I’ve been back from Italy for a few weeks now and have been slow to post about my trip. I’ve been savouring the post-vacation glow and to be honest, I’ve wanted to hang on to the sweet memories of my trip for a bit before sharing them.

To call my summer trips to my father’s hometown a vacation is probably inaccurate. While it is fun and restful in all the best ways, as a vacation should be, it is really so much more than a vacation.

My trips to Italy are a chance for me to connect with my roots in the spirit of my father’s presence, which I feel so strongly there. And I have come to love that place. Toronto is and always will be my home, but Rocca is my spiritual home and I feel very blessed that I get to return each year.

While my trip was shorter than in previous years, there certainly was time for all the usual activities. Well, let’s be honest. Mostly I ate. That’s what we do in the Mellozzi family!

Here’s what I did on my most fabulous summer vacation:

I fell in love with a car. Never thought that would happen!

We said goodbye to old doors.

And hello to new ones.

I met some very cool dudes.

I ate a lot. A lot!

I spent time with people I loved.

I enjoyed this view a lot.

I admired a lot of flowers.

I discovered some new recipes.

I spent more time with people I loved.

I learned some new legends.

I baked a bit.

And drank a lot of espresso.

I admired our town. It sure is pretty.

I coveted my aunt’s pasta-making abilities.

I practiced my photography.

I reflected upon days gone by.

I visited familiar places.

But most of all, I looked upon this beauty every day, and I was grateful for all my blessings.

See you next year, Italy. A la prossima!