If you’ve been following my blog, you know I’ve been writing about my trip to Italy in the form of the five senses. Today I’m writing about touch. I figured this would be a hard sense to write about. How much do we touch? What did I touch in Italy? The first thing that came to my mind was all the handrails I touched. Having a bum knee made hanging on to railings, walls, and rocks a necessity. I bet I touched more International germs this summer than most people touch in a lifetime! I didn’t get sick in Italy because I also touched a lot of soap and water and hand sanitizer!
Okay, now onto the fun things I touched. Number one, all the marble, so smooth and cool. Marble is everywhere in Italy, in the sculptures, churches and buildings, in the floors and countertops. Italy is also famous for its hand-painted ceramic pottery. Again, this is smooth and cool to the touch. The pottery is painted in bright intricate patterns. I was lucky enough to bring home some of this pottery. I love looking at it, a beautiful reminder of my trip.
I remember hot tiles, rough sand, and coarse grass under my bare feet. Sea water and saline pools that refreshed skin baked too long in the sun. Sometimes it felt like I bathed in gelato, my skin sticky with the sweetness. Sun baked my skin each day, but oddly, I never got sunburned. Someone told me the sun isn’t as intense in Italy in the summer that it’s more intense in the spring. I don’t know if that’s true, do any of you?
In the summer, there’s nothing like getting in a hot, stuffy car and having the cool air from the air-conditioner blow against your skin, or using an ice cold water bottle as a make-shift ice pack against your forehead or neck. Heaven.
Lightweight clothing is important in Italy. Nothing feels like white linen against your skin on a hot day, or breezy chiffon and silk at night. Clothes fluttered like a whisper against my skin. In the evening a soft breeze is always blowing, and in the summer, after a blazing hot day, this feels absolutely delicious! Italians take their nightly stroll through the main street of the city, to the main piazza, each night. This promenade, or passeggiata, usually takes place around sunset as the city or town is bathed in the most beautiful blue light. This is a romantic time, when the air goes from warm to soft and magical, like a kiss on your skin.
When Italians say hello or good-bye they hug, they do the double-cheek kiss. The first time this happened to me I wasn’t sure what to do and our faces collided. The next time, I was ready and did much better! Such a civilized way to greet one another, an intimate touch, and a great way for me to end this blog.