It’s raining today. Pattering on the roof in a cool drizzle that makes the city settle and the sidewalks become battle zones for multicolored umbrellas fighting for space. Rami and I are both in for the day. Though I’m hanging out on the couch with him now, I’ll soon move to my little desk in the corner to write out the rest of an article on the history of Chianti, and maybe we’ll watch a movie later tonight. At home, it’s easier to go out when it’s raining. Sometimes you can get in your car while you’re inside your house and a quick walk through a parking lot or a drive through a drive-through and errands can be done, even driving around in the rain is something I used to do. Now, the autumn rain makes Florentine’s scurry home like the animals in Bambi the minute the first drops start to fall. Apparently even the local music lessons got canceled – because our neighborhood is silent today after a stream of weeks with constant trumpet, flute, violin, and clarinet students practicing their notes and scales. I normally don’t mind it, a choppy jazz soundtrack, but the silence and the rain today is wonderful.
I don’t mind the rain. Instead of the library, I’ll sit in my pajamas and type out history lessons and maybe even open a bottle of Chianti for “research.” Luna has decided to protest the weather by refusing to get out of bed, and then lethargically moping through the hallway to throw herself on the couch. It’s only five and it seems like the sun has already set. I remind Rami to remind me to get oats the next time we’re at the store. I’m craving apple crisp – and it’s one thing from home that isn’t too difficult to make here. Apples grow in the north of Italy and if we go to the cooperativa market, they have the same taste as one off the tree back home. But the apple obsession doesn’t get that far down to Tuscany, so the New England recipes have to come out.
I just finished reading another book written by a woman who had lived in Florence as an expat for a few years before moving back to the US with her Italian husband. It was an interesting perspective on living here and on some pages, I agreed with her wholeheartedly and on others, I felt we were complete opposites, yet I can see the perspective now because I’ve seen it in so many other international people that have moved here. There are so many people that come and move to Italy for the fantastic sunsets and the glorious piazzas and the high-fashion high-energy perfection. It’s there, it’s gorgeous, and it can be appreciated. But right outside of that, and on the days when the rain pours down, then life in Florence is just normal life. I love it. Most can’t handle it, which means they didn’t want it to be normal in the first place. Rose-colored glasses don’t work when it’s cloudy. They just blind you instead.
I love that life in Italy is normal sometimes, and I crave it as much as I do the breathtaking moments that hit me almost every day, just like they did seven years ago. Florence is my life, all of it. The days of sprawling vistas and parties in castles, and the days of sitting on the couch with my husband while our dog snores. I mean, the Italians did invent the beauty of doing nothing.