I can’t even begin to describe the culture shock I encountered as I de-planed in Philadelphia after my “Big Fat Italian Vacation”. I know it may sound ridiculous, but I believe that I’m in very good company. There seem to be many people who have fallen hard for Italy after a visit. After my first visit to Rome with side trips to Orvieto, Naples and Pompeii, I definitely wanted more. But nothing could have prepared me for the feelings I had post-Capri, Sorrento, Positano, Amalfi, Ravello, and especially Casalvelino.
It was early June when I returned state-side and I literally thought and talked about all things Italia constantly. Sometimes I would just sit around the house on a beautiful summer day and wonder “why did I come back here??” I kept looking at my photos on our big screen tv and the nearly life-size views made me (almost) feel like I were still there. I would look at the Villa Velina keys. There would be tears in my eyes. . .
I am sure I owe many friends and relatives an apology for talking about Italy too much, or practicing my fledgling Italian on them, leaving them with no idea of what I was saying. To all of you who fall into this category, I blame Italia-itis for this. I had no control, I could not help myself, my mind was taken over by a country in which I am considered a straniero (foreigner). Italia-itis is not just a passing illness, but rather a malady; a disorder of the brain that is chronic or deep-seated. Once contracted, it can only be kept at bay by talking about, thinking of or traveling to Italy.
So, my apologies, but as you can see Italia-itis makes me do it!