It dawned on me not long ago I haven’t been to Italy in 20 years. Sometimes that feels like a lifetime, and other times I remember it so clearly that I think it can’t possibly have been two decades ago. When I was in high school we lived in southern Italy, Naples to be exact, and I have the fondest memories of those 3 years. La dolce vita!
When you’re a military brat in a foreign land, everyone else usually knows exactly how you feel. Every other kid in the school has also been new at some point or another, usually every 2-3 years of their life. New kids are coming and going all the time in Department of Defense schools- the military / government doesn’t only move families during the summer months. There is a camaraderie. Bonds that you form with others when you’re all trying to navigate a completely new environment and just trying to fit in.
Fortunately, our experience living in Italy was a good one. The Italians were accommodating, warm and very friendly. Although certain aspects of the culture were at times challenging for us Americans (constant garbage strikes come to mind), we loved the culture, the land, and of course, the cuisine. Even at 17 I knew that I had been given an opportunity that many people would never have. While I was anxious in some ways to get back to the states and go to college, I always knew that Italy would hold a very special place in my heart.
When some friends of ours reached out about going on a trip to Europe together, we all agreed that Italy was going to be our destination. They graciously agreed to let me plan the details of the trip, and after weeks of agonizing over northern or southern Italy, I convinced everyone that the Amalfi Coast was going to be our best option.
It didn’t really take any convincing, what is there to not love about colorful beach-side villages dotting the coastline overlooking the Mediterranean sea?
We will be spending a few days in Rome where I’ll get to meet up with one of my closest friends from high school, before taking the train to Naples and then down the coast to Positano where we’ve rented a villa. If you’ve never been, it is quite possibly the most picturesque little town you’ve ever seen.
There are so many cute towns nearby to explore and the island of Capri is only a quick boat ride away. I tried to plan the trip so that we had things to do and see each day, while still allowing for free time to wander around or just relax.
For the past several weeks, my husband and I have been immersing ourselves in all things Italian. Since we thought it would be fun to do a weekly Italian night, (you know I love a theme!) we’ve been dedicating one of our weekend nights to cooking authentic food, drinking Italian wine, and watching movies about / filmed in Italy. (while sipping on limoncello of course) It’s been so much fun and I love that he is getting more and more excited to visit a place that I love so much. I have a feeling this will be a very nostalgic trip for me…