Italy: wine, women & so much more….
I was supposed to be in Sicily in Italy this week, but the dreaded C word got the better of me.
No, I didn’t get struck down with the world’s favourite virus, but the Italian government did suddenly put in new measures so that any visiting Brit would have to quarantine for five days on arrival.
“How dare they!” I screamed at the TV set. The smug newsreader who had delivered the woeful news proceeded to tell me during the end credits that they were off on a break to Iceland which was still “very much open”.
As I was only going for a week, it didn’t seem worth it. There is one thing to have to quarantine in a hotel near Doncaster airport on a wet, rainy June and have a Weatherspoon’s pub meal delivered to you by a lady who calls you ‘love’ and looks at you pitifully when telling you that you won’t be in here for much longer, and another being incarcerated in a Sicilian one. The Mediterranean hot air, the smell of fresh pasta and the crescendo of Italian voices have an uncanny ability to flirt with your senses.
I didn’t fancy Iceland either. Even though I’ve never been, my heart was in Italy. I was there almost the same time last year. For a week, I had toured around Naples, Capri and the fashionable Amalfi coast. I had walked coastal pathways and breathed in the glowing sea air. I had caught cable cars up mountains, got lost inside churches, discovered hidden treasures, zoomed around teasingly tight bends in minibuses on coastal roads, and drunk delicious wines. I had watched wealthy socialites parade along Capri’s narrow streets, drunk coffee like an Italian and gawped at prices like a Sheffielder.
When you love a place, you will move mountains to get there, take every test possible, stab your body full of vaccines, travel in some ungodly fashion or hour, deplete your bank account and offload onto someone else your work, pet and child responsibilities.
On this occasion, every Italian saint and, of course, God, was against me.
So now I’m sitting in my garden, watching my builder mend the roof before the rains come. I may even make myself a coffee and pretend to drink it like an Italian as I tease you with a couple of my favourite photographs I took from last year.
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© Ruth Millington