Four Seasons: Four Trips to Italy
Updated: Aug 15, 2019
My first trip to Italy was in late spring. The blossoming trees had begun to give way to verdant leaves, though cool breezes still reminded us that it wasn’t quite summer.
We began in Venice, city of canals and winding streets. A city of shockingly beautiful sites, people, and homes. Standing in Piazza San Marco for the first time, I felt like I was elevated to an otherworldly place of emotive allure.
Like Vivaldi’s “Spring”, that trip moved quickly, and I was so excited to finally be in a place I’d dreamt of seeing!
We moved south and to Rome, where we took in the Coliseum, Caza di Nero, Vatican, and so many other sites. We ate “real” pizza and pasta, enjoyed creamy gelato, and shopped all over the city. What an experience! As a University student, Italy held everything for me. I tossed a coin over my shoulder into Fontana di Trevi, and prayed that I would return.
And return I did, several times in fact! Years later, during a month long trip to Greece & Italy, my husband and I made our way through Sicily, Rome, Tuscany, and Bologna. As Vivaldi’s “Summer” undulates between smooth notes, and frantic pulses, so were we as we explored Italy.
We began in Sicily and were part of an archaeological dig with our Alma Mater. We began in the peaceful agricultural parts of the island like Salemi, dug in the hot sun, and sampled the delicious fruits and vegetables of the region.
We then made our way up north for a few days, where we reconnected with Rome, and happened upon a televised summer concert in Piazza di Popolo. Rome is always full of surprises!
Finally we spent a week in Tuscany, exploring the fairytale landscapes, breathless at times because of her sheer beauty. Castles dotted the hills, and adorable towns and villages led us to Serre di Rapolano where we stayed in a 16th century refurbished cottage. The magic of summer was everything we hoped it would be!
Vivaldi’s “Fall” concerto is one of expectation and jubilation. The hot summer temperatures have fallen away, and the trees have begun to turn. During my husband’s first trip to Italy, I tried to introduce him to as many things as I could. I’d told him how he would taste pizza and pasta the way they were meant to be. We bought Italian jackets and enjoyed trying to blend into the crowds of people getting a hot drink in the cafes (yet still ate gelato every chance we got!)
My husband’s photos from the trip are so special for us because it was his first trip to Europe. And there was so much expectation on my end. I wanted him to love it, and he did!
He loved the Venetian canals, the food, the crown moldings in the apartments we rented. It spoke to my heart because Italy lived up to his expectations and has become a place we always return to together.
While living in Europe right after University, my good friend and I took our five-week break to travel. I planned a trip to the Czech Republic, Italy, the UK, and France. It would be my first time in Italy in the winter. Vivaldi’s “Winter” begins at a frantic pace. It’s a bit dark, a bit somber, but still exquisite. We spent about five days in Rome. We rented an apartment right outside of the city center and took the train into the city everyday. It rained the entire time we were there, from heavy downpours, to light sprinkles, covering the city in permanent grey tones.
We explored all of our favorite spots, ate as much gelato as we could, and discovered new sites. We were bundled in heavy coats, scarves, and gloves. Christmas trees adorned the piazzas, and the store windows were decorated for the season: bright and lovely. It was a different city, yet the same one I’d grown to love.
Each concerto of “The Four Seasons” is different, yet there is a thread that connects each part of Vivaldi’s masterpiece. And so each of my visits to Italy has been different, yet all were connect by the same thread: Love.