It’s hard to express in words how much we loved Italy. I wish you could see the way I can’t stop smiling when I talk about it.

Today I’m craving pizza, but none of the pizza around here will do. I want the kind we had in Venice, a broad slice with thin, floppy crust, chunky tomato sauce, fresh cheese, and either prosciutto or spicy salami. I want gelato – one scoop hazelnut, one scoop coconut. I want spaghetti al pesto and grilled seabass eaten in candlelight and breeze while the waters of the Grand Canal lap at the deck beneath us.

I want to ride in the sun at the front of a vaporetto (water bus), while unspeakably beautiful buildings slide by one after one after one – pink, yellow, cream, red, white. I want to go inside all the buildings we saw only from the outside. I want to crane my neck to see more ceiling frescoes and enormous paintings. I want to turn a corner and gasp, turn another and gasp again, to see so much beauty my eyes hurt.

I want to go up on the rooftop bar at our hotel in Florence and see the Duomo looming large and uplit orange in the dark sky. I want to lean against a wall and read a creased city map; I want to say all the street names out loud just to hear the way they roll off my tongue. I want to get lost in all the neighborhoods in Venice.

Most of all, I want to go back to the quiet squares in Venice, where the web of narrow streets suddenly opens up and the wind swirls down. I want to sit on the steps of a fountain there, while the local children play around us as if we’re just another fixture, and I suppose we are.

Oh, dear readers, I wish I could tell you how much we loved it, especially Venice. Florence is lovely, but Venice is the place that stole our hearts. The 12 hours on a plane? Worth it. The money flowing out of our wallets and into the cash registers of Italy? Worth it.

As our plane took off from Marco Polo Airport, we took one last look out the window at the jewel of a city in the glittering water, and it was like saying goodbye to a friend.

Oh, how I miss it. They say it takes two weeks to form a habit, but I’m addicted already to Venice and the unhurried life we lived this week. My car, my clothes, my office, even my beloved house feel like strangers. I don’t want to look at this city full of glinting metal and bumper stickers. I want quiet, pastel Venice. When oh when can I go back?

Italy photos as slide show and photo set. I’ll be adding more over the next day or two.

P.S. I also want to watch Rear Window, this time in English instead of dubbed Italian.

posted by Kristin | filed under Travel | 10 Comments


10 Responses to “Love Affair”

  1. Jordana on October 6th, 2006 3:42 pm

    Welcome back!

  2. SmilingJudy on October 6th, 2006 5:28 pm

    _That’s_ where you’ve been. Glad you had such a great time.

  3. Paul on October 6th, 2006 8:34 pm

    Glad you’re back, and that you had such a great time! I felt much the same about Germany, Austria and Sweden. But if you stay for a while, you start missing home.

    -Lenise, actually

  4. kris on October 6th, 2006 9:36 pm

    Was wondering where you were :-)

    Glad to hear you LOVE Venice. It’s one of our favorites as well. Ron was there for an extended study abroad a couple of years ago, and I visited. We miss it sooooo much! The food…the sounds…the neighborhoods…

  5. Patrick on October 6th, 2006 10:29 pm

    Told ya so….It is indeed magic.

    I can’t wait to go back. Glad you had a great time.

  6. Kristin on October 9th, 2006 10:46 am

    Sorry I didn’t say an official farewell before we left. I intended to, but the last day before we left was absolutely insane.

  7. misschrisc on October 9th, 2006 6:12 pm

    Beautiful photos! Thanks for sharing. Italy is on my official list of places where I tell Seb “honey we can move immediately if you get a job offer there…” I haven’t been to Venice but I’ve heard it’s not as touristy as everyone thinks and it’s very, very charming.

  8. halloweenlover on October 10th, 2006 1:39 pm

    I’m SOOOO HAPPY that you loved it! we had the absolute same reaction to Venice, and when people say they didn’t like it, I want to smack them, because how is that possible. Didn’t someone tell you not to go? I’m just so glad you went and loved it too. What a magical place!

    HURRAY! I’m reliving my trip through you now. I love that you loved it!

  9. Kristin on October 10th, 2006 1:52 pm

    Venice was definitely full of tourists, but I think its level of touristy-ness (look, a new word!) depends on what you choose to do. We steered clear of anything that had long lines, avoided tour groups like the plague, and chose out-of-the-way areas to explore whenever possible. The crowd’s going that way? Okay, let’s go this way. There were plenty of quiet spots with hardly a tourist to be seen (except us!).

  10. mindy on October 13th, 2006 2:13 pm

    Just wanted to say, I am soooooooo jealous. I desperately want to visit Europe before we’re strapped with kids and even more responsibilities than we are now!

    Glad to hear you loved it, the photos are amazing! Thanks for sharing ;)

Leave a Reply