Some of you ask why I write about Italy. There are many reasons but it all begins with a family picture. This is a picture of our Italian family with their friends taken in 1919 in the countryside near Vicenza. Someone drew arrows on the picture to our relatives including Gino, the one with the big hair. The arrows have faded away but I can image the pleasure our family found in the day. To me it represents the idyllic Italian lifestyle and the pleasures of villegiatura, leaving the life of the city for a villa in the countryside. Even though our Italian family was not traveling to their villa along the Brenta Canal, they still enjoyed picnics in the countryside and each other.
Traveling in Italy and staying with our Italian family and friends had led me to believe that they seem to know how to balance work and relaxation. They travel through the workday with a mid-day break, surrounding themselves with beauty and art, eating fresh and vibrant food at meals. Italians exist with fewer clothes, simpler food, smaller living accommodations and cars. They eat less, weigh less, buy less but better quality. They travel more and enjoy their friends and family more.
I want to imitate this but can I? Can Italy be duplicated? Unfortunately no. Italy is unique with a historical landscape that colors all that has come before and will come after. But for those of us who have visited this remarkable land, we yearn to bring a part of Italy home and I am no different.