As my plane touched down in Naples I breathed a sigh of relief. I walked down the runway and had an overwhelming urge to kiss the ground. Not because my plane trip was fraught with turbulence but it has been too long Italy! The first time I set foot on Italian soil I was 18 and although life has thrown me many curve balls my passion for Italy and travel has not wained. Italy it has taken 30+ years to pick up where we left off.
You have so much indescribable beauty from the bustle of city streets to the jawdropping vistas. Every turn is an opportunity for another breathtaking photo, of which I can assure you I just keep on clicking! The sheer volume of beautiful and priceless art, stunning architecture, Roman antiquities and charming little corners are pretty overwhelming and definitely live up to all the hype.
The next 4 weeks that I spend here I have the very best of intentions of practicing my new mantra "vive il presente" every waking hour of every day. It's hard not to be captivated by Italy's charming towns, superb wines, delectable cuisine, and awe-inspiring historical sites. As I wander the streets of Masse Lubrense and now the Amalfi Coast just when I think I've seen the most beautiful places and experienced the most unique aspects of the culture, I feel irresistibly tempted to explore more of it, because I know that that undiscovered hole-in-the-wall trattoria waiting for me just around the corner makes the best fresh ravioli to be enjoyed from its amazing panoramic terrace. This seductive, magnetic quality is what keeps bringing people back, and what makes Italy so addictive after all.
Falling in love with Italy is easy as it truly offers something for everyone, from stylish bustling cities, to the postcard-perfect hills lined with vineyards and olive groves, to vertigo-inducing seaside towns perched on cliffs along the coast. A month in Italy will produce a whole new level of body image anxiety with visions of spare tires, "pasta pooch", rotoli, muffin top, pupa or even regaining my love handles. But I can't wait to share it all with you on my return.
Roads shouldered by enclosing walls with narrow
cobbled tracks for streets, those hill towns with their
stamp-sized squares and a sea pinned by the arrow
of a quivering horizon, with names that never wither
for centuries and shadows that are the dial of time. Light
older than wine and a cloud like a tablecloth
spread for lunch under the leaves. I have come this late
to Italy, but better now, perhaps, than in youth
that is never satisfied, whose joys are treacherous,
while my hair rhymes with those far crests, and the bells
of the hilltop towers number my errors,
because we are never where we are, but somewhere else,
even in Italy. This is the bearable truth
of old age; but count your benedictions—those fields
of sunflowers, the torn light on the hills, the haze
of the unheard Adriatic—while the day still hopes
for possibility, cloud shadows racing the slopes.
~by Derek Wilcott
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