Off to Italy in 24 hours..
Last week I had an unexpected trip to Italy. Within 24 hours I had to arrange our itinerary, pack our bags, cancel appointments and organise the next week ahead for our two boys who were to remain in Australia. For the past 10 years since I met my Italian husband Claudio, we had only ever returned for holidays, filled with lots of excitment and joy. This time it was different. I was going for the funeral of my mother-in-law. However it wasn't long after arriving that I became aware of one thing. A trip filled with sadness can still be sweet. In Italy, there is always so much sweetness to be found.
The beauty of Italy was the last thing on my mind yet the first thing to hit me as I arrived into Milan Airport. The transiting Italian passengers, relaxed and chatting, were groomed and dressed like they'd just stepped out of a fashion magazine, not a plane. The Italian sense of style and sophistication just seemed to ooze throughout the terminal. It was an amusing contrast to Brisbane airport where I had just left. Kids running around in bright pyjamas and adults in mix and match, with the emphasis being on comfort. Of course the odd pair of ugg boots included!
After Milan Airport, it was then onto Milan's central train station. As I step onto the elevator and look up at the magnificent glass and stone ceiling towering above me, my spirits begin to rise.
I marvel at its affect on me. I step off the elevator feeling lighter. The slick and bright red train, Italy's new fast 'Freccia Rossa' sits waiting to take us to Claudio's home town of Rimini. I step on and take a seat in the immaculately clean leather seats. I look around me and again I am surrounded by people who look like they've just stepped out of a fashion magazine!? I reflect on my first hour passed in Italy and the extent of beauty I have seen. I reflect on how much Italians lead the world in design whether it be in fashion, shoes & accessories, sports cars, fine furniture, ceramics, the list goes on...
I can't help but think. They just seem to do it all so EFFORTLESSLY!!!
Over the days as the language starts to flow ... I hear parents pointing out beauty to their child as they sing... ''BELLO!".. "Beautiful!" Whether it be the colour of a landscape, a pair of pretty shoes, a detail on a dress or a monument in the street. Beauty is openly admired. Children are fussed over all around me and told to keep their clothes and themselves immaculately clean. I think of our boys back home in Noosa probably barefoot in the grass, dirt on their elbows and grass stains on their shorts..! eeeek.
An early morning walk on the quiet streets of Rimini (Italians love a sleep-in) makes for a peaceful and renewing start to my days. I stop to admire a childrens shop. A sweet example of childrenswear... just as important as the adults..
I love how this plain outfit below is turned into something stylish thanks to the cute scarf and shoes. Scarves are popular and are worn like this whether on a child, woman or man.....
As I admire this beautiful yet simple little dress I am reminded that some things never go out of fashion.
I'm amazed to discover a VERY large and VERY old olive tree...I am told it's close to 500 years...!
We spend lots of time with family over the next days, which is a real highlight.
The last day is spent observing real estate. It has been one of our long term dreams to buy a villa or house. We plan to search when we are back in June. Exciting things to share ahead!
The entrances to the homes are so charming and decorative... sometimes kitchy, sometimes elegant but usually covered in plants, vines, flowers, bells, signs, ..the laundry!!!..
Our quick trip had come to an end. It was time to say 'arrivederci!'.
I sign off with a quote I dedicate to my Italian mother-in-law Giancarla who was an amazing mother, mother-in-law, grandmother and friend. A lover of life, books, poetry, nature, gelato and children. This quote she often told...
"Le cose di ogni giorno raccontano segreti a chi le sa guardare ed ascoltare...."