We long for moments like these, we dream of them, sometimes for years. We work hard and save our money. Then one day our dream comes true. We get to do that “something” we have been wanting to do for what seems like a lifetime. For each of us it is something different. For me it was a trip to Italy.
Italy, the land of vineyards, olive groves, pasta and history so rich, that you can get lost in the taste of it. And finally, I am here. After all my wishing, planning and saving, I am HERE. The dream I had in my mind didn’t even come close to what I was to experience.
We hope, when we dream that our experience will live up to our expectation. Not only did it live up to what I had hoped for, it far exceeded it. When I vacation I like to go off the beaten path. Of course, I want to see the most famous sights, but I also want to see what the locals do, where they go to eat and where they live. That is why for this trip I took a cultural walking tour, I went to Tuscany and Cinque Terre with a company called Classic Journey. At first I was hesitant to take a tour, but after researching them and knowing that they only took small groups (mine was 6 people), I decided to take a chance. I am certainly glad I did. But before our tour was to start we decide to head to Rome for 3 days.
Did I mention that this was my honeymoon? Not only did I get to travel to a place I had only dreamed of, I got to share this dream with the man of my dreams! Can a person bear such happiness?
I’m not certain when I knew for sure this trip would be something special, something more. Was it when I first stepped on the streets of Rome? Streets that were steeped in history, the narrow winding roads that held whispers of the past. Around every corner, echos of a bygone time murmured in my ear. Or maybe it was The Villa Le Barone, (the place where we would be staying for the next 3 days) sitting in the Tuscan sunshine like something you only see in the movies? Vineyards and olive groves dot the surrounding countryside. Church bells are chiming in the distance. Is this real?
Perhaps it was when we were hiking thru the vineyards that seemed to go on forever. And around every corner was a sight so beautiful it took my breath away. Or when we ended up at Castello Della Paneretta (a small bed and breakfast) and Patrizio welcomed us like we were old friends and fed us.
Of course it could have been our tour guide Luciano, a local who was just the perfect fit for this trip. In this land of so much history, his knowledge made the past come alive. It seemed suddenly I had a thirst for knowledge. I wanted to know, who, what when and most importantly how Italians did so many magnificent things!
It matters not when it happened, it matters that it DID happen. Over the next weeks I will be sharing the experiences of our trip. The food, the places, the people and yes, the wine!
Once you have traveled, the voyage never ends, but is played out over and over again in the quietest of chambers. The mind can never break off from the journey. ~ Pat Conroy~
Come with me as I bask in the memories of my journey.