Over the past week I’ve travelled from Edinburgh to Verona, Verona to Edinburgh, Edinburgh to London, and London to San Francisco. No joke. But really, what’s better than travelling?
To give you a brief overview behind the reasons of my travels, I’ll tell you that I’m native Italian, but I moved to Scotland in 2009 to attend University, Then, in 2010/2011 I lived and studied in San Jose (SJSU). In all, I did not spend a lot of time away from Italy, but when the time comes to leave there, it’s always bittersweet.
On my last trip, I flew into Verona (the city of Romeo and Juliet, visit it if you can) on May 5th, and from there I drove to my hometown, Schio. Schio is located between Verona and Venice, just to give you an idea.
I must admit, I couldn’t stop thinking about food as soon as I arrived. The days previous to my departure I even sent a list to my parents of things that I’d love to eat during my brief stay. Crespelle con panna e prosciutto, tagliatelle con i funghi, parmigiana, insalata di riso, bigoli con l’arna (really characteristic of where I come from, it’s a particular kind of pasta with duck sauce…oh dear. So good), piadina, pizza -I mean, REAL PIZZA! I must say, all my dreams became true, and I ate like a princess for a week. Italy never disappoints when it comes to food.
The bittersweetness of leaving the country, however, is not related to food, but to family. Travelling can give you amazing experiences, but being away from your loved ones can be a steep price to pay. When I left in 2009, I didn’t quite think of how this would impact me, but being away from essential people in my life made traveling harder.
At the moment, my grandad is 97, and every time I go back to visit, he’s my first thought. He’s such a sweetheart, and spending time with him has always been important to me. The value of family has always been incredibly relevant in the Italian culture, and this has been correctly portrayed in more than one movie (oh, did you see Eat, Pray, Love by the way? If not, you should!).
So when you think of Italy, you’re right to think about food. But above all, if you happen to be there, pay special attention to family relations; the bond is usually really strong, especially if there are old grandparents around.
After a daytrip to Milan to get my visa to come back to the US for the summer, I spent my last few days with my family trying to taste as deeply as possible those final precious moments. If you’re thinking of travelling around the world, never forget that there will always be someone missing you back home. It took me a while to realize that.
PS: if you’re curious to know what the meals that I’ve listed are, please just comment below. And be ready to cook.
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