Last summer my husband and I made the decision to take our then three and a half year-old, Harris and our five and a half year-old, Joslin to my cousin’s wedding in Ravello, Italy. The trip included 3 days in Rome and five days in the Amalfi coast. My entire immediate and extended family on my mother’s side travelled 7 hours by plane and three hours by car through the winding hills of the Amalfi coast to arrive at the small and vibrant town of Amalfi.
It was a “pinch me I must be dreaming” kind of vacation. There were four generations of Italians and Italian-Americans…cousins, uncles, grandparents, nieces, nephews, brothers and sisters together in what in my opinion is one of the most beautiful places in the world. My parents were in heaven. It has always been their dream to have their grandchildren visit their native home so they could show them the beauty they have never forgotten.
I know my children may not remember walking amongst the ancient ruins, standing in the Colesseum, being in the presence of Michelangelo’s Moses, sending wishes in the form of euros into the Trevi Fountain, boating into the Grotta Azzurra (Blue Grotto) or dining at Villa Cimbrone, but I trust that the sights, the smell and the love they felt in my parent’s hometown will live in them somewhere. I’m hopeful that we’ve planted a tiny seed that will grow into a love of travel, adventure and an understanding that the world while big is not intimidating.
I trust that they will remember…
- the purr of the Vespas on the cobble stone streets…perfect white noise for peaceful sleep
- the taste of the salty Mediterranean Sea water balanced by the smell of sweet Amalfi lemons, the taste of homemade gelato or torrone
- the chatter of my father’s native Neopolitan tongue and the signature hand gesturing that reminds them where their mother’s tendency to “over express” comes from
- the affection whether it be smiles, hugs or “due baci” from local store owners, waiters or distant cousins
- the sound of the rolling “r”. Buon giorno! Buona serra!
- the bottomless plates of cacio e pepe, amatriciana and carbonara!
- the controlled chaos that is Italy
Thank you Italy for the memories. We will be back soon! More of my personal pics on Instagram @erekav