Like the sparrow hawk family that returns every year to the trees in my yard, so my soul flies off to Islands in the South. The days lengthen, the breeze warms, and now a light sweater will do instead of the heavy coats we have been armoring ourselves with during the dark winter days.
Naples was my first time to hop over to an island. That time it was an overnight affair and the island was Sicily. Unbeknownst to me I was backtracking the steps my grandparents had taken when they left Sicily to go to Naples and then to America, 100 years ago.
Naples fascinates me, the food, the wine, the erotic decay. One of the finest archeological museums in one of the most illogical of towns. Pizza that people try to emulate all over the world. Tailors who are unmatched for their craft and artistry. And there are the beautiful women, both the Italian, and the American, who flock to nearby areas of Positano, Ischia and Procida.
I am fascinated with the wines of the region. It was here that the indigenous varieties had their springboard back from obscurity and endangered status. Families like the Mastroberardino’s, who clung resolutely to their instincts and gave us all a gift of wines from grapes like Aglianico, Fiano and Greco.
But today I want the wind in my face and the salt water misting our linen clothes. Outside is where the life in the South is lived, whether it is playing or eating or sitting at an outside table having coffee or playing scopa.
I had a note this week, from a young reader, who wrote:
“I have been reading your latest posts and think you are complaining too much. I like to read the posts that have passion, but it sounds like you just want to sound critical, as if that lends authority to your voice. Please, once in a while, come back to the wine trail in Italy and inspire us with your tales.”
The young reader was right. We have gotten off the wine trail, just a little. In the next few weeks, there will be more emphasis on getting back on. There is some travel being planned. During that time, I probably won’t have the connection to post. In any event, posting three times a week for the last two years has been quite a lot. Along with getting back on track, I must also drink from the well, drawing inspiration.
Thank you for your patience and continued visits to On the Wine Trail in Italy. There are more folks coming to the site and I feel the responsibility to not let anyone down.
Martha Graham said it best when she said, “I am only in competition with that person I know I can become.”
Happy Spring and Easter Holiday.
Photos by Vittorio