Exploring life and the world with wide eyes and curiosity.

Silence & Solitude

9 Agosto – Journal Entry

Sunday night. Back home in Milano. Silence & solitude. Ready to be here and it feels like it’s been ages! I guess that’s the sign of a good vacation. But I tired of the tourist crowds. I tired of the heat and sweat, although I made everything possible out of that trip. I shot some wonderful photos. Had some amazingly full conversations, in Italian. (“Full” for this stage in my ability.) Had some fantastic food. Shared warm smiles with a few people. Actually relaxed in ways I haven’t before (sunbathing at a resort!) And I enjoyed some wide-ranging chats in getting to know Glenda.

I’m glad I went. Glad for the time, energy and expense. Glad to have added to my experience of Italy.

Yesterday, my (our) last day, I wandered alone, had the best meal in two months, and explored the “un-beaten path”. That’s what I learned in Venice last year: get off the main drag. Get away from the rutted route of the tourist hordes! It’s when I simply step off onto a side street, neither advertised nor polished, that I find some sort of interesting gem and a more realistic picture of local life. That feels much more true and full of heart. It’s what I seek out with each new place. I had that yesterday and now feel especially satisfied.

I walked opposite the flow of tourism, away from high-end boutiques, shops selling flip-flops and souvenirs, and subsequent gelato vendors. I strolled the back road, enjoyed a waterside park and its bench alone with my journal. Got almost out to the lighthouse. Took a mere-shoulder-wide, cobbled path up, up, up the hill and found private villas, a tiny church and a calico cat that wouldn’t let me stop petting her. And after coming back down the hill and onto a little water’s-edge stret, I entered a fish market and watched the fishmonger cut 1/2″ slices off a swordfish tail-end that was a least a foot in diameter.

All of that is Ischia!

And, in my solo, side-street wandering, I shot a photo that’s one of my favorites so far! At the Coast Guard office of all places… Gorgeous, salmon-colored walls, a stairway, wrought iron and light from above. Beautiful! That’s the reason to wander away!

Ischia-SalmonWall

  1. RikelAugust 10,09

    The photo draws you in…inviting you to enter thru the open gates and assend the stairs. Excellent work Maureen.

    Welcome back home to Milano! Rikel

  2. MaureenAugust 10,09

    Thanks, Rikel. This is one of my Top Pick Pics of the last two months. I could look at this one for a long time. It has so many elements that say “Italy” to me: the strongly-colored walls, the wrought iron, the golden light, the fan-arched stone paving, the imperfect stucco, the columns and brick… Mmm.

  3. DonAugust 13,09

    Maureen, I would disappear in those stairs in my new orange attire. Don

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