“You’re moving to Italy? When can we visit?!” Whenever we share that we’re re-locating to Tuscany, people’s eyes light up. Rolling hills, cypress trees lining winding roads, guaranteed golden sunshine, endless vineyards and olive groves, and of course the world-famous gelato ... who wouldn’t want to live there?
“Let’s get one thing straight. Your Italy and our Italia are not the same thing. Italy is a soft drug peddled in predictable packages, such as hills in the sunset and olive groves. Italia, on the other hand, is a maze ... you can go round and round in circles for years.”
After a few years in northern Italy, we have moved ‘home’ to Sicily. Here I grew up, here my parents laboured. Palermo is the 2018 Italian ‘Capital of Culture’. And what a feast of richness in this city, capital of Sicily, with over 1 million inhabitants in the metropolitan area, defined by many as ‘the most conquered’ of world cities.
It was late on Christmas Eve when I got the call. Fabiano’s Mum was furious. Fabiano had just wrestled her to the ground to prise a dog out of her embrace and thrust his sister flying back towards the door as he stormed out back to his Dad’s.