Once upon a time, I went to Volterra…
Wait. How does Throwback Thursday work? Do I have to bring up something that is relevant to my life? Is there a time limit? I couldn’t find any hard and fast rules except to ensure that you share a photo in which you look different. Got that covered! (Except this says it’s an Instagram thing. I’m choosing to believe this article instead.) So , I look different because I am wearing flannel penguin pyjamas. Got ya, internet. Point for me.
Once upon a time…
in a land far away, I left Rome on a quiet afternoon to make my way to Volterra. At time of this adventure, Twilight was still a pretty big deal. New Moon entered theatres in 2009 and depicted a beautiful city. A fortress surrounded the city high about the Tuscan hills. I had just finished a week-long holiday in Rome with a friend and was planning my next move. I was days away from flying to London, the transit stop to my final destination: home.
The journey to Volterra was long. It consisted of two trains, and a bus. The coast whizzed by me as the train made its way to the bus stop. The sea shone brilliantly; the dirty train windows trying its best to diminish it but to no avail. The bus led me up the hills of Tuscany, where I scurried around to find a hotel. Dropping my bags, I made my way through the gates of the city. There was no internet connection. Or cars. The cobble stoned streets welcomed me.
I made my way to dinner. I had learned how to eat on my own, to take my time perusing the menu and order a glass of wine. This was Italia after all. My mom called and I spoke to her for a few minutes, describing my awe. Finally, I met the eyes of a boy. He was blond, square-jawed; his beard appeared red to me. A green polo shirt. He made his way over to me and spoke English. He asked me what I was doing here on my own. I asked him the same. His sister had broken her back jumping into the Amalfi Coast. He was here to look after her and bring her home once she had recovered enough. In the hours that he couldn’t be in the hospital, he drove around Italy.
We made our way into the cool night air and we stopped for gelato. Giggling like teenagers, we held hands. He told me of his life in Australia; I told him I was going back to Canada.
Late that evening, we leaned up against a half-brick wall and looked out to ancient theatre ruins. A group was putting on a performance and we watched them, enthralled. The moon was bright that night and the stars were reflecting in the stores windows. He kissed me then. His arms provided warmth as the night wore on.
He made a half-hearted attempt to leave. I gave him a bold smile and led him around the city for an hour more before releasing ourselves from playing tourist.
Most people think that Italy is romantic. It is. I had grand visions of an Italian romance while I was living in Trento. An Italian boy would sweep me off my feet and onto his scooter. We would ride through the streets, our scarves floating in the wind. We would stop for gelato and pasta whenever we pleased.
My version of an Italian romance; with a boy from Australia was so much better. We wound our way through the streets, talking over each other. We made jokes and made promises and in the morning, he left to return to the hospital.
I stayed around for a few more hours, visiting cathedrals and the fortress. I bought souvenirs and croissants, drinking coffee from a paper cup. The rain had started. It drizzled around me as I took in the sights. I could still feel his warmth on my shoulders, his hand in mine. The rain did nothing to abate my memories.
And in the late afternoon, I hurried down the hills, catching my train that would lead me to Trento. And home. It was a perfect way to end the most romantic evening I’ve ever had.