The one question we used to receive constantly while living in Ascoli Piceno was, "come mai Ascoli?" (why are you living in Ascoli?) Now that we're in Cleveland, everyone is asking, "Why Cleveland?" where the current city motto seems to be, "at least we're not Detroit!"
The second question everyone asks is, "don't you miss Italy?" Answer: Yes. Every minute. With every fiber of my being. I miss the piazzas, I miss my routine, and my morning cappuccino (and my sweet, smiling barista) with my perfect cornetto. I miss...well, I miss so many things that if I continue to dwell on them and list them I will only sink deeper into the blues. But I really miss speaking Italian, and my friends.
I am in the place where I grew up, yet I feel displaced. I am surrounded by people who speak my native tongue, but often feel misunderstood. And I feel rather isolated, even though I am lucky to be in a neighborhood where I can walk to shops, restaurants and a locally-owned grocery store.
Yes, homesickness has set in. Several people have welcomed us "home," but if the old cliche is true that home is where the heart is, then home for us is definitely Italia.
So this week, just as I was starting to feel good and really melancholy, I received two emails from friends in Italy that confirmed my heart.
One wrote that "even though we haven't been friends very long you (voi, plural form) remain in my heart and I am sending you hugs and kisses". The other said "we miss you terribly, and I even miss calling you for no reason." Awww. Just when I was lamenting that some of my long-time friends had blown me off, these two have blown me away with their sweet sentiments.
Now excuse me while I go cry in my (watery and overpriced) caffe`.
Read About Places I Love in Italy:
-Matera - the City of Stone and a musical place
-Ascoli Piceno - The background and why we chose to live there
-Basilicata - The Land of Brigands and Land of Southern Hospitality