I fell in love in Italy.
With the people.
With the passion.
With the fashion.
I did not walk into the churches. I didn’t climb to the top of towers. I didn’t take a tour.
I experienced the love of Italy in its most divine form. In the people. In the passion. In the fashion. I watched others get pleasure from doing what they love and loving what they do and sharing “that” with me.
I didn’t need to shop the fine jewelry store and buy fine italian gold to feel decadent. Nicoletta, who stopped me in my tracks with her oozing internal and external beauty, head to toe, worked in a silver shop. She draped the butterfly necklace over my neck and smoothed it out so the chains draped my sides in just the perfect way. Then she stood back and she admired her creation. She didn’t need to say a word. Her passion for what she did and the jewelry she shared was loud and clear.
I bought the necklace.
I didn’t need to step into Salvatore Ferragamo or Gucci to feel the fine italian fashion next to my skin. I stepped into a little shop where the designer, Clio, was seated at a tiny table in front of his store. When I came out of the dressing room, he came to the mirror and smoothed down his silky smooth sweater that I was trying on so that it lay perfectly. He zipped up the softest, sexiest leather jacket I had ever felt and adjusted the collar so it was placed perfectly around my neck. He stepped back and admired my body in his clothing. He asked if I would send a picture of myself wearing his clothing in NYC. He served me espresso on a beautiful tray as I continued the shopping experience. His oozing passion for his fashioned creations was loud and clear.
I bought his skirt. (It’s rockin’ awesome btw #justsayin)
I didn’t need to eat in the finest of restaurants to experience a divine food experience. I didn’t eat too much or not enough. Without putting a thing to my lips, I was satiated from the smile on Paulo’s face when he served the truffles that his truffle hunting dog had found that morning. Paolo owns a little Osteria in Tuscany. The tartufo was simply served on buttered tuscan bread. His passion was delicious. His truffles were divine.
There is so much more. From the cab driver who sat for 15 minutes with his pen and my journal writing every beautiful sacred Florentine experience that he didn’t want me to miss, to AnnaLisa and her wine cellar, to Andrea’s homemade pasta, to the gorgeous beauty who sewed the homemade gloves I bought. Every day offered several miracles like these that I share with you.
The lesson for me, once again, is in being “present”. Being present is the biggest gift of all. Being present changes everything. Being present in Italy allowed me to feel and observe on a very fulfilling level. I did not experience Italy thru my eyes only but with my whole body and my whole being. I felt Italy.
And that is where I fell in love.