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Bri and me on our hike through Cinque Terre with Vernazza in the background

Do you ever find yourself daydreaming of places you’ve been? Longing to be somewhere from your past, whether recent or way-back-when? Occasionally I will remember a place I’ve visited, longing to go back, even though I often cannot. Lately I just can’t seem to stop thinking about our travels in Italy this fall. I’ve been listening to Italian music as often as possible, hoping it will take me back…

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Walking through Vernazza, Cinque Terre

I saw a quote once (which I can no longer find) that basically said when we travel we are forever changed, and when we leave a place, we leave a piece of ourselves behind. I am feeling this lately.

For whatever reason, Cinque Terre has been on my mind over the past week or so and I can’t seem to shake it. I’m not sure if I’ll ever get the chance to go back (though I truly hope that I do), but I can’t stop thinking about our perfect – if brief – adventure there.

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Vineyards in Monterosso, Cinque Terre

As spring quickly turns to summer here in South Carolina, I am reminded of the warmth of the shores of Monterosso, the first of the five Cinque Terre villages cut into the side of a mountain. Hiking through vineyards and olive groves. Stopping for lunch at a seaside cafe. Eating the ripest, freshest mozzarella caprese salad I’ve ever had…

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Our perfect lunch by the ocean in Cornilgia, Cinque Terre

I may or may not have stopped by the store to pick up some beautiful tomatoes the other day… But I know it won’t be the same, because South Carolina’s tomatoes are not quite in season yet, so these had to be brought in from Florida.

Not to be a snob or anything, but the best produce is typically locally grown because it can be left to ripen on its own before being pulled from its natural source to be loaded on a truck.

Italy’s climate is perfect for growing things like tomatoes, olives, grapes and lemons, so these things are ripe and at-the-ready, even in October. And because it is along the coast, there is always fresh seafood in abundance.

And the laid-back attitude of the Italian people just cannot be matched. No one there is ever in a hurry (even when you wish they would be at times). And just about everyone is friendly.

I am so grateful that I was able to have these experiences in my lifetime. These are memories that I will carry with me for the rest of my life. My husband and I will be able to talk about our adventures for years to come.

But just right now, I sure do wish I could go back. I think a visit to Il Giorgione might need to be in my near future…

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