Tuesday, November 6, 2012
Here in Italy I have yet to feel that longing for home. Homesickness can’t happen if your home is where you are. Here in Florence, it has become second nature for my morning espresso. I don’t miss my large American Cappuccino latte that I used to order. I don’t miss my car and driving to the closest Stop & Shop. I love taking long walks down the streets I recognize. I know these cobbled streets, these churches, and I know where to go for the best Panini. You cannot feel a loss of home, when you have found your second one.
Family also makes a home. And luckily for me, I have an Italian family. However, I had never met them before, and more interesting, they do not speak English. You can imagine my excitement and nervousness for my invitation to Turino to visit family. It was not just my Turino family though, it was also my Sicilian family that had traveled to Northern Italy to visit me. I was overwhelmed and did not know what to anticipate during the six-hour train ride.
Once I stepped off the train at the Turino Centrale station, I quickly embraced my Aunt Silvana and Uncle Franco. I instantly felt at home.
They never sat down until I was at complete comfort. All of my family welcomed me with a warm embrace, even if they didn’t understand my choppy and sad excuse for Italian. All my family made sure I was given plenty of gifts, well rested every morning, and my tummy was stuffed with delicious home cooked food.
There was always a constant sense of family importance. Story telling was always to be heard and food never ceased at the dinner table. As long as there were laughs, we all stayed seated together. We would enjoy one another's company for hours.
It was very hard for me to say goodbye after so much kindness and hospitality they showed me. I felt so at home in a place I had never been to, with people I had never met.
I know I will leave Florence soon, but in the future I know I will come back. And I will still know my cobbled streets and my shops and my espresso just as I do now. Because after all, Italy is my second home…