It’s a cool, gray spring day here in Annapolis, MD. The weather report tells me that it’s not going to rain, but it’s foggy with a light drizzle. So much for that! I was hoping for some sunshine, but alas, that won’t be the case today.
My mind wanders to the view from the balcony of my apartment in Italy perched above the sea. It is a wonderful gift to have memories of my Italian family at Il Ritrovo and it’s thrilling to think ahead as I anticipate my summer visit.I think of Zia Marilu—our evening ritual with towels thrown over our shoulders, drying the wine glasses as they come out of “the machine” (that’s her term for the dishwasher). I remember my time in the kitchen with Salvatore, Sylvania, Roger and Theresa, immersing myself in the culture, food and life while I worked along side them. I would wait tables during the dinner service (well, really I was more of a hostess), tending to the American tourists who flocked to the restaurant. I also worked with the students who come from all over the world to attend Il Ritrovo’s Culinary School to experience Italian Cuisine.
I am living my dream. I love my husband, our life, family and home and wouldn’t trade it for the world. But how wonderful to have found my place in Italy as well!
Il Ritrovo reopened a few weeks ago after its winter sleep. I can see Salvatore, the chef, having his morning café with the dark sugar before overseeing the kitchen prep. Sylvania is baking cookies and Carmine and Paulo are chatting in the dining room, setting tables for today’s service. Salvatore, the waiter, paints murals on the walls in the morning before lunch while Ciro flits about singing “I love you, Baby” to every pretty girl that passes by.
As I look at the clock, I still remember the bus schedule to Positano. Once an hour, it takes us to town down through the tiny streets, then once an hour, it returns. I walk down the street of cobbled stones. It’s not a street by my standards, but a pedestrian walk that leads me home from the piazza. I open the door and go up the 90+ steps, past the lemon trees, past Marilu’s grandchildren playing in the garden and smell the delicious aromas coming out of her kitchen. I let myself into the third floor apartment and relax on the balcony—watching the boats floating in the sea below and feeling the warmth of the sun.
It’s painful, but I must shake off this pleasant daydream. Maybe I’ll have a caffé before I return to work!
As I read your beautiful description, I almost thought I was there. Your love for the people and the place shines through your words. I can see why in those gorgeous photos. 90+ steps! That’s good exercise!
Sounds like you had a beautiful and memorable time in Italy! Your writing made me feel as if I was there with you, and you took such beautiful pictures I would love to go there someday.
What a wonderful daydream! I was in Italy many years ago and I really want to go back. We are saving our pennies and will head that way in about 5 years. We will stay for about 6 weeks, so we can really feel the life. I could almost see myself sitting at that table having a coffee or wine with you!
Oh, I so want to go! This is on my dream bucket list! I even have family there ! Your pics are beautiful. I felt as though I was living it with you! Thank you for sharing this!
These are some wonderful pictures in this post. I really enjoyed perusing through them. Hopefully one day I will be able to travel to Italy to explore the countryside myself.
Oh I’m so jealous. If there was one place outside of the US I could visit, it would be Italy. Your photos have captured exactly how I’ve always imagined it would look like. One day I hope to get that checked off my bucket list.
What an amazing experience. I love the style of writing as if it were a daydream. It makes me feel like I too have been there!
A beautiful daydream indeed. At least it was once a reality! I hope to visit Italy someday, if I’m lucky! 🙂
What wonderful memories and what a special time of your life! It is always so wonderful to be able to take a mind vacation – thank you for sharing yours with me!
What lovely memories and daydreams you have. I so-ooo want to go with you on your next trip to Italy. Really.