Maybe I've just watched Under the Tuscan Sun a few too many times or perhaps it's the fact that I've been teaching about the Italian Renaissance for weeks now, but lately I've been dreaming of moving to Italy.
I've fantasized about what it might be like to bid arrivederci to California and settle down in Firenze or Lucca or Arezzo for an extended stay. What is it about those rolling green hillsides and crumbling buildings that makes Tuscany so intoxicating, so romantic?
Of course, my heart will always belong to France, but sometimes I feel like my soul needs a sojourn in Italia. Even though I've only spent a handful of days there, my mind often returns to those piazzas and palazzos and duomos. With a little whiff of basil, in no time, I can taste my first real pizza margarita and that delicate glass (well, carafe) of Chianti.I dream of talking a long walk alongside remnants of the Roman empire or a stroll across a Renaissance bridge. I imagine tying a scarf around my neck and sampling fresh olive oil at the local market or leisurely sipping an espresso at my closest caffè.
Isn't that one of the greatest joys of travel? That even when we are far removed from our journeys, even years after we've returned home, we continue to dream of those distinct vistas and tastes and smells. Even if Italy is but a memory, that memory sustains me and feeds my soul until I return someday soon.
Where are your travel dreams taking you these days?
All images taken by me in Rome and Florence and Taormina in 2007.