|Trevi Fountain, Rome|
"You're going to Italy again?" (emphasis on again) a friend recently asked me. I didn't answer immediately preferring to look at her for a second or two. "I don't know how you do that," she continued. "Why keep going back?"
It's not something that I can really explain. It's not something that even I understand. I feel as though there is a huge chain yanking me back. (On second thought, it's probably not a chain. Maybe it's a strand of maccheroni alla guitarra. :-) ) The aching for the place never leaves me. I'm hoping I can someday figure out why.
This trip, though, will be different for several reasons.
|Pettorano sul Gizio|
Fast forward to April 2015. I have two groups (five people plus moi in each group) who will each spend two weeks in Italy with me this year. I'm taking them to Rome, Sulmona, and Bologna. From each of those bases, we'll hit a number of other cities like Florence, Venice, Modena, Rocca Calascio, Scanno, Pacentro, and Pettorano sul Gizio, birthplace of my maternal grandparents.
|The first photo I took in Bologna after I woke up there last year.|
Here's my theory on this entire trip: I will share everything I know about everywhere we go. I will give them the best experience I can give them. And, more importantly, I will give them time to get out and experience the life themselves. I won't herd them, and I won't hover. They'll have fun. They'll have an adventure. They'll love it. (I hope.) And I'll tell you all about it.
After Mike joins me though, we'll head back down to Sulmona for a few days. My grandmother's village celebrates its patron saints with a two-day festival, and I need (yes, need) to experience it.
So, yes, I am going back to Italy again (emphasis on again), my dear concerned friend. I will go back until I can't.