Italy has always been touted as the destination of choice when the travel bug digs deep into one’s being. We are coaxed out of our normality by images that tingle and tantalize our imagination so deeply that it no longer satisfies us to experience travel via a hardcopy on the living room table.
Experiencing the real deal is so much more than even the most photoshopped images on the glossiest of pages in some of the finest of travel magazines throughout the world.
Italy called our names and we came running.
For me, Italy is hard to define. A country that is shaped like an elegantly styled, upmarket but well-worn boot is charming and vivacious. Italy is also cautious and somewhat private but in a welcoming and warm kind of way.
Traveling throughout Italy is an adventure, at other time it’s like coming home. Oozing warmth one moment and taking our breaths the next.
The mixture of old and new is utterly comfortable, as is the contrast in every locality from medieval hilltop villages to the brilliance of mirror reflections in clear blue waters beside seaside towns.
Eye-grabbing locations, particularly coastlines like those of the Amalfi Coast are truly exciting and dramatic, realizing spectacular travel brochure dreams. Taking a travel dream and making it a reality is the ‘cream of the cream’ in the big picture of life.
My dream was to have the opportunity to ride the Amalfi Coast on a vintage Italian Vespa, of course via pillion. To step out of our comfort zone and quietly slide into a head spinning, heart racing, and skin tingling adventure was like eating an ice cold lemon gelato on a sultry summer evening while wearing rollerblades on a railway track. It was refreshing, breathtakingly hydrating, with a hint of danger and almost rebelliously naughty. Every moment, every corner created a breathless and gasping in awe experience. Exhilarating and amazingly beautiful.
The weather was extremely kind, with days of fresh light breezes and wide cloudless blue skies. The evenings warm with twilight skies trying to control the silken moon and scattered stars.
Of an evening high on the Amalfi Coast, the only sounds that can be heard are the soft distant chimes of church bells and tired local Italians winding down for the night.
The mornings are greeted with hushed but determined “ciao ciao” throughout the villages. Donkeys with their slow but forceful footwork clop the hundreds of time-worn steps to begin their working day alongside their faithful and chatty companions.
It is hard not to get involved in a country that is nearly as old as time itself.
Italy although not easily understood is softly swanky in an old-fashioned kind of way and very very cordial.
It exudes a confidence that allows travelers to feel at one with themselves and with this adorable and likable land.