I went to Tuscany last week. I’m Italian, but I didn’t travel that much in my country, because I’m one of those people who says “I have to discover a lot of things in the world, I will always have time to discover Italy”.
I wanted to be out of the world, so I spent 5 days in the middle of nowhere, in the beautiful, mute hills.
I was with other Italians, 10 people who live in different cities across Europe, Italy included. And I learnt a lot.
I learnt that it is NOT simple to live in a country that is not your own, at least not 100%. Everyone says that it is simpler to go away from Italy than to stay and fight to make it better, but I can tell you it’s NOT.
Even if you know the language, it’s not your mother tongue. And it’s so difficult to make jokes, or to express really important concepts. When I was in Italy, I felt free.
Free to joke. Free to be alone and think in Italian. Free to argue, free to disagree. It’s already been a few years since I left Italy and it was the best decision I took, really. But sometimes a bittersweet melancholia is stronger than my happiness. And everything is hard, at least for a few moments that seem eternal.
In Italy I met really good people, some for the very first time. And we talked about our lives, our difficult moments, our best moments, and there was an incredible connection, because at the end of the day we are Italians, and this adds some extra value to a human relationship.
I’m not even a great coffee fan, but in Italy everything tastes different, and the coffee tastes of friendship and smiles.
During my vacation, I saw an Italy I defined “old”. Yeah, old people everywhere, old trains, old shops, like the time was stopped by someone who is afraid to innovate. I saw some things I hated, but I was on holiday and I just wanted to focus on good things.
It’s like that when I go to Italy. Things I love, things I hate. But it’s a particular love and hate: because, at the end, I’m Italian and everything is so amplified because what I’m seeing is MY country.
I like to think that even hate is somehow love expressed with fear of seeing your country fail in many aspects.
I love you Italy, I love all your faults, I love all your beauties, I love to hate you, because I hope you can hear me and be better.
All photos by Giulia Depentor)