Springtime in Italy

In a villa, in Chianti Country in Italy.

I can’t get my coffee right. I love the espresso here, but I’m having trouble getting the milk ratio right. Maybe it’s the congestion interfering with my taste buds.

The kids are awake, my oldest and my sister’s oldest are fighting. Again.

We’re all in bad moods. It’s our colds. At least it’s not Covid though. There have been tests taken throughout the severity of colds we’ve all had, the good tests. Everything is always negative.

I go to the apartment the rest of my family is staying in this gorgeous villa turned agritourism, I’m met with coughing and nose blowing. We talked about the reservation my sister made for us in the country; we could all stay in the city and be sick, or we could go to the country and be sick. Unanimously we choose the countryside.

And who wouldn’t.

My dad always says, “the trip is the trip.” In other words, whatever’s going to happen is going to happen and you just deal with it and move forward and try to find the silver lining. Rick Steves (tour guide book writer extraordinaire) once said that each vacation and trip we take is a concentrated experience of our entire life. There are joys, disappointments, frustrations, exhaustion and even colds; all in a very concentrated amount of time. The thing is, it’s up to us to decide how we’re going to react when presented with these microcosms of life experiences.

I’ve been traveling as long as I can remember. Begged my parents when I was young to let me ‘go’ somewhere. I didn’t know what I meant by that, but I knew I just had places to go and things to see and experiences to have.

So this trip is another notch in the belt. However, it is different than any other trip I’ve taken. I wasn’t a tourist this time around. I rented an apartment in my sister’s neighborhood, an area a few miles from the city center of Florence. I helped walk her kids to school. I became friends with the owners of the local coffee shop. I kept close to the life on her street. Visiting the butcher, pharmacist, newspaper stand …and for the first time on any of my trips, I spoke in great length with them all. I’ve study Italian for years, but this was the first time I felt…local.

I wrote a notebook full of fanciful ideas and details of my trip, but we’ll get there. For today, you want to see pretty pictures of Italy, don’t you.

Perseus with the head of Medusa
The Duomo

Santa Maria Novella

The Villa in Chianti Country | Quercia al Poggio

My sister picked wild asparagus

Rice with wild asparagus


  • Valeri Pighini

    Love ehhhttt. This was a great read and I could actually ‘feel’ the photos through your eyes. Wonderful Nicole. Quite simply, wonderful. Love, Val

  • Terri+Niccum

    I agree with Valeri! I love this, Nicole! You make Italy seem real to me. Beautiful and real. I am sorry to hear about your colds, but I know the Sharps will all take the colds in their stride, along with the gorgeous countryside.

  • Brenda Sharp

    More more more!! As dad and I sit here in Zurich, not home yet from our Italy/ Ireland trip we love how you put into words what we, too, have felt while traveling. I love our adventurous family with my whole heart and soul.
    Love, mom

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