This is a little bit of catch up. My intention this year was to live in one place and experience the culture and the seasons where my ancestors had emigrated to the United States from, Messina, Sicily, Italy. In mid-September, I was told in no uncertain terms from the Messina, Questura (Immigration Police) that I could not stay more than 3 months in Messina, even with an EU passport. I had to have a job, be in school or be with an Italian family member to stay longer. So my year has been under renovation and I am more of a nomad today. (I have a video on an indescribable Tanzania, Africa trip and an Amsterdam art experience yet to post here, which are already on YouTube) I do plan to return to Italy after the 3 month moratorium, maybe in March. Before leaving, I took this Enchantments trip to Northern Italy. This is Stop #4 – Cremona in early September. I am so glad I made this trip.
I went to Cremona because Conor said how much he wanted to visit it if we had a chance and it was his birthday when I was there this trip. I felt like I was there for him. And for my mom, who signed me up for violin lessons at my elementary school when I was 6, bought me my first and only violin when I was 11 and made all my concert required dresses by scratch when I played in Junior High and High School. I tried to make a few, too. She was definitely there with me in Cremona. And for my Dad who attended all my concerts. I was always so grateful he was there. I still play violin, but in the style of the fiddle today which is also fun and lively.
The final stop in my Enchantments Abroad trip may take me a while to edit. It is stop #5, Florence, but was actually 2 stops, one after Arezzo and another before returning to Messina. I stayed in Florence for 6 weeks in 2021 and met a friend who is also a teacher and works at a restaurant. We shared fun moments that summer and I met his very Italian mom who was a darling woman and they made the most amazing homemade Italian meals for me. We rode bikes around the city and I learned better Italian.
We stayed in touch over the 2 years since and were able to meet again during this Enchantments tour. I think there will be more about that in Stop #5, Florence as well as so much beauty in and around that beautiful city.