Many people collect beads as a reminder of a place they visited, a special event or something they are fond of.
I think of the wonderful Italians I meet in Italy or follow on line as my beads of Italy.
Many of my contacts in Italy have become friends. Americans make ‘friends’ quickly and often consider everyone they meet more than once a friend. Not all Italians feel the same way.
I may never have an opportunity to meet some of the established Italian bloggers but I can be inspired by their description of towns and hidden parts of the cities they live in. Over the years I will add new ‘beads’ as I meet new ‘friends’ on my trips Home to Italy.
This list changes as I meet more and more wonderful Italian artists, business owners and my favorite group: anyone over 70.
Everyone has a story to tell if you will only listen.
One of the saddest changes I notices on a trip a few years ago, was how everyone was glued ot a cell phone. No longer will locals chat at the bus stop or while waiting in line at the mercato. I miss that even when I only understood some of the conversation.
However, I do follow several Italy savv posts that always tell me about small towns and cities I may have never heard of. Most first timers or even after 15+ trips I usually do the big 3 or 2 of the 3: Rome, Florence and Venice. There are always places to discover, revisit and now friends to see on each trip Home To Italy.
the bloggers I read I may have never met in person, but feel they are my Italian ‘friends’
|Ada in Venice welcomed me to her home
for an interview
May Jane Cowan http://50yearsinitaly.blogspot.com/,
Michelle Fabio at Bleeding Espresso http://bleedingespresso.com/ ,
Anne Riband in Assisi www.annesitaly.com
And Browsing Rome http://www.browsingrome.com/ are only a few of the many as I consider them in country posting what I look for
The Italian Notebook, sends me short snipts of Italian life every week. I keep connected with many of the practices/places I have lived with all my life but now know the origin.
A hidden village or town, I thought how it will take me years to see all the wonders that is Italy…. I may not see them all but the towns I visit and the people I meet become a bead on my bracelet.
Each town leaves an impression or memory on my mind, a bead on my Italian bracelet. I may meet a local vendor in the market or talk with a shop keeper who may leave a lasting memory. The woman I met at the bus stop on the Amalfi coast who helped me find the next train station when the bus NEVER showed up. The artist in Spello. Her shop/studio is on the left as you climb the hill, who spent a half hour chatting with me in my terrible Italian. http://www.ornelli.com
The head nun at the convent hotel I stayed in, in Spoleto, or the elderly member of the order who spent a long time asking about what I was doing on my laptop, ALL IN ITALIAN!. My Spoleto bead.
Each visit is another bead on my bracelet. One that lets me remember the incredible events of each visit: Nonna Vata and making pasta, Mama Gilio who greeted me with a handshake and when I left with the kiss of an amici, the taste of the BEST tortellini ever in Bologna, meeting Ada in Venice
Recently I added a Tina bead. Tina showed me Naples as a native, inside treasures I could never find on my own: meeting a famous artist, the last family run glove manufacturer, stooping at hidden spots with a history NOT in tour books.
my new friend Tina
And some beads have changed my life: Yle with Yltours.com helped me propel my blog in 2012 with guest posts. You can see many posts on my blog about Yltours. But Yle introduced me to Mamma Anne and shared lunch with me. Not the typical day a tourist finds in Italy.
Monica who offers cooking lessons and wonderful tours and cooking classes in Venice.http://www.monicacesarato.com. Others: Santa Anna Sorento Lingue language school in Sorrento, Sheila in Florence offers fast paced photo walks, Kelly in Rome: painting and sketching tours . My list is endless….. This is why I go home to Italy every time i can.
I look forward to ADDING beads every year.