Early yesterday morning, an earthquake of 6.2 devastated towns in central Italy. At this point, 250 confirmed lives have been lost but more are expected. My heart goes out to those in Amatrice, especially, who have lost family members, neighbors, even their town itself.
We have friends in Umbria, one of the regions hit by the earthquake. But our friends live about two hours away from the affected area and are safe. Because my thoughts and prayers are with Umbria, I wanted to tell you a little about our vacation there last summer.
We stayed with our friends, Joan and Roger, who have lovingly restored a 13th –century farmhouse and olive farm near Perugia.
Their home is like a resort but with heart and soul. It’s carefully tended, with an eye for beauty and detail. Everywhere we looked, our eyes feasted on something amazing.
The house itself welcomed our weary selves the moment our driver, and new friend, brought us to the front door. Colorful flowers bloomed in abundance against a backdrop of gorgeous green grass below and brilliant blue sky above. Over 1000 olive trees with small, shimmery leaves stood in straight lines below the main lawn. And beyond that, the view spread out to fields and farms leading over to Perugia, an ancient city that dates back to the Etruscan period before Christ. Seriously.
We took day-trips to Florence, Assisi, and nearby villages where we saw historic sites, experienced Italian culture and food, shopped, and ate lots of gelato. Then we returned home, relaxed, and ate a leisurely dinner there or nearby.
Over and over, I grabbed my phone, walked the grounds at home, and snapped photos. Being in that place, with my loved ones and friends, experiencing all that we experienced—I couldn’t believe how fortunate I was. I didn’t want to forget any(tiny)thing, and I’ll be sharing more about it in future posts.
That trip reinvigorated my love of beauty and helped inspire me to start this blog. So, to Joan and Roger: grazie mille. And to those affected by the earthquake: che Dio sia con te (God be with you).
You don’t have to travel to Italy or, chances are, very far from home to experience a trip filled with beauty. Tell me about a beauty-filled trip you had. Leave a comment here or on social media or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.