Falling in Love with Italy. [Photos]

Via Peggy Markel
on Feb 14, 2013
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Peggy Markel Cibreo Florence

Italy, in many ways, has taught me to love.

I think of chefs like my dear friend Fabio Picchi, who radiates an eccentricity and passion for everything he touches. Or Giorgio, my favorite farmer at the Sant’Ambrogio Market, cupping a fresh artichoke in his dirt-covered hands, bundling up a bouquet of fresh herbs for me to take home with my vegetables. I think of laundry strung above the alleyways and the texture of old stone and crumbling plaster as I walk through the narrow streets of Florence. How they open up to wide piazzas filled with swooping swallows.

Chef Fabio Picchi Florence Italy















Peggy markel market Florence


Italy Bruschetta Merete Mueller Peggy Markel

We all have places like this, and discover new ones each time we travel. Places that remind us to fall in love with our own lives.

Peggy Markel Amalfi Dinner Ashley Mulligan

Peggy Markel old man Italy Ashley Mulligan

This kind of travel isn’t about romance or fantasy. It’s not about escaping our situation or distracting our minds with picturesque views. It’s about waking up, learning to notice details–like Fabrizia Lanza reminiscing about her mother under a palm tree that she planted in the family garden, or an impromptu ariabelted by our bus driver as we navigate the rolling hills of Sicily–and appreciate the magic of our own lives.

It’s easier to remember and appreciate the small details when we travel and everything is new, but this kind of love is available to us all of the time.


Peggy Markel Italy Slow Food Table Setting

This is what Italy shows me and I love her for it. The flavor of fresh vegetables plucked from volcanic soil, a theatrical performance by a wild chef, conversations around patio tables and cafe counters with old friends.

This Valentine’s Day, treat your dear one–or yourself–to an adventure. Look around and remember what this precious life is about.


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* Photos by Ashley Mulligan, Graham Markel, Merete Mueller and Peggy Markel


About Peggy Markel

Since 1992, Peggy Markel has traversed the Mediterranean and North Africa, from Elban fishing villages and Moroccan markets to the homes of Tuscan artisans and chefs, furthering her own exploration of culture and cuisine. On these journeys, she saw an opportunity to design and direct her own brand of culinary tours in which enjoyment of the present place and moment plays a pivotal role. "When we speak of Slow Travel, we mean that particular experience of letting yourself merge with your surroundings: the pace, customs, mores and style of where you find yourself. It’s really about our willingness to let the world in, and see ourselves a part of it.” For more information about Peggy's trips and classes, check her web page. For more writing and recipes by Peggy, check her blog. Sign up for Peggy's monthly newsletter, to receive stories, videos, recipes and updates in your inbox. Join the PMCA community on facebook for photos and stories from the road.


2 Responses to “Falling in Love with Italy. [Photos]”

  1. brianna says:

    I love Italy too. What a wonderful article. Thanks for the reminder Peggy, that this love is available all the time. Travel can be the tool that helps wake us up.

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