The country that stole my heart.
How is it possible that I felt so at home in a place where I couldn’t speak the language?
I’ll tell you how.
Sometimes, we don’t need words to connect to people. Sometimes all it takes is smile, a kind gesture, or the famous cheek-kisses every time someone enters or leaves a room. Yes, they really do that. No, it isn’t weird.
There is something very intoxicating about being in such a warm culture – and I’m not talking about the wine. The people welcome you with open arms, a table full of food, and incredibly kind words that you don’t understand but somehow you can feel the love behind each rise and fall of the sentence (if you have ever heard an Italian speak, then you know what I’m talking about).
There probably aren’t even enough adjectives to describe a place that used to literally rule the world. Incredible? Captivating? Unbelievable? Words just can’t compete with how much culture, history and life that began there.
Being in any foreign country is probably breathtaking, but Italy just kept surprising me throughout my trip. After my initial shock of seeing the Coliseum (which never got less mind-blowing), the maniac drivers and continuous whirl of sounds that I couldn’t identify, I began to notice the little things like the way wine was used as a complimentary item to a night with friends rather than a means to get wasted, or the way friends would gather each night to just unwind, crack jokes, and have a good time without actually doing anything. There was something beautiful about the simplicity of it all.
It was very alluring to be surrounded by people with open minds, warm hearts and lives that I envied.
Soon I will be under the Roman Pines once more.