I’m wrapping up a destination article today on Tuscany as sleet falls outside my window, icing the wood planks of a deck I like to roast my body on in the summer. The thing about writing is the delicious ability to be somewhere you’re not at any time of the day. Like the Etruscan coast.
Some people go there to taste the wines of Chiantishire; others to golf or enjoy world class spa treatments before sitting down to some of the world’s healthiest and most tantalising cuisines. My mother would go for the boutiques. But I cast my mind back to a certain drive through winding roads to the sounds of Rinaldo Alessandrini’s ‘Trent’anni a Roma’ recording; to a red sunset over golden fields and a tiny car lost in a seemingly abandoned hamlet. I lean back in my chair by the fire as I write and recall the taste of gnocchi di zucca as we sat, still in our salty bathing suits under soft summer clothing, alone in the upstairs restaurant room of that hillside town, our appetites as healthy as our browned skin. Our smiles a mirror of those bare swims in clear waters after a long bike ride.
There is the taste of Peroni. The recollection of frescos unshielded on chapel walls. The glow of bending grasses. Soft fingers and even softer sounds of words rushing like a luscious river. Che bella l’Italia.
The worlds inside me are as vivid as the one outside my window; I have only to close my eyes and step into them. The door clicks now as I close it behind me.