Could the title of my last post from Italy be anything but: Arrivederci Roma!
We have enjoyed this holiday so much but after a month away, getting home to Mérida is all Jorge and I can think about. The last leg of our journey is getting closer, and we are feeling excited to see our daughter and friends… I can’t wait to swim in my pool and sleep in my own bed.
One of the best things about staying here in Florence has been our apartment. We are located on the right bank of the Arno River; our view is of the old city, perched above swaying cyprus and birch trees. We never tire of watching the water birds and otter feeding on the banks. There’s so much going on all day long, and in the evenings the music carries downwind from the small bars that line the shore.
For the past five days, there has been the excitement of 17 delegations competing for top catch in the “International Pole Fishing Tournament” to be held here over the weekend. We’ve watched them positioning and practicing across the water and to think… we’ll miss seeing which country wins!
“Costco” won’t cut it for us anymore… we’ll mourn the fact that we can no longer shop at Florence’s mammoth mercato, nor in the small neighborhood negozio de alimentari. We have found the most delectable and sometimes mysterious edibles… We easily identified the olive oil, truffles, and porcini mushrooms, but a couple of days ago we figured out that the “pate” we’ve been scarfing down is actually tripe.
We know it’s time to detox from the daily bottle (sometimes plural) of vino and the limoncello every night… My cholesterol will certainly lower once I stop my daily intake of seafood, rich cheeses and spicy sausage. But oh, it has all tasted so deliizioso!
The confusion between the Italian language and our familiar español will no longer leave me looking aghast at what I THINK I’ve heard. The funniest example being the Florentine word for “cherubs”… it is “putti,” which sure doesn’t mean plump baby angels in our corner of the world!
And the Florentine sense of style! Everything here is chic. The men and women both dress with gauzy, gutsy flair. Their lustrous long hair flows out behind them as they dash through traffic on their Vespas or teensy-weensy Fiats. Even the babies look fashionable in their 60 Euro blue suede shoes… Si, si, si … Italians spend A LOT of money to look as good as they do.
I’ll miss the churches where I’ve felt blessed (“G.R. – grazia ricevuta” is the term the Italians use to describe having received the grace of God.) The powerful symbolism, gold and centuries of incrementing adornment are a sight to behold.
As is all the art. It is EVERYWHERE in Italy! Sculptures, paintings, terracotta, frescos, architecture… Turn yourself around in a circle and your eyes will take in 360 degrees of beauty.
The sunlight, especially in Tuscany is bright but at the same time, soft… everything glows. Flowers are profuse – tumbling out of courtyards and artfully designed in stupendous Murano and Venetian vases…
Italy is a country where earthiness and élan co-exist. I love it here… there’s no denying that. And yet, the fusion of Mexico’s pre-Columbian, colonial and contemporary Latin America charm is hard to top.
We are sad to leave… we’ll miss Italy. Yet we’re happy to be homeward bound. Arrivederci Roma!
¡Hasta pronto Mérida!
Photos: Some are mine, the rest were taken by Colleen Leonard