Our little group had an appointment at a winery which our host imports. We were on the outskirts of San Gimignano and the family has been established there since the 15th century. We were slated to have a tasting and then after a meeting, a little light lunch.
We had been on the road for almost a week, and the August holiday was winding down. I don’t ever remember being in Italy at the beginning of August and at the end. It was a passage for me; seeing folks heading north on the Via Aurelia on August 1 from Rome to the coastline of Tuscany. And then, traveling south on that very same highway at the end of August. It almost got me into the mindset of an Italian on holiday. Not that I was there on vacation. I just happened to be there, for work, both times. But I do have an imagination and a sense of placement when it comes to trying to get myself inside the head of an Italian.
That’s part of the wine business. Life goes on. Grapes get harvested, and autumn follows summer.
And so it is with leaving Italy. It isn’t any harder to leave the Italian life behind than any other. But it is just as heartbreaking to lose a brother, a father, or a son, in any place and at any time.