Today marks un anno (one year) since I moved home to Canada from Italy. It’s been a day of reflection for me as the many things I miss about living in Italy have crossed my mind at one point or another.
They are (in no specific order):
1. Speaking Italian all day, every day. (Brings a smile to my face every time.)
1a. Speaking Italian with a Siennese accent all day, every day. (Sounding like a local=even bigger smile.)
2. Flavourful, wholesome Italian food at each meal. (It cut down on my junk food cravings big time.)
3. Living in the most beautiful city – Siena. (I’ll never get tired of looking at the Palazzo Pubblico. Ever.)
4. Spending time in the piazza. (Need I say more?)
5. Aperitivo at my favourite hangout. (And Sunday lunch there, and dinner there, and midnight snacks there…)
6. Walking (almost) everywhere I go. (Helped me stay in shape after all that pasta and wine.)
7. Learning something new – a word, a custom, an historical tidbit – each day.
8. The sense of independence, pride and accomplishment I felt at being so at home in my second language and country.
9. My colleagues at my crazy job. (Mi avete salvato la vita!)
10. That “closer to life” feeling I’ve written about before.
Now that the sappy part is over, here are a few things I do not miss about living in Italy:
1. The lack of a clothes dryer. (Sheets and clothing dried in the Tuscan sun? Inviting. Towels dried in the Tuscan sun? Stiff as a board. Also, drying time in colder temperatures? DAYS. Also, risking your life by hanging out your window to get to the clothesline? Not ideal.)
2. The 110 stairs I had to climb to get to my apartment. (Made me think twice about running back up to get something I’d forgotten. Unfortunately also made people think twice about coming to visit me.)
3. The general lack of availability of foods that are not Italian. (By the end of my stay in Siena however, an Indian place had opened up right across the street from my apartment. There were only 110 stairs and a cobblestone street separating me from curry!)
4. The fact that my family and most of my friends-the two most important groups of people in my life-were half a world away. (But it was great when some of them came to visit!)