Regular readers of this blog will know that I am fortunate enough to be able to spend a few weeks every year in a place I love very much – a little town called Cernobbio, on the banks of Lake Como, in Italy. Over the years I have learned how to speak Italian reasonably well (although certainly not as well as my son Giulian), have made a few friends (who tolerate my less-than-perfect Italian), and made a small home-away-from-home.
It is to Cernobbio I go when I need to get away – from love, from life, from work – and it is Cernobbio which always manages to make me whole again. By the time I got there in June, I felt in serious need of replenishment and rejuvenation. The beginning of the year had been challenging – for all sorts of good and valid reasons – and I was looking forward to seeing Giulian (who would fly to Italy from school in London), to eating more than my fair share of pasta, and to catching up with my Italian family.
In spite of a record heat wave, Giulian and I went to see the Milan Expo (the 2015 version of Montreal’s Expo ’67), which was devoted – it being Italy – to food and food sustainability. You could taste wines and cheeses from all over Italy, buy some to take home, and then stroll through pavilions presented by most of the countries of the world (except Canada, who I guess decided they didn’t need to be there … pity.) If you’re interested, you can find out more information about the Expo here.
By the time I left Cernobbio I was, as I had hoped, restored, refreshed, and ready to face the world once more. I had seen much, eaten (way too) much, spent time with people I love and who love me, and spoken all the broken Italian I could manage. It was time to go home …