Ci Vediamo, Napoli!

What. I have sensitive eyes, okay?

Here we are, guys! We have come to the bittersweet end of The Italy Project. And when I say “we” it is because I truly feel you and I have done it together. I intended to offer some parting words on Italia or living abroad, but my thoughts kept drifting to you, dear Reader. Yes, you! You look gorgeous today, by the way.

Initially, I assumed my fan base (if you can even call it that) was small – consisting almost entirely of my mom and Billy. A tiny, albeit fierce, faction intent on encouraging me to write if only to keep from going batshit crazy here in Naples. And so I wrote, sending my digital message-in-a-bottle out into the cyber sea with no intention of ever being heard. Suddenly, lo and behold, there you were! So many of you!

You offered quick dinner recipes when I bemoaned having to cook for my husband. You laughed (and cringed) with me when I made millions of mistakes adjusting to this new life. You asked me for travel advice (hope I helped!). You supported me when I felt displaced and anxious about what lay ahead.

And who are you anyway? My inner circle (obvi). High school friends I haven’t heard from in years. Military wives who found my blog when a friend of a friend shared it. Even some random readers from countries where I don’t know a soul. (Say hey, creepers!!)

Life’s twists and turns are mysterious. In high school we had to select a foreign language and I couldn’t help but roll my eyes at the kids who wanted to learn Italian. Oh, your grandmother’s grandmother was Italian? How fascinating. Learning Italian would be pointless – after all, no one speaks Italian outside of Italy. I also distinctly remember dismissing metric conversions in a similar fashion. As fate would have it, a few months ago I found myself in Pepe’s kitchen trying to translate my recipe for Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars into Italian…. while reconfiguring the measurements into metric units. I stopped mid-sentence, struck by how wrong my teenage self had been. (This particular episode resulted in me just giving Pepe’s wife a set of U.S. measuring cups. Apparently I still suck at conversions).

I never thought I’d live in Naples – Florence, sure – but Naples? God, no. I never thought I’d be a military wife. Giving up my independent swag to follow some dude around? Inconceivable! I never thought I’d marry Billy. I assumed he had real short-term potential, ifyaknowwhatimean. And yet, here I am. My life has defied so many of my expectations while exceeding my biggest, long-held dreams. I am tremendously grateful for this past year and for your love and support.

Billy and I are about to board our flight. We’re taking the long way back to the States – via Santorini and Switzerland! They say when you come to Napoli you cry twice: once when you arrive and once when you leave. Lord knows, this city brought me to tears more than a few times. But I know a part of me will weep when we go. A dopo, Italia.

5 thoughts on “Ci Vediamo, Napoli!

  1. Ciao Malia! Mi è piaciuto leggere il tuo blog molto! 🙂 My husband’s grandmother was from Bagnoli so I definitely know where Pozzuoli is. I have a weird question for you – we are going to stay in his grandmother’s house later this year (and we had actually already signed up for a week of classes at Centro Italiano). I know that you mentioned doing yoga. Did you find any place other than the gym to take classes? On our last visit a few years ago, I just ran along the waterfront for exercise, but I would love to do yoga while there.

    Thank you again for sharing your adventures and “in bocca al lupo” on the next chapter of your life!

    Like

    • Hi Emily! I’ve been missing Italy lately so it was really fun to get your note. Are you living in the States currently? The only place I tried yoga while in Italy was at my gym – though I did hear good things about the Scuola di Yoga Integrale in Vomero. A lot of Italian gyms/studios require memberships so you would have to inquire about dropping in.

      You’ve been to Napoli before so you probably know the deal… try to keep an open mind, the Neapolitans have their own way of doing things! And their idea of “fitness” is pretty chill. Sorry I couldn’t be of more help. Feel free to reach out with other questions if you have them! Hope you guys have a great visit. Ciao, ciao!

      Like

  2. Pingback: Santorini: A Fantasy Fulfilled | Little Girl, Big World

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