Jottings from Jacquelin

Musings on travel adventures.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006


Ever since I vacationed in Venice as a teenager, I've wanted to return to Italy. Every year I would say to myself, “next year." But, for whatever reason, it just never happened.

Finally, "la forza del destino” took over. I didn't exactly start hearing voices, but some force greater than myself began guiding the course of events. In the end, I simply felt like a migratory animal blindly following an internal, instinctual call.


Now I know why the great beyond was calling me to come here.

We may have the practical side of life down pat--well stocked discount stores and computer shops filled with the latest portables--but the Italians have perfected the aesthetic side of life.

Street after street of majestic buildings; flowers blooming from every window box, on every balcony, along every street. Open air markets bulging with gorgeous fruits & vegetables, glorious cheeses, salamis, and breads--all with superb flavor.

I adore Milan. It's like Paris with friendlier people. The neighborhood I'm living in is called “Porta Venezia" and it's truly lovely.

My apartment building is something right out of a foreign film. A curving marble staircase leads up to my front door. The apartment has marble floors, 30-ft. ceilings and balconies galore. Huge, floor-to-ceiling, French door-style windows with stained glass panels open onto the balconies in each room. My bedroom and the kitchen face an inner courtyard blooming with pretty little pink, red and orange flowers.

The first hour I was here, sitting on my balcony, looking out onto this tranquil courtyard, I felt like I had beamed myself into my own dream setting. This country is my aesthetic homeland.

Every morning, first thing, I get up and open the doors on all the balconies and let the light in and the summer breezes blow through.