It was this time a few years ago that I visited South Eastern Italy and then the Amalfi Coast.
In the south east the villages were built from the centre out with narrow meandering streets only wide enough to allow passage by foot. Like a maze these ancient alleys guided me through arched tunnels, up and down enclosed stairways, pastel light reflecting on the textured walls that felt like they had grown out of the earth haphazardly without the help of human hands. I spent hours wandering their secret, hidden paths often returning back to the place where I had begin, not realizing I had been traveling in a circle.
In the Amalfi Coast I spent a day in Ravello where the town sits high on a sharp terraced hilltop. Enchanted by views of the a misty blue ocean from heights that had, previously, only existed in my imagination I soaked in the magic. A visual memory to absorb and carry in my being. A sight to remember for always.
Tuscany, where I had travelled a couple of years earlier, was different. It had an enchanted atmosphere, unique and its own. Instead of misty sea views there was the soft earthy rolling hills, foggy in the morning light, that reminded me of the contours of the human body. In ironic contrast the gentle horizontal shapes were interrupted by tall, sharp Cypress trees reaching with elegant determination towards the heavens. Unlike the circles in the villages of the south east, Tuscan towns, while still ancient and with a central heart, were built like spines with paths leading outward. Colours were of the earth ...russet, sienna, golden ochre that reminded me of honey, ivy greens and dark forest verde. The shades changed throughout the day as the soft muted morning light gave way to brightness and then to a cooler evening hue.
The joy, and struggle, in trying to capture an essence, a favour of the Italy I visited has entertained me for several years now, in amongst other fascinations, and may continue for some time.