As most of you know by now, I find myself in Italy. Oh! Which reminds me. I MUST update my travel widget at the bottom of my blog so the Feds can keep track of me. Anyway, I’m in Italy visiting my mom’s family for the week in a small town called Vicalvi, which is located just south of Rome, and a bit in land. The town sits on top of a hill alongside some of the most splendid (you like that word, eh) mountains I’ve ever seen in my life: the Apennines.
Sure, country life is definitely a world away from what we’re used to in Toronto and I forgot all too quickly what it’s like to have no heat at night when you sleep, underneath thirty blankets, wearing flannel pyjamas and my mother’s hunting socks (don’t ask). Only to wake up in the morning and have to wait until the hot water is turned on before I can wash whatever is necessary in a bathtub, using a small, handheld faucet. Yes, my hair is pulling its longest-ever dry shampoo marathon.
But you know what? We deal. I wear a housecoat at all times and spend the nights sitting by the fire, drinking homemade wine. Life could be worse. The quiet serenity as I look upon the valley between the rolling hills is a meditative moment I have had the precious privilege of experiencing many times in my life – I’ve spent many summers here, a few winters, and now, spring. Last night at around 10pm, my aunt took me outside to show me that her cactus plant had blossomed in the dark – the prettiest flowers I’ve seen in a very long time. Life is simple here, but it is in this simplicity that I feel most alive.
I’ve got dozens of cousins who have planned out an entire week of eating and merriment. At 6 o’clock, it is time for aperitivo. Like, when do we ever do this in Toronto? Sure, we grab afterwork drinks but only really on a Friday. Here, people leave their homes before dinner and head to the local bar to grab an Aperol soda or Campari gin, with some snacks. Or they have aperitivo at home, before sitting down to eat.
And don’t get me started on the espresso drinking here. I totally forgot how much coffee Italians drink! My aunt must make about 10 caffettiera‘s of coffee a day. Wake up, coffee. Mid-morning, coffee. After lunch, coffee. 3pm, coffee, 5pm, coffee. After-dinner, coffee. And sometimes again before bed. One of my relatives said to me last night as he drank his second cup of coffee that my aunt actually cooked on the fire (glamping!), if he doesn’t have coffee before bed, he won’t be able to sleep. Oh, OK.
Thursday morning we are headed to the market – il mercato – where we have to wake up at the crack of dawn to get the best deals on shoes, produce and housewares. I cannot wait to get a few things to bring back home like some new coffee cups, because you know I’m going to have to slowly wean myself off this caffeine high slash continue it. I only have half a dozen espresso cups at home and that’s not nearly enough for the amount of coffee I plan on drinking daily when I get back.
Anyway, I’ll leave you here with some pictures from my trip so far. I must now go upstairs to wash myself AKA have my daily bathtub torture as I think the water temperature should be just right. Then I plan on taking some more pics and you guessed it, have another coffee.
Had amazing Northern Chinese food in Sora!