Il Bel Paese
You guys, I went to Italy. Like, two months ago. And I took approximately 6 million pictures because I got a new camera (my first DSLR!!) right before we left. So why haven’t I written about it yet?
To be honest, this was not the best trip for us, and I’ve needed to put some distance between myself and the experience. The weather was not great. We knew that was a risk with traveling in February, but the low cost of flying during late winter/early spring was just too tempting. We’ve traveled during this season before–several times in fact–and we’ve always had pretty good luck. Plus, our anniversary is February 28th, and we wanted to do something special. Unfortunately, it turns out that the weather in mid- to late-February is a bit like playing Russian roulette, and this time we got the bullet. We flew out during that big snowstorm on the East Coast, so all of our flights ended up getting canceled, but we did eventually get there (even if all of our luggage didn’t).
Our first two weeks in Italy were a blur of visiting almost every person my husband has ever met in his life, but a few things stand out in my memory from that time: we had a magical evening walking around Torino with a couple of our very best friends; we spent a beautiful day in a pretty little town close to the mountains cooking ribs & pancakes (the new chicken & waffles?) for my brother-in-law, his girlfriend, and her family; and we treated my sister-in-law to a day of shopping in Milan, including a trip to Furla and lunch at a Sicilian restaurant near Piazza Duomo. With an almost daily ritual of getting up at 6AM to catch a train and staying out past midnight having dinner with family or friends, it’s no wonder that by the end of the second week we were both getting sick. And just in time for our anniversary getaway to Sicily!
This was my first time visiting Sicily, and I really wanted to love it. In some ways, I did love it. I loved the people, and the boats, and the pastries. I loved the clumps of oranges and artichokes growing along the side of the road. I got to see the church where my husband’s parents got married. I saw the fishing docks where his grandfathers (and probably their fathers, and their grandfathers, and so on) would set out to sea every day. I visited a cemetery nestled into the side of a hill and saw where Flavio’s cousin, grandfather, and great-grandparents are entombed. I watched the town’s second annual Carnival parade, with horses and kids dressed up like medieval ladies and jesters. I flew over a volcano! I loved all of these things. But I did not love being sick. I didn’t love that it rained almost the whole time we were there. And I didn’t love that the only chunk of time we had to ourselves to explore was Sunday afternoon, when literally everything was closed for siesta. I really hope to go back there someday, because under the right circumstances, Sicily is magical.
There are a lot of things from this trip that I’m eager to share here over the coming weeks and months, but for now I just wanted to pop in and say hi and share some photos. I promise to write more soon!