Italian Towns: A Journey Into the Past

Going around Italian villages is like a journey into the past. Another time, another way of life. Everything speaks of times gone by. From narrow cobblestoned streets, to ancient buildings. With the ever-present scent of wood smoke, transporting the mind to slower days. When entire families gathered round the fire, chestnuts roasting and wine glasses toasting. Secure and safe, like squirrels in their winter’s nest.

But springtime awakens from winter.

Sleepy towns begin to shake off their slumber. And the race is on to get homes, fields, and gardens in order before the long hot days of summer. When both farmers and their wives will drop exhausted side by side. Pleased over work well done, for the afternoon siesta. That ancient, enduring, and endearing custom of all Mediterranean lands.

Brooms in hand, every walk gets swept, every flower box filled. Windows opened wide for the Pulizie di Pasqua (spring or Easter cleaning). Women scrubbing and polishing, as their kerchieved mothers had before them.

Eager to finish before the tomato harvest. When with aching backs and sweaty brows, they’ll stoop over the outdoor fire, stirring next year’s salsa.

Time creeps in the village, where life for the most part still holds to the rhythm and patterns of the seasons. Savored in minute bites, enjoyed in languid ways.

Yet summer, as everywhere, whizzes by.

Farmers trade hoes for harvest equipment. Shaking olives from trees and dropping grape clusters into baskets. As mothers ransake wardrobes for cozy sweaters. And children, donning traditional school smocks, traipse off to school with their pals. Their grandparents harking back in memory. Reminiscing of their own childhood days when they skipped along the same worn streets.

Never-changing scenes of antiquity. Like a long-running drama with new characters and props. Yet ever telling the same story. New faces and modern times, yet somehow unchanged.

Carts and buggies long since pushed into the past. Radios gather dust in attics. Jeans and Nikes® replace former garb. But the story, like a movie on constant replay, goes ever on.

Abiding scenes that bring a certain reassurance. Modern day life — a picture in the making, woven together with the past, into one big tapestry.

Enduring family life

Our streets, all around town, present the unending scene of enduring family life. Life as it should be.

A reminder that although times change, much remains the same. Things like family and friends. Warmth and camaraderie. Neighbors lending a hand. A glad handshake, a friendly smile. Old folk gathered around warming fires. And children skipping off to school, as will their children after them.

Our Italian towns remind us to hold on to the things that matter. To treasure them and hold them close. Sure, we must embrace the present while anticipating the future. But may we always remember to bring the good of the past along with us!

These are things I hope remain forever the same. Or for as long as the sun keeps rising and setting. Because it’s often these little things which take for granted that make the world a better place.

And how about you? What would you keep?

Images are my own.

Published by Signora Sheila

Wife, mom, nonna, missionary, and Bible student on a spiritual walk with Christ @mycammino. Because life is at heart a spiritual journey of going further up and further in, into the Father heart of God.

17 thoughts on “Italian Towns: A Journey Into the Past

      1. I know what you mean, Cynthia. I’m afraid I do quite a bit of complaining over it too. Despite my efforts not to! And also anger/frustration over so much of the mismanagement. I love this country, but sometimes they’re not good at that. They keep putting us in the worst zone (red). But we’ve got hospitals nearby that have been closed down in recent years. And nothing is done about recommissioning them. Instead they make the people feel guilty for visiting or wanting to visit family, loved ones, and friends. Something seems pretty warped in it to me. Illnesses should be fought primarily with medical tools. Not home jails. Oh no, now you got me started… lol!! I do hope you get to come soon to your beloved Italy!!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I am sad but not completely surprised to hear about the mismanagement, Sheila. All governments seem to be screwing up in some way at this time, but some worse than others. Hang in there. I thing the coming of spring should help even a little.

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      3. I think so too, Cynthia! But don’t worry, I’m not down. God has blessed us too much for that. And sometimes I just stop watching the news and enjoy all my blessings!! And we already have a feel of spring in the air here!!

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Loved this post 🙂 it’s important we don’t forget to live in the moment. I don’t mind the technology of today, though I’ve grown up around it, especially in my late teens. However, I think there’s a time and a place for everything. 🙂

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    1. Well TR, even though I grew up without technology I appreciate it too. Especially since it helps me stay in touch with my family, friends, and blogging community!! I just think that sometimes people forget that there is also such a thing as balance!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I would do away with cell phones and many other techno gadgets. A standard phone indoors was fine. Keep with us more outdoor play for kids–and adults– that I used to enjoy in my hometown neighborhood–without those gadgets. Loved the post today. Pictures are always a plus!

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