Hello Friends. I am about three weeks behind in writing, and am actually writing this while on a plane flying back to the US. Italy was such a whirlwind that I never seemed to be able to find the time and creative energy to write. My biggest challenege is that I always want to do justice to the experiences, places, and people, and because I know I want to write enough to try to accomplish this, I get overwhelmed and then end up writing nothing at all. Not the most brilliant plan, I know. So here is the next instillation.
Milena and I stayed in London for just one day before heading to Italy. For dinner (and of course food is one of my favorite things to talk about) I finally got to go to SAF, a vegan, predominantly raw foods restaurant created by a newer friend of mine, Chad Sarno. I met him about a year and a half ago when travelling through London with a former partner. At that time, SAF was still under construction, so it was lots of fun to come back and experience it now as a completed project. The restaurant is also designed with lots of attention and commitment to sustainability. They even have an outdoor herb garden and bar that is run with solar. The food was great, the drinks were beyond delicious, but what was even greater is that Chad just happened to be in town coincidentally as he had moved to America since last I saw him. It was so wonderful to share delicious food and wonderful conversation with Chad, Milena, and Pietro.
The next morning, Pietro—being the absolutely wonderful and generous human being that he is—took Milena and I to the airport and off we headed to Milan, Italy. We were to meet up with Alissa (Co-Director of Engage Network, Project Director for What’s Your Tree, former Executive Director of Cirlce of Life) a few hours after we arrived, so Milena and I went to a nearby park to have lunch and wait for Alissa to arrive from the U.S.
Alissa arrived a bit worn out, but ready for the adventure, and off we went to Madonna Di Campilgio. I fell asleep on part of the way there because whenever I am in a car for more than 15 minutes, I get sleepy. I think it has to do with my being raised traveling so much because if I fell asleep, time went by quicker, and I wouldn’t get into trouble—which was a seemingly constant issue for me. So now, put me in car for longer than 15 minutes, and I immediately start yawning and my head starts nodding as I feel almost drugged.
As we closed in on Modonna Di Campilglio, though, I awoke to beautiful nature all around. Huge mountains of granite and Dolomite were on either side, with the lower parts of the mountain covered in forests, a river flowed through the valley and the towns along the way, and each town seemed to be more picturesque than the one before.
I swear that much of Italy looks like a postcard or a movie set and this breathtaking place was no exception. We arrived at a gorgeous Eco-Hotel with rooms overlooking the mountains, and got settled into our rooms before meeting up with the organizers of the next day’s events. We had a lovely dinner with organizers Lory and sister Roberta, activist Giacomo and his wife, then headed off to bed for a busy next day. What an incrediblly beautiful place and absolutely delightful people!