Dolce Vita Blogger linkup: A Love Letter to Italy

February 16, 2018

Like all great loves, it's hard to pinpoint where it began.

Was it the first warm September evenings, sitting in bars with wine and new friends who would eventually become like family? Was it something more simple - the ragu, the pignoletto, the mortadella e pistachio pizza? Or was it just the sense of possibility that you gave a 21 year-old girl moving abroad for the first time?

In truth, it was probably a bit of all of them. Italy came into my life at a time when I felt hopelessly lost, out of touch with who I was and what I wanted. I had nothing to lose and absolutely everything to gain from taking a year out of reality to eat, drink and see as much of Italy as I could.

So I did. I ate granita on the beach in Capri, pizza (three times a day for three days) in Naples, parma ham in Parma. I drank prosecco in Venice, chianti in Florence and Aperol in Milan. I studied at the oldest university in Europe, laid on the beach in Puglia and rode around Rome on a Vespa. Which, as it turns out, is pretty much all it takes to fall in love with a country.

And then a person. Yep, I became a foreign girl in Rome cliche. Italian, a language I'd immediately loved, became synonymous with late night talks and saying ti amo per la prima volta. My favourite Roman trattoria became a first date memory, cornetti con nutella a favourite breakfast in bed.

Like all great loves, there were also lovers tiffs. The infuriating bureaucracy taught me patience, and the signora in the apartment next door taught me not to expect a smile until I learnt to use buongiorno instead of a cheery ciao.  The use of Lei? (which I still don't understand, by the way) The conjunctive? (This I have accepted that I never will).

But somehow it was you Italy, with your enraging affinity for excess paperwork, Berlusconi and terrible public transport, gave me a happiness and sense of self-worth that had been systematically destroyed by two years in the madness of London. You taught me to fall in love follemente, in a way that us 'cold' English people are not brought up to do. With food and wine, with language, with life... and with a person, all of which helped me fall back in love with myself.

This post was my firsssssst post as part of the Dolce Vita Bloggers link-up! (A group of bloggers in Rome who have all been super welcoming since I started my Insta!)  Excuse the cheese in this post y'all, but a love letter's gotta be a bit soppy. 

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