This I Believe

Geralyn - East Falmouth, Massachusetts
Entered on June 17, 2005
Age Group: 50 - 65
Themes: creativity


Some people hope for heaven after death; I just want to go to Italy.

I believe in Italy.

My husband and I fell in love in 1971; at that time we had been married for 16 years, and to each other. The reason for this new passion was that we discovered Italy. The intense emotion we felt was classic love at first sight, perhaps infatuation, but, like a solid marriage, this love has grown, matured and become more fulfilling with each visit.

So, what is Italy? It is art, church bells, traffic, gelati, flowers, wine, sun, pasta, fruit, cheese, the cafT, water of the lakes and sea, history – the Etruscans, Greeks, Romans – and so many more, the bustle of the North, the deceptive languor of the South, and the often delightful inconsistency. But more than everything, it is the people; generous, warm, sincere, loving; people we have grown to know and to love.

I believe in Italy.

I love all of Italy and not simply the well-known, if magnificent destinations of the one time tourist, but to the little known, almost secret corners and coves of this paradise. From the sensuous, fruitful and often historically abused Sicily, to the intricacies of the web of mountains and sea of Abruzzo; from the Marche’, which was the home of the revered Federico Montefeltro to the splendid lakes of Como and Maggiore, resplendent in the shadow of the Alps while still supporting palm trees, my belief is enhanced.

Rome, ever more firming my belief, is described by Lord Byron as:

“While stands the Coliseum, Rome shall stand; / When falls the Coliseum, Rome shall fall; / And when Rome falls – the World.”

Tuscany, of the thousand faces, inspires; the Veneto enchants; the Amalfi coast thrills; Emilia deserves respect, as Piedmont merits honor; Apulia stimulates awe and Campania, majesty. My belief in this country, this entity, this amazing force of humanity, geography and beauty is never dimmed, but continues to grow with each ever longer visit.

My heritage is Scots, German and Sicilian; the Sicilian part reflecting who knows how many other ancestries considering the numbers who have invaded, ruled or conquered that incredible island, whether Greek, Roman , Arab, Norman, Spanish or others. That notwithstanding, I have become Italian in heart, if not by birth or passport If at first I was infatuated with this varied land in 1971, I have grown into a mature, true lover of this place which rarely fails to satisfy one’s reason for being and zest for life.

Italy, I believe in you.