Shannon here: Katy Lee shares her romantic trip to Italy, plus a chance to win a copy of her latest Romantic Suspense, Grave Danger. Comment on this post to enter the drawing. Deadline: April 26th, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Katy:
L’amore in Italia by Katy Lee
In September of 1999 my husband and I set off for our very first trip abroad to Italy, an experience that will forever be etched in our memories as beautiful and nostalgic, but also filled with love.
I say beautiful because of all the sites and scenes Italy is famous for: The watery canals of Venice, the art and architecture of Florence, and the trending fashion of Milan to name a few. I say nostalgic because of the delicious life-altering meals we came across in small, tucked away eateries that matured our palettes forever after. But, when I say love entered in to our trip, it came in by not only candlelight dinners by the Rialto Bridge or gondola rides with serenading gondoliers, but by the unexpected authentic occurrences that we happened upon in the least likely of places.
There was one night in Venice, after all the day travelers departed for home, my husband and I strolled through the deserted streets. To be honest, we were lost, and eventually, we found ourselves in a neighborhood and away from the tourist attractions. A street vendor closing up for the evening beckoned over a young girl. He handed her a bag full of his fish, and she beamed with his generosity as she scooped up the bag and ran home. We walked on, hand-in-hand and came to a square of sorts where an old black-and-white film projected off the side wall of a building. Locals gathered together to view the film, but also to come together in community and friendship. We found a bench to nestle in and watch, even though the movie was in Italian, and we had no idea what was being said on the screen or around us. We just felt content to sit and be a part of this scene.
It’s the moments like these that I remember most. It’s these moments that make me say, “If I ever disappear, check Italy, because that’s probably where I am. Tucked away in one of those intimate neighborhoods, away from the bustle of the world, but surrounded by a loving community.”
There was another time we took a bus ride out of the city of Florence and spontaneously got off in a tiny town in the hills. It was there we came across recently unearthed Roman ruins. A huge amphitheater that once offered seating to the ancient Romans now gave us a glimpse into another era. As the two of us sat on these stones in awed silence, we were pulled together more with this shared experience of wonder as we imagined a community of people gathering in the very place we sat.
I could go on and on with the unexpected experiences that came our way as we got off the beaten path, but instead I will encourage you to tell me about some of yours. Before I go, though, I will tell you about the picture with me on the balcony. The photo was taken while we were in Verona. For those of you who know their Shakespeare, Verona was the city where Romeo and Juliet were from. Sweet love, especially when Romeo calls out to his Juliet from below her balcony…and the balcony in the picture is the replica of Juliet’s balcony, and I am listening to my love call out to me. Verona couldn’t pass that touristy idea up, I guess.
So, like I said, Readers, I would love to hear about your little unexpected adventures when you veered off the beaten path. I do hope you will share.
About Katy: As an inspirational romantic-suspense author, Katy Lee writes higher-purpose stories in high-speed worlds. Through her writing, ministry work, and teaching, Katy dedicates her life to sharing tales of love– from the “greatest love story ever told’, to the sweet romantic tales of falling in love. Katy and her husband are lifelong New Englanders, and have been known to travel far and wide on a whim with their three adventuresome children. Connect with Katy anytime at www.KatyLeeBooks.com. There you will see her Facebook and Twitter links to connect with her further.
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Come back April 18th for Ginger Solomon!