I’m back in Portland now. I started a new job and generally “getting on with my life” after a year of living abroad but I’m not quite ready to put the whole thing on a shelf and call it a day. Thus far, I’ve only written about my travels through June but it wasn’t until late summer that things really got good.
We decided to spend the summer wandering around on a budget and Workaway made this very doable. Our first stop was Feltre, a town in northern Italy, not far from Venice. Our home for the next ten days was a B&B on a hillside overlooking the Dolomite Mountains that had been a retreat for Venetian nobility back in the day.
I was nervous about staying with strangers (I’ve never been one to couchsurf or meet up) and I was even more nervous about being stranded and bored but both of those concerns faded quickly. In the mornings, we woke up to coffee and toast with gorgeous views, spending the day tidying, ironing and gardening. My to-do list included activities like playing with the kids and planting potatoes. At lunch we were presented with a delicious spread of homemade food and wine taken on the patio followed by a few more hours of work. Each evening, we’d sit down for another beautiful meal before washing dishes and turning in for the night. On our days off, we weren’t even itching to leave or even to visit nearby Venice (more on that soon). We were already in heaven.
When we did make it down the hill, we ventured into Feltre, a sleepy town with a history that’s still very much alive. Like being in a museum, the town’s buildings are covered in frescoes, some in well enough condition you can begin to imagine what the city would have looked like in the 16th century.
It might not seem like a big deal to most people but unlike (apparently) almost everywhere else, we don’t have fireflies in the western United States. One night, taking down laundry as the sun set, I saw my first one. Instantly six years old, I debated following these fairies into the forest and demanding they introduce me to their fairy queen. Even now, I’m convinced fireflies are some sort of magic.
Dear summer, I miss you.