Did you know that the Italian language resonates the heart more than any other language? You can’t enter the country of Italy without being flooded with romanticism. It comes at you from every angle, inside and out, occupies every sense. It is a multi-media experience from beginning to end and you can feel your heart open to receive the fullness. I had the opportunity to visit Italy for the first time in 2002.
Every summer, my then husband and I had a ritual of visiting his family in Switzerland. That year we decided to take a little side trip South for a few days when we found out that one of our favorite movies – Star Wars Attack of the Clones had been filmed at a famous villa in Lago di Como. The historic villa was open to visitors and us two Star Wars nerds were ready for some fandom adventure.
We packed a small bag and jumped in the car to start our romantic pilgrimage to the Villa del Balbionello. We crossed the Swiss border into Italy without a hitch. The three and a half hour drive from Berne to the Lago di Como region is filled with a variety of language, architecture and vegetation. Lago di Como is what I call eye candy – a magical lakeside setting with a countryside vibe.
We explored several lakeside towns, practiced our Italian ordering gelato, vino, cappuccino’s, Prosecco, pasta and pizza a bizzeffe. One of our best meals was the cheapest, and an accidental find, actually a miraculous find – the only restaurant open at 8pm on a Sunday. In Italy, many restaurants are closed or close early on Sundays. That long weekend we ate and drank every meal outside in an ancient courtyard. Is it me or does everything taste better alfresco?
Finally it was time to visit the epic Star Wars Villa – that’s what we were calling it between ourselves. The grounds were perfection – manicured gardens, majestic architecture and lakeside port of entry. I imagined what it must have been like to live in a such an exquisite place, which had started as a monastery in the 13th century. This historical site is famous for it’s intricate terrace design and this is where the famous love scene between Anakin and Padme (the parents of Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia Organa) took place. As my husband and I walked out to the famous “spot” where the scene took place, he indulged my fantasy grabbing me and kissing me where the famous lovers sealed their fate. I was giddy and filled with the magic that is Italy – it was an epic moment!
Italy is still one of the most visited countries in the world and remains a place of romance, artistic treasures and eternal wonder.
I’ll be hosting a very special retreat there next year, join us for this life changing experience. To get notified and for my occasional newsletter (about 4 times a year) signup here.