No, I have never been to Italy either. (And now, in this third in a series of “I have never been…”, I’m wondering if it’s “I have never gone…”) I can count the members of my family who have been/gone: mother, both brothers, sister and BIL, SIL and yes, my daughter.
Collectively, they have driven the Amalfi coast, the Italian Alps and walked the Ancient Via Appia. They have climbed the Spanish Steps and sat in the coliseum. My mother experienced an audience with the pope. All family members have imbibed the sacred wine juice and…lemoncello.
I haven’t been there, but their stories of where they’ve been captivate me. I could get lost in all the pasta recipes my sister has prepared in soups, salads, sauces and a main entree: alfabeto, anchellini, orzo, farfalle, fusilli, conchigliette, capelli d’angelo, cannelloni, lasagna, rigatoni, ziti. There is pasta A to Z and multiplied for each letter, I think. In her kitchen she has a poster print dedicated to dozens of shapes. If she’s short on inspiration, she glances at that poster.
My mother has brought me sensible souveniers. They are sensible in that they don’t take much space and yet are beautiful keepsakes: a cameo from Florence and a heart shaped piece of Murano glass capturing just about any color I might be wearing on a given day. She has told us the story of taking pictures there, accidentally setting her camera on movie which caused her pictures to be “eaten up” by the video footage. We still hear about, “I took a picture of X, but the camera ate it up.” Oh mom, we love you and yes we laugh. Thank goodness she has my sister’s pictures as back up.
My sister has been there more times than I can count and shares her pictures with us.
We all have a piece of Italy on our walls.
No, I have never gone to Italy per se, but Italy has come to me. Next Sunday I’ll tell you the story in the cookie jar.