While boarding my flight from Barcelona to Delhi a few days back, the familiar heartache crawled its way back to find me. My month-long adventures in Spain were ending; I already missed the gorgeous olive countryside, the long lunches, the longer siestas, the best sangrias in the world, and the cobbled streets of sleepy old towns that first made me fall in love with Europe. Admittedly, getting upgraded to business class on Turkish Airlines helped nurse the pain, but it wasn’t until I started chatting up my co-passenger on my second flight from Istanbul to Delhi, that I knew I was on my way to new adventures. Before you start getting ideas, this isn’t about that Bollywood story where girl meets boy and the rest is predictable!
“Experiencing a country through its cities is like judging a book by its cover.” ~yours truly. Welcome to Gargnano. An unassuming little village on the northern shores of Lake Garda in Italy, away from the touristy towns of Desenzano and Sirmione. Here everyone knows everyone else. Two days is how long it takes for the locals to know me, despite my broken language.
Time stands still. I gaze at the colors of the lake. The waters are transparent, but they reflect the green of the marine life beneath and the blue of the sky above. The combination forms the shades of an artist’s palette.
Cinque Terre is the collective name for five villages perched upon hills by the Italian riviera. The landscape here is truly unique; on a raised stretch of land by and above the azure waters thrives a whole civilization.
It’s hard not to fall in love with a country so beautiful, a people so full of warmth and energy, a language so passionate, and what’s probably the best food on the planet. When you travel, sometimes the most unexpected of places feel like home. That was Italy for me.