As an avid traveler, it’s hard to state a favorite place I have been. Different cities and experiences each hold special places in my heart. Whether it’s the culture, the food, the people I am with (or without), each destination shapes me, makes me laugh, challenges me and sometimes makes me cry. All this said, as I sit at the outdoor bar (an American bar, not an Italian bar…I learned very quickly there is a big difference) of the Grand Hotel Villa Cora sipping on a bright orange and very bitter Aperol spritzer, I know that now when someone asks me my favorite place I have traveled, in the sentences that follow, the word Italy will be present.
Yes, I am only a few days into the trip but Italy is just one of those places that grabs your heart and fills it with love. It fills your stomach with simple, delicious spaghetti with just a touch of tomato sauce and fresh basil. It touches your lips with the taste of a young, ruby red Chianti. With a crisp, white table wine. With fresh baked, crusty bread.
Italy is filled with energy and emphasis and emotion. Everywhere you turn, there is beauty, bright colors, rich smells, chic men and women. There is a hustle and bustle and chaos. And moments later there is peace and silence and a moon that engulfs the country with its white rays.
And most importantly, Italy fills you with love. The kind of love you dream of. The kind of love that is passionate and spicy and flavorful. Love that comes from a simple arugula salad. And a deep kiss you only see in the movies. Love that comes from the clinking of four glasses of a bubbly Prosecco where strangers become friends. Love that comes from the language, the words that roll off the tongue in a way that make your ears smile.