stay at my friend’s home and it feels like a last vestige of childhood – tagging along, everything taken care of and organized, no obligation attached except that to enjoy myself.
I am enjoying the heck out of myself. I’m soaking up every minute, storing it carefully in my mind for future reference and just swim along with the rhythm of the days. Perfectionist me is on a break.
This is partly due to the fact that my Italian is decidedly rusty and I can’t carry lengthy conversations anyway (oh, who am I kidding, make that any conversation at all). In a region not much frequented by foreign tourists my timid “Parla l’inglese?” is without fail met with a friendly but firm shake of the head, no. As a result my vocabulary in sign language expands vastly in just a few days while I stumble through my sparse Italian.”
“As always the food is simply amazing. Every time I come here I’m shocked by how good it is. I think it comes down to the fact that Italians just adore good food. During dinner on our first evening, enjoying a gentle breeze on the terrazza, revelling in the goodness laid out before us, the main topic of conversation is where we’ll eat in the next few days (at home or at a restaurant). Once that is settled we move on to what exactly we’ll eat and (if made at home) how we’ll go about preparing the ingredients. The discussion takes hours.
The food is always simple – meat salted and roasted, tomatoes sliced and drizzled with olive oil, a chunk of parmesan cheese, zucchini and eggplant thinly sliced and roasted with a crust of breadcrumbs. It’s a revelation.”
“We stroll through ancient hilltop villages, eat well, drink a lot of white wine and just enjoy the heat, the sea air and the rhythm of Italian life (Coffee and brioche for breaktfast, pasta for lunch and a long, lazy family dinner stretching well into the evening hours).
Four days pass quickly but instead of trying to hang on to them with regret as long as possible I decide that it’s ok. I feel at peace and deeply grateful for these moments in time and cherish their memory.”
Italy makes me sentimental.
Instead of my usual narrative I decided to copy a few ramblings from my diary for you. I don’t often write diary entries but had some alone time while in Italy and felt compelled to take these notes.
Simple summer Pasta recipe
- Cook pasta al dente
- Mix cherry tomatoes, tuna from the can, fresh parsley and olives (optional) with olive oil. Salt and pepper to taste
- Mix hot pasta with cold ingredients and enjoy