I finally have some time, rest and a computer to write on. So far it has been 19 days since I last stepped foot on American soil, the delays, the waits, the confusion with my first time traveling were at a point unbearable. My trip has been nothing less than an amazing experience. Seems like all emotions have been put forth on a platter, and i’ve given myself the opportunity to take it all in, and leave some excess behind.
I won’t be posting much until I get back to the states, then I can sit down and write stories that accompany the pictures that I have taken. Even though I am a cook, I did not come to Italy to only seek out food, I came to seek out the culture, the people, the language and to fulfill my fascination with this country. The food…uhhhh the food, I think I have to do a total detox when I get back to the states. There was one night when I ate so much charcuterie, that I felt really sick. Forget about EAT PRAY LOVE…that was NOT the reason why I wanted to spend 35 days in this beautiful country.
Milano is my base right now, and I have the greatest host. Matteo Musci who has given me an Italy that I would have not been able to experience, if I were to be alone. His community of childhood friends, family, and everyone in between has been warm, gracious, caring and open. This trip has really made me want to study the Italian language.
My backpack can tell stories, and so can my Iphone camera, but all those just do not give the moments spent alone justice. When my Lonely Planet guide could not help me, and when Io no capisco Italiano was all I knew.
I worked in a small bites bar called a cichetteria in Venice, I got yelled at by a lady in Corniglia for petting a sleeping cat, I met a solo traveler named Aaza and followed her to Cinque Terre and it was in Venice where we got ourselves into a little bit of a mess.
Ah yes, traveling alone also consisted of me crying to complete strangers. When my frustrations built up, when my knowledge of the Italian language was just shitty, when even walking into a pastry shop seemed like an ordeal. When nothing seemed to work out, but then when it started to work out…
All moments on this trip so far have been eye opening and amazing, and as I continue on the days, time, and everything becomes even more surreal and it becomes segmented by experiences and towns as opposed to days and time. Oh yes, I am only a little over halfway into my journey.
I have been losing sight of reality, as everything seems to be totally dreamy...sognante. In a dream, in a daze, and all I want to do is cook…for anyone and everyone that I come across.
When I open up a conversation with, food here, the locals go on a bit of a tangent. Where is your favorite place to eat, what region, where did you grow up…FOOD becomes the language that I speak. Hand gestures, and words that I have learned from cooking has really helped me to get in touch with strangers. We all love food, and everyone in Italy seems to want to show me their favorite food, favorite place to eat, secrets that the Lonely Planet guides could never tell me about.
Every city I come across has been my favorite…but it was in Verona that my hosts Anna and Nico were so inviting that I contemplated a move. They have the cutest shop called FOLKS where the most outrageous collections of Vans Shoes can be found. I wish I had the time to tell you more…
Ciao!! Off to Torino tomorrow then to Florence then???? Until next time…
Music choice by Matteo.