One Hundred Things | A Love Letter to Italy

1. the sleepy trenitalia trains.

2. the penne rose from

salumeria verdi.

3. long chats under the loggia in the piazza della signoria.

4. the sound of horses' hooves clicking on the cobblestones.

5. walking everywhere; access to the city with just a few footseps.

6. spritz o'clock.

7. fumbling with old-style, gigantic medieval keys and wooden doors.

8. the sound of the violinist who played outside my bedroom window at night.

{spritz o clock often looked like this.}

9. admiring vintage fiats on the road.

10.  window shopping down the main strip of florence.

saldi!

11. speaking in broken italian to our bus drivers - they would get so excited.

12. seeing glamorous women in heels and skirts zoom on their vespas.

13. the penne arrabiata from

tony's hostaria del moro in trastevere

.

14. somehow finding free shots of limoncello or little glasses of tiramisu on my table.

15. the hills in montepulciano, the way the yellow ochre grasses faded into green.

{I dined

here

}

16. pecorino cheese.

17. ordering liters of vino della casa for the table.

18. the italian accent. especially around the word "alllllora..."

19. the sweet relief of ducking around a giant tour group.

20. having clothes drying on the clothesline - and snagging them before it rains.

21. journaling every single day. sometimes twice. sometimes three times a day.

22. mojitos on rooftop decks.

23. drinking water from

acqua potabile

fountains, probably from some acquedotto somewhere.

24. taking in the buzz of the sea towns in la spezia.

25. abruzzo's fields of wildflowers; with the occassional butterfly fluttering in the light, quiet breeze.

26. cheersing with friends over peronis or vino. or both.

27. trying to dress like an italian (and being mistaken for one!)

28. paying 43,00 for a frecciarossa train ticket and never looking back.

29. the smell of the leather

mercato

in the warm summer breeze.

30. finding little towns you've never heard of.

31. sunsets in sorrento.

{a view of the tyrrenhian sea from

here

}

32. the first plop of sugar sinking to the bottom of a cappuccino.

33. tables set perfectly for

al fresco

dining, with impeccably dressed waiters trying to lure you in.

34. the rushing, blissful anticipation of finding a place to eat with friends.

35. locking eyes with other streetgoers for that lingering second...

36. calamari fritti from the amalfi coast.

37. the warm, sun-baked bricks of the piazza del campo.

38. hearing italians open up their phones - "

pronto

!"

39. haggling over prices in florences leather market (and finally caving)

40. pizza margherita from

here

. yes, yes, roll your eyes...

it's

that

place.

41. my usual lunch: pino's pasta and a diet coke.

42. pici pasta.

43.

caffe granita con panna

near the pantheon.

44. becoming mesmerized by the glittering blue water in capri.

45. watching the gypsies in crowded piazzas fling those neon whirligig things into the air at night.

46. taxi cab rides driving past the colosseum.

47. reading menus in italian and finding the real true authentic treasures.

48. having someone ask you to take their photo.

49. watching crates of glass water bottles being loaded into shops in the early morning.

50. seeing men in business suits conversing animatedly, newspapers in hand.

51. understanding snippets of conversation, then being happily confused.

52. my favorite rest stop snack of sfoglie crackers, illy iced coffee, or a diet coke.

53. the ponte vecchio at night.

54. climbing what felt like the thousands of flights of stairs to get into my apartment.

55. strolling through the campo di fiori in the early morning.

56. 2 euro coins. brilliant!

57. watching the admirers gather around a particularly interesting street performer.

58. piazza san marco.

59. frutti di bosco e cioccolato gelato from

perche no!.

60. the sprawling neon pink and purple bouganvillea of the cinque terre.

{caffe granita con panna}

61. driving in smartcars through abruzzo.

62. spontaneous rainfalls in florence, leaving the streets deserted...

63. ...and the happy moment everyone comes out once the sun shines again.

64. the foggy, blue hint that surrounds the mountains.

65. the accomplishing punch of validating a train ticket.

66. messy windowboxes of flowers.

67. rocky grey pebble beaches

68. the tall cyprus trees of tuscany.

69. escaping away in imagination, wondering just how those cliff towns got there...

70. having the Duomo as an alarm clock. Bells at 7am, everyday.

71. getting used to the 24 hour clock.

72. meeting various Lucas, Lorenzos, Darios, and Luigis

73. carrying my trusty italian leather backpack with me at all times.

74. penne alla vodka from

gatto e volpe

  on via ghibellina.

75. splurging on

primi

e

secondo

piatti!

76. hunting for the perfect cafe on a solo morning in florence.

77. the abundant sea glass on the beaches of positano.

78. bread and olio.

79. the various cats of italy.

80. getting ready for a night out after days of not wearing makeup.

81. provolone dolce.

82. the rushing excitement of hopping on a train.

83. splurging on pretty underthings from

intimissimi.

84. the freedom of not having a cell phone.

85. speeding through the town of cararra and seeing the marble.

86. meeting people from

all over the world.

87. jumping off cliffs into turquoise water.

88. wearing sundresses on especially sunny days. it's like they were meant for italy.

89. pesto, pesto, pesto!

90. the view from the top of gianicolo hill.

91. splurging on a leather jacket from

massimo's.

92. just jumping in and not caring about the hair for once.

{my go-to combination.}

93. orsanmichele church.

94. hearing the bats screech in the morning.

95. the foamy top of a cappuccino.

96. reading the roadsigns on the autostrade.

97. the anticipating buzz of santa maria novella train station in florence.

98. contrada drums in siena.

99. the tiber river by night.

100. the feeling of having seen so much, and yet having seen nothing at all. and the best part is I know in my heart I will find a way back.

Hands down, the easiest list of one hundred things I've ever had to write. If you haven't figured it out, these are the things that make my heart beat for Italy. It is a little bit of everything, narrowed down in one list - the things I first think of when I miss something, think of someone, or reminisce about a certain time and place. Somehow amongst all of those tangible things, I really think Italy for me is a state of mind. It's that place I could return to year after year, and fall into the same easy groove. I don't know if it is me, the country, or the combination of us both - but magic happens here. I am convinced. I love it in a weird way that is solely my own.

ciao! xo