Sunday Scribblings – Pilgrimage

I am so grateful for the opportunities I’ve had in life. Most Piazza San Marcopeople are lucky if they ever travel to Italy in their lifetime. I’ve been there three times and have savored each experience.

My first trip to Italy was an amazing 14 day adventure in 1995. It was such a gift for so many reasons. The most important reason was that it was my mom’s last trip to Italy.

We arrived in Venice in the afternoon. We were hot and a little tired and Mom wanted to take a shower. Our hotel had an ancient elevator that could not handle more than three or four passengers at a time. It took a long time for our tour group to get settled in their rooms and an even longer time for our luggage to get delivered. So we waited and waited for our luggage and I remember being so angry that mom had taken a shower without being sure that our luggage would arrive in time for her to dress so we could all go out and explore Saint Mark’s Square as soon as possible. I tried not to be angry but, really, I was. Our luggage arrived, Mom dressed and we headed right into dinner. By the time we ventured into the famous piazza, night had fallen.

In retrospect, my first real taste of Piazza San Marco was magical. It is the custom for the restaurants in the piazza to have a bandstand with a small orchestra in the piazza. That night as we entered Saint Mark’s one orchestra was playing the Carmen Suite by Bizet, musical selections from the opera. That moment brought memories of my grandparents, particularly my grandmother, who loved opera and would listen to the Texaco Opera on Saturday afternoons on the radio. My grandmother used to tell us stories of how she would sneak out of the factory where she sewed and run downtown to see an opera. Nanny loved La Boheme and La Traviata and Carmen so I was no stranger to these melodies.

The lights, the music, the presence of my parents and youngest brother – all contributed to the magic. I was moved to tears and wept openly for the memories of another time and place but also for the memories that were being made in that moment.

I have been to Italy and Venice twice since that first visit. Twice more, I have been deeply moved when I enter Piazza San Marco. I hope to return again some day. I know it will be a long time away. I can wait.

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Filed under Italy, Life

9 responses to “Pilgrimage

  1. I’ve always wanted to go to Italy. Maybe some day.

  2. I’ve never been to Europe, but stories like yours make me ache to travel.

  3. Nicely written – I enjoyed your memories and look forward to your next trip! :)

  4. My dream one day is to buy Prada shoes in Italy…..and believe me it will come true.

  5. maleesha

    I visited Italy in 2002. It was so wonderful, I would love to go back. The people were awesome, the food was incredible, and the country is gorgeous. Europe has much better coffee than we do over here for the most part, which may have been my favorite thing of all!

  6. loudad

    Thanks for the memory. It was also a memorabe moment for me, because of you and Neal and mostly because it was my last visit to Italy with Mom. Whenever I think of Italy I remember that trip first and foremost. Thank you for sharing that trip with us.
    I love you,

  7. thetownnews

    Te amo Piazza di San Marco. I loved both trips to Venice, but this last one didn’t leave us enough time to explore.
    Do you remember our 2003 trip? The day we purposely got lost in Venice and had a blast walking the “stradas”. We ended up at Basillca de Santa Maria della Salute and at night went to that concert?
    That’s the day in Venice I’ll always cherish…that’s what I want to do again.
    SIGH …

  8. It was awesome. I’d go again in a heartbeat, you know that!

  9. thetownnews

    As Luigi (or is it Mario?) says, “Lets-a go!”

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