Samara O'Shea

La Dolce Far Ninente

This blog was written two days after I arrived in Italy. Alas, the house would only allow us ten minutes of Internet access at the most, so I was never able to post. It’s probably a good thing that the Universe made sure we got off line.

March 24, 2011

La Dolce Far Ninente is Italian for “the sweetness of doing nothing.”

After an eight-hour flight, I touched down in Rome and the whole airplane cabin began applauding. I’m not sure if we were applauding the pilot for a smooth landing or the Roman gods for seeing us there safely, but I participated enthusiastically because I got a kick out of the sporadic clapping. When I went through security, the guard did not stamp my passport. This perturbed me. I was going to request it but feared it would look suspicious. “Why do you want your passport stamped so badly?” Um, because I’m in Italy, and I’d like my passport to reflect that fabulous fact.

Once I had my bag, I readied myself to get on two trains. The first was easy, getting on a shuttle from the airport to Roma Termini (Rome’s central train station). The second, required a little more maneuvering and standing in front of signs long enough to make it obvious that I’m a tourist. I found my track with moments to spare and was off to Orvieto. An hour and half later, Jennifer picked me up and we drove through the Italian countryside.

The villa we’re staying in is in the middle of nowhere. There are no street lights and barely any cars. The silence is striking. It begs your attention. There are no clocks in the house. You have to go out of your way to find out what time it is. If you drive twenty minutes in any direction, you’ll come to a town—small and magically built on a hill at least a thousand years ago.

I’m savoring the space. The space in the house. The space outside the house. The sky at night showing six hundred more stars than I knew existed. The undulating terrain. Usually when I travel, it’s go go go. Go to this museum and this restaurant. Let’s see this show! But here, I’m trying to simply be while enjoying the quiet, the company, and the wind dancing in the fireplace. A few initial photos:

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The nearby castle

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Tiny town street

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Sheep crossing!

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The town and the terrain go so well together.

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My first authentic Italian pizza

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Me and the villa