Italy is one of a kind. It continues to be my place of refuge, both physically and mentally. The blue Mediterranean waters, smell of scooter exhaust, and a quick espresso will always give me a high.
Italy is still a living and breathing nation. All romance aside, the COVID-19 crisis formed a depressive cloud that, for a moment, covered Italy’s natural brilliance. Unsurprisingly, the vibrant spirit of its people cleared lots of those clouds. The singing from balconies and wine drinking from home windows gave all of us worldwide hope.
Thankfully, the crisis is past its peak in Italy. Yet, its aftermath for the country, its people, and businesses will be complex. In turn, we must celebrate and remember a country that gave many of us a better understanding of life’s beauty. Here are beautiful people I am blessed to know sharing intimate moments with Italy, mostly with a caffè or vino in hand. For them, and myself, Italy ignited our curiosity with adventure and bliss. This could not have happened without the extraordinary Italian people and businesses. May we visit them a thousand times more, once this storm settles.
If you are thinking of Italy and would like to add sentiments, please send words and/or photos along to me!
“I feel lucky to know that some of my favorite memories belong to the Amalfi Coast in southern Italy. There is nothing like transitioning from the thick air and buzzing city of Naples to reaching the wide-open sky melting into the sea of this epic summer destination. What I love about these scattered towns that make-up the Coast – Positano, Amalfi, Ravello, Capri to name a few – is the adventure of getting there in the first place, unlike any destination I’ve ever been. Whether you’re traveling by car or by boat, it is clear upon embarking that you will not be simply led hand-in-hand to plop yourself onto a beach. I think about those car rides throughout the cliffs, and the twist and turns of those frighteningly narrow roads throughout the mountains, revealing a new sight and perspective around each bend of these perched up little towns that are known worldwide for their beauty.
Summer in the Amalfi Coast is a beautiful adventure. I once thought it must have given birth to the fantasy of summer entirely. Each year, summer brings an undeniable feeling of possibility with its sense of change and good weather, bringing people together with newfound energy. I think the promise of summer lives deeply in the spaces carved out throughout the Coast with its vibrant people, indulgent cuisines and wine, and crisp cool waters shared by those from the land and sea. It’s a place that has been celebrated to invite tourists and locals every year because of its unmatched scenery and escapist vacations.
But, we know you don’t just show up to the Amalfi Coast. It requires you to partake in its existence; to use the parts its made of and turn it into your own experience while you have the time to be there. These are the moments spent here that make the days and nights feel endless, by grasping as much life there is to offer in these tucked-away spaces even though time here is fleeting, like seasons. Except, just as we can look forward to summer each year, life in the Amalfi Coast returns, inviting anyone and everyone to live in its magnificence in a new way each time.” – Tiffany
“Italy is a country that will always have a place in my heart. Like anywhere, Italy has its issues; however, I’ve never lived in a place that so much embodied that warm and loving feeling of a family. I grew up a lot while living there, from relearning how to eat in a way that was about the joy of food, to getting comfortable conversing in a new language. I love the way that Italians approach life like it’s about living well and not stressing about the small stuff.” – Shelley
” Quando penso all’italia penso a casa. Penso al mare, penso al senso di comunità che si sente così tanto nello stivale. Penso a come ci siano persone che sono pronte ad un’italia moderna. Ma ce ne sono anche forse di più che sono rimaste fissate in un passato che non esiste piu.”
“When I think of Italy, I think of home. I think of the sea, and the sense of community that you feel deep in your bones. I think about those who are more than ready for a more modern Italy. Unfortunately, there are still those who are stuck in the past; a past that does not exist anymore.” – Ludovica
“Words that come to mind about Italy: family, home, culture, food, wine, ‘il dolce far niente’, romance…” – Caterina
“It’s difficult or me to sum up what Italy means to me in just a few sentences. Florence was my first home away from home. This city, a stark difference from my home of Brooklyn, offered a new taste of everyday life. Every move I made was slow and mindful. The sun shone through the clouds in a different, more vibrant way. The food— oh God, the food— of course, offered an ethereal experience all on its own. Florence, Modena, Parma, Napoli, just Italy as a whole gave me a sense of completion that brought together all five senses and made me fall in love. Now, to see the once lively streets and the piazze all empty evokes feelings in me that are hard to decipher. To see the country, that provided me with so much passion, struggling with this pandemic breaks my heart. But I am sure, as they say, andrá tutto bene.” – Zeynep K
Italy is still loved. And we can and will continue to cherish it. We will buy more wine and cheese, we will plan trips, and we will continue to explore.
Cheers to you, Italy, for making us smile at the simplicities of life and supplying us with unmatchable memories. Most importantly, thank you for supplying us with such nourishing food and beverage that our hearts and bellies will never go unsatiated.
Anyone need a glass of wine right about now? I know I do! (If you do need any recommendations, hit me up!)
Salute! (me at Da Ferdinando Beach Bar; Positano, IT)