When I watch a program about places such as the Vatican, Saint Peter’s Basilica, the Pantheon, how Rome was built as well as places like Saint Mark’s Square or the Doge’s Palace, I certainly appreciate the grandeur, the beauty and the history. I am taken aback by the power and wealth that built them. I marvel at the engineering that went into these places so long ago. I am amazed that despite being 2000 years old, their ideas are the basis for structures still today with all of our advances. And there it ends. It leaves me cold. I don’t think about it much after that.
On the other hand, last year I watched a special filmed in the (what was)forgotten town of Matera, I watched the slow reincarnation of this ancient town by some of its young inhabitants whose ancestors once lived in these cave dwellings. I have watched women in the Umbria region walking through a field picking the tiny Saffron flower. I watched a woman work a loom hundreds of years old, the same loom her ancestors used. I watched artisans repairing mosaic pieces from local churches in the Oltrarno neighborhood of Florence, one tiny piece by tiny piece. I watched a proprietor cut huge pieces of beef, cook each one himself and serve it with such pride in his tiny dining room. These things made me feel. They move me. They speak to me. They create a warmth in my soul. They make me misty eyed. They make me have to experience Italy.
I mentioned in my last post that I am feeling a bit unprepared for my trip, despite my having had a very long time to prepare. I am an experienced traveler as a my friend Deb pointed out, so why am I feeling like this? Why do I feel like I am not ready, and unorganized? Continue reading