I've just gotten back from a whirlwind trip to Palermo, Sicily. This was my first time back to Italy since I studied abroad there in 2008. I was excited, anxious, nervous, a bit intimidated,
after spending so much time in the Czech Republic,
which is the complete opposite of Italy--in so many ways.
Sicily is much different than mainland Italy.
Where do I even begin...
chaotic. loud. aggressive. but hospitable. dusty. dirty.
Italian architecture with a Middle Eastern flair.
with a North African flair.
with a Norman flair.
(let's just say everyone and their brother has lived or conquered or built up Sicily)
In Palermo we wandered the streets eating too much gelato in a brioche
(it's gelato inside a bun, a specialty of Sicily)
drinking too many cappuccinos and finding too much food for our bellies to hold.
On Friday, we took a bus outside of the city to Mondello,
a small beach village with clear water,
three different shades of blue, and powder white sand.
We lounged for hours among tanned bodies
and seductive calls in Italian.
It was paradise.
The rest of the weekend held numerous events with the couchsurfing group.
This was the main reason we went,
because we knew we'd know some people from Prague and meet some new Italian friends.
Welcome dinner, dancing at a club, city tour, market treats, tour of the Cappuccini Catacombs,
tour of a church and village on a hill, Sunday indoor "picnic" because of the rain.
Many memories. Many new friends, not only from Italy, but more from Prague
and some from Copenhagen, Denmark.
It was a glorious few days in the sun,
away from my city-life and a certain land-locked country.
Italy still holds my heart.