Every year I spend my Christmas Holidays, or at least Christmas day, in Italy, with my father’s family. This year was no exception and after landing in Florence on the 21st of December and spending one night there, I then left for my family’s home village, Sellano, until the 26th.
The years pass and I spend less and less time in Italy. With my job constraints and my love for traveling, I have to find a good balance between traveling around the world while still going to Italy from time to time. In the end, I manage to go there twice a year, one week during the Summer and one week at Christmas, which unfortunately is not enough.
However, even if it is just for a few days, I never miss these two occasions, and Christmas particularly, is the perfect time to go Home, especially when Home is Italy, the perfect place to have a refill of good food, noisy Italian family and beautiful monuments wherever you go.
My family lives in a small village not surrounded by any international airport. Hence I can land in different cities (Pisa, Firenze or Roma) and then make a 2 hours journey by train to get there. This year, Florence was the cheapest destination and it was convenient as my father has a restaurant there.
Hence the first night I was welcomed by father and his delicious cooking. Then, after a good night sleep, I took the train in the early morning to get to Sellano, where my father and brothers would join me later. Once there, in a village in the middle of nowhere, the main activities are resting, eating and spending time with the family. Since my cousin also opened a restaurant, the eating part has taken over the rest, and while going back to Paris on the 26th, I was happy in some ways that my stomach would be finally able to rest.
Typical pre-lunch discussion:
- My aunt, my dad or my cousin: “What do you want to eat for lunch/dinner?”
- Me and my brothers: “No idea, something quick to make”
- My aunt, my dad or my cousin: “Ok what about some toasted bread with our own olive oil and prosciutto for starters, some spaghetti with lobsters as a “Primo” and a grilled sole as “Secondo”?
- Me and my brothers: “…”
If this was a regular meal, Christmas is an even more dangerous time to be in Italy. For Christmas Eve in my family we only have fish, which could be a light meal…but strangely is not. In addition, my father has now a Japanese girlfriend, hence our dinner also included sushi and maki on top of oysters, spaghetti with lobsters, 4 different huge grilled fishes (we were 8 people but we could have easily been 12 without finishing everything).
A week before Christmas we got a new addition to the family, my cousin’s adorable baby girl. I spent a lot of time with her before I got the flu and had to stay away but I will be happy to see her again a little grown up in a few months.
Other than her, I spent time with my family and my adorable baby dogs (they are huge now but I still see them as puppies).
All and all I was happy for this 5 days trip although Winter can be gloomy in this small town, but I was also very excited to get back to France for the second part of my Holidays!