Sunday, August 29, 2010

Back in the days!

My dad was an absolute lover of Mediterranean culture, the people, the places, the music and everything that those countries had to offer. From the time I started school we spent every year the June holidays in Italy. We always stayed at the same hotel in a little town called IGEA MARINA. The hotel was run by a set of siblings, Anna, Angelo and Maurizio and it was kind of fun growing up with their kids for two weeks out of the year for the next 13 years. The main purpose of our vacation there were spending time on the beach, swimming, walking, collecting sea shells, watching the fisherman come in with their catch of mussels and sometimes the accidental sea horses and crabs. We did the occasional sight seeing trip to surrounding places, but since my little brother was such a pain in the a** when it came to traveling, we didn't do an awful lot, but I remember going to Venice a few times, visiting San Marino, Rimini and Ravenna.
Venice was just amazing with the streets of water and all the amazing sights.
San Marino is it's own little state inside Italy, absolutely beautiful and build entirely on a hill. I remember hiking in the small tight streets up to the Monte Titano, and just taking in the sights from there, absolutely breath taking. So idyllic and just beautiful.
Rimini was only about 30 minutes from Igea, so perfect for a trip with a whining little brother, not too long, not too far away. It was always a beautiful drive along the coast line. Some of the main sights in Rimini were the Arch of Augustus and the Tiberius Bridge. Even as a little kid I had a thing for bridges, and even to this day I am fascinated by the structures of some of the bridges and love nothing more and walking or driving over bridges, the longer and higher the better.
Now Ravenna was my all time favourite at any given time, and there I just loved the Church of San Vitale with all the mosaic pictures inside. Totally amazing and beautiful.
As I am writing this so many things go through my mind, from how I spent the time there as a little child and growing into a teenager and being a teenager. I remember my first big crush on the cabana boy, Sandro. He was there year after year and I watched him grow from an awkward teenage boy into a handsome young man and then a real man. lol. Always keeping my crush on him, even though he was way older than me. But a crush is all it ever was, well except we went out for icecream once after he lost a bet with me. lol! It was fun to see him when I took the boys back there when they were about 3  1/2  and to meet his little son.
I remember the countless friendships we as kids formed with other kids from Germany vacationing there or some of the italian kids staying at the hotel, funny that at that age there was no language barrier and even though we couldn't really communicate verbally with each other, we always managed to learn from each other and do things together, and nothing else really mattered.
I remember missing a Italy trip once because I was in the hospital getting my appendix out, that was at a time when you still stayed in the hospital for two weeks for that kind of surgery. And I missed a week on the beach due to getting measles one year and one year cutting my leg open on a boat.
I remember the chamber maids of the hotel being all over us cute little blonde blue eyed german kids lol. Well I must admit we were cute as little kids, me more though than my brother  ha ha....
I remember falling in love with this cute little italian girl when I was about 14 years old, she was in our hotel with her parents and our beach "neighbours" and I played with her every single day all day long.  She was about three years old and the cutest little thing I had ever seen, loving children back then they way I did, I was just totally smitten with her and her big brown eyes and her cute little smile, her name was Manuela. They were from Rome. Funny what you remember and then other things I just can't recall at all.
Talking about Rome, now ROME is just the most amazing place I have ever been too. In grade 13 the graduating class could either pick Paris, France or Rome, Italy as their year end trip. I picked Rome and wow it sure was the best trip I had ever taken. On the way down we stopped in Florence for a couple of hours and take in some sights there and then it was on the road to ROME. The mixture of old and modern in Rome is just amazing. It's amazing to know that some of the ancient sites have survived many wars and are still standing. Walking on the Via Appia and visiting the tombs was fascinating and interesting to say the least. The Colloseum just overwhelming to see it in the middle of a very busy city. The Roman Forum, the Churches, the Vatican, the Plazas, Arches, the Aqueducts, the fountains just all amazing and beautiful and impressive. So many sights I had seen in movies before and was fascinated by. It is definitely a place I would love to go back to. We stayed there for five days and it was really the most beautiful metropolitan I have ever been too.

 Spanish steps


    Roman Forum

   Trevi Fountain

As we kids grew up and my parents went on holidays on their own, they chose other Mediterranean places. When my dad passed away a few years ago, and I was asked what I would like from my dad's items to keep, I picked his greek medallion keychain and his favourite grecian CD out of his car. 


Sharon said...

Such wonderful memories! Love the pictures, nothing like Roman architecture! I love all that old stuff!

Tracey said...

We had family living in Ravenna & so have been many times. S. Marino is absolutely fantastic My second favourite place after Venice. xxx

Louise said...

Lovely memories. I bet you can still almost smell, and taste it. Are you planning to ever go back again?

Melodie said...

What a great childhood! It is wonderful that you got to experience all those places and make all those great memories!

Canyon Girl said...

Wow! I hadn't expected to be taken on such a lovely trip to Italy. Did the movie you just saw inspire you to write about your summers there?--Inger

polly's path said...

how neat!!!!!
Great memories of some fabulous places...have you been back on your own, as an adult?

Tina said...

Sharon- so true, nothing like Roman architecture and to remember how it was all built so many many years ago. It's such amazing to me.
Tracey- I really loved San Marino, it is just so different and beautiful.
Louise- i would love to go back, maybe take my daughter to show her all the sights...I wish my boys would be more adventurous and travel more on their own.
Melodie-well my childhood memory wise is filled with great ones, well at least on the outside lol....
Inger- the "eat' part of that movie plays in Italy, a lot in Rome, so watching that movie I went a few times..I 've been there, I stood there, I've seen that etc.
Polly- the only place I have been back as an adult was the beach of Igea Marina, nowhere else since then. I would love to go back.