We've been home a week. My body is on California time, my ankles are "normal", and I have survived a week of work and usual errands. My heart, soul, and most of the time, my brain, remain in Italy. Brad is as bad as I am in his Italy withdrawal. Normal things annoy us that didn't used to...like drivers, like competitiveness, like neighbors who don't say hello.
Friday night, Brad got home late, so we went out for a quick bite at 9 p.m.. As we were leaving the restaurant at 10:00, we looked at the traffic on a busy street. There was a tattoo parlour open, on the block where we parked our car. There were fast food restaurants on two corners. We both got the same sad look in our eyes. I said, "Let's go to the piazza. Oh, there ISN'T one!" No passiagiata for us. We went home and talked about some of the things we missed: the attitude, the beauty, the simplicity, the people, the warmth, the fresh local food, the sharing, the wine, the families out at night... I could go on for pages.
OK, so we live HERE! I decided to have an Italian evening at home on Saturday...and Sunday. I need to stop whining!
We had a truely lovely meal. We sat on our "terrazza" by the pool, with soft Italian music, wine, and twinkling lights in our olive trees. We made strozzapreti together (recipe to follow). We had a wonderful watermelon salad with watermelon, mozzarella, fresh basil, red onion, drizzled with Mauro's wonderful Umbrian olive oil. We drank wine. We laughed. We smelled the rosemary bushes next to us. We planned future trips. We sat outside until we had enough room to eat panna cotta with fresh peaches soaked in Ameretto. We WERE Italian.