It was a glorious spring morning at the Villa Trotta, an idyllic escape perched on the side of a mountain outside Perdifumo, Italy. I awoke and pushed open the shutters, delighting in the cool breezes that billowed the lace curtains and sent loose papers scuttling across the tiled floor.
My dear friends – Nat, Trish, Becks and Viss – were still sleeping soundly, so I crept quietly down to the terrace…
…to sip on juice, write in my journal…
…and watch the world wake up.
I’ve thought about the villa so many times these last months, remembering the peace and serenity I felt on those early mornings when everyone else was asleep. I loved sneaking down in my pjs, rummaging quietly in the kitchen for something to nosh on, easing myself into a creaky wrought iron chair and sitting, just sitting and looking, for ages. The peace of that place seeped into my soul, giving me courage to let some not-so-peaceful things bubble up and be faced with honesty and grace. It felt so good to write and write, pouring my heart out onto pages that others will never read, settling my heart and mind, free them from the bondage of false thinking, false guilt, incapacitating fear. How I treasure those sunny mornings of healing and renewal.
When the girls woke up, we donned sundresses and other summery garb…
…jumped in the car and wound our way down the mountain to find a grocery store. It was a gorgeous drive – the hillsides festooned with wildflowers and the sea shimmering a vivid blue.
We managed to find our way around town and emerged from various stores arms laden with flour-dusted loaves of chewy bread, fresh mozzarella, Nutella, tomatoes and massive bell peppers, Greek yogurt and bottles of wine.
Back at the villa we changed clothes then lay like lizards on the hot tiles, soaking up every bit of warmth, snoozing, reading, writing, occasionally propping ourselves up on our elbows for a good chin wag before drifting back to our solitary reveries. Bliss.
That night we made our first dinner: pasta with homemade sauce, green beans roasted with olive oil and sea salt, salad, bread and red wine. Trish made our centerpiece…
…and we dined happily as the sun set.
After dinner we went for a stroll, finding the perfect bluff from which to watch the sun set over the sea.
We celebrated our first full day day in Italy with mismatched mugs of hot tea and an assortment of Italian cookies and pastries, including cannoli, which were every bit as good as Becks told us they would be. 🙂
It was a beautiful day.
Roasted Green Beans
1 pound fresh green beans, snapped
- Toss beans with a generous amount of olive oil and sprinkling of salt.
- Spread in a single layer on a cookie sheet and bake at 450 degrees for 10-20 minutes, tossing occasionally for even cooking.
- Beans are done when they’re slightly charred.