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!