Every year, in the early spring, in the first weeks of march, I go to Italy. The days after arriving, it is almost like getting delightfully drunk; drunk by the light, the warmth, the smells, the sound of insects and birds, and all the bright spring colours of green, yellow, blue and white. It is so all of a sudden – you have just passed through a cold northern winter – and now you go out of the plane or the train, and are surrounded by all this.
In these days, I never go inside. I find myself a coffeeplace, a terrace, a corner of a garden, somewhere to go and be outside, from the first morning coffee to the first wine in the evening (when it usually gets quite cold, still, at that time of the year). It is all about just to be there, melt into the surroundings, hold the face in the sun and walk around free of heavy winter clothing, the skin beginning to smell sun, southern herbs, warm dust. Moments without any wish than to hold on to this moment.
I have entangled myself in some of the most stupid, damned-from-the-beginning, but strangely strenghtening love stories in those italian springs, I’ve had unforgettable holidays with a best friend, I’ve lived in an incredible house up in the mountain, built in old stone, with four terraces looking over many hills to a fareaway ocean, swapped via some e-mail-list for a 2-room-Berlin appartment. I have had many, many spring (and summer, but that’s another story) days with italian friends and their family, for almost twenty years now. I’ll always be back! (Once, my father told me he had met an italian girl in a little train, strikingly like me – he couldn’t believe it. One other version of myself, maybe, who just stays there?)
Only some weeks now, and it will be the first italian coffee on the streets, sitting in a garden in the countryside, catch up with people there. In the meantime, some photos of last year’s trip!