Italia, Mi Manchi

November 15, 2012 § Leave a comment

I have an oral presentation tomorrow.  Instead of practicing, I’m going to compile a list of things that I miss about Italy, because it’s one of those nights.
Allora:

*  Early summer sunrises.  When you wake up randomly at 4 AM and decide that it’s more fulfilling to stretch in bed, have some tea, and walk across town to watch sunrise from the perfect spot, from beginning to end. (how often does this happen in everyday life?)

*  A cappuccino and a cornetto in the morning.

*  The blues of the sky, and the blues of the sea.  And all of the yellows and greens inbetween.

*  Living with the window open, and listening to your neighbors bickering, laughing, and shouting at the barking dog.

*  Getting in a car and being out in the rolling countryside in a couple of minutes.  And then, endless fields of sunflowers and grape vines.

*  Different festas every weekend in different little villages.

*  Piadinas.  Con basilico e prosciutto.

*  Walking through the centro during lunch break, when everything is closed and the streets are deserted.

*  The hint of pale violet tinting the sky before another breathtaking sunset.

*  Sticking your ticket into the validation box at the train station.

*  Finding an empty seat on the train- especially if it’s a window seat and is facing the right direction.  Bonus points if there is no neighbor.

*  Magazine stands to pass the time.

*  Really cheap, but really good wine.

*  Having dinner on the beach: fresh seafood, water in glass pitchers, and salads after the main course.

*  Exploring random little villages on the weekend, and realizing that they are all the same.  But so special, every one of them.

*  Street performers on the cobblestones streets.

* Gelato.  Real gelato.

*  People-watching (or, more adequately, clothes-watching)

*  Hearing Italian on the overhead speakers while walking through the airport.

*  Going to vegetable stores to buy a lime and leaving with a full bag of veggies.

*  Listening to old signoras in long dresses bickering on street corners.

*  Spending the entire day stationary, at the beach, under the umbrella, listening to gossip and stepping under cold showers when the heat gets to be too much.

*  Burraco matches.

*  Walking across town to the supermarket to buy all of the ingredients required for the day’s dinner.

*  Cooking the day’s dinner.  While listening to the radio and Italian jingles.

*  Going to the cinema and being the first one there even though the movie was supposed to start five minutes ago.

*  Aperitivo.

*  The rustic, terracotta buildings, with dilapidated fences and stray cats.

*  Eating mulberries and figs while walking through the local park.

*  The sound of the sea splashing against the cliffs.

*  Waiting in line at the post office for over an hour to receive a ‘special post’, forging the signature of the person you’re picking the mail up for, and walking away with junk mail for furniture deals you could care less about.

*  Having whole families still sitting around the table on restaurant patios at midnight.

*  Local theatre productions.

*  Buying a dozen packages of delicious mozzarella for less than one ball of mediocre quality here.

*  Sharing idle afternoons with other people that have idle afternoons.

*  Problem-solving, Italian-style.  Which seems to consist of making everything more complicated than necessary, a lot of re-evaluation, and then abandoning the project and deciding to do something completely different.

*  The smell of fresh pastries wafting into your window at 6 in the morning from the bakery directly below you.  Or the taste of them as you get one off the rack at 2 in the morning, after your midnight walk.

*  Seasonal fruit sales.

*  Stone fortresses and wooden bridges and dirt paths.

*  Checking in on the town’s plaza every day, just to make sure you’re not missing out on anything.

And so much more.  Part II to come with the next nostalgic night.

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