Mambo Italiano

May 29, 2006

A girl went back to Napoli,
because she missed the scenery,
the native dances
and the charming songs
but wait a minute…

She’s also going up to Tuscany to visit her relatives. And then head back down south where the Amalfi Coast awaits her.

The last time I was in Italy was when I was 16. That was many, many, many moons ago. But I still remember it like it was yesterday. Think it has changed since then?

I remember how it was when I first went, at around 8-years old and how our apartment overlooked the Colosseum and how we’d throw prosciutto out of our windows to the stray cats below. I remember feeling ill right before we went into my father’s favorite restaurant and my father not believing me until I threw up in front of the Colosseum on our way home. I remember strolling around my cousins’ grandmother’s house and how we ate plums straight off the trees in her yard. I remember my aunt getting pulled over by a cop and how my cousins immediately starting crying, saying in Italian, “Don’t arrest our mama!”. It was all a show but it worked. I remember eating at a restaurant up in the mountains somewhere and there were a lot of chestnuts on the ground. I remember how my aunt’s maid would leave out a glass of milk and a boiled egg for breakfast. If you were late to the table, you got warm milk and a cold egg. I remember getting eaten alive by mosquitoes at night because there were no screens in my aunt and uncle’s house. I remember thinking how cool it was that there were snails in my aunt’s front yard. I remember finding polished tile pieces in the sea from an old tile factory that fell into the sea during an earthquake many years before. I remember going around with my cousins, saying, “Coca Cola, Pepsi Cola, osso duro vaffanculo” along with hand gestures. I remembered being freaked out at the catacombs and in awe of the jewels in the Vatican. I remember taking small tiles from walking paths in the Forum, even though there were warnings not to everywhere. I remember getting Barba Papa dolls.

It’s funny what we retain for memories.

I wonder what my son will remember from this trip.



  1. Barba Papa?

    Hehe…you saw that in Italy, or also in the US?
    I never met anyone who knew about it and wasn’t from Hungary. In fact, I was totally under the impression that it was an Eastern European cartoon.
    But apparently its from the Netherlands (which explains a LOT).

  2. I used to watch it in the States but I don’t think it was popular. I think my cousin Kerrie and I were the only ones to watch the show! Nobody else we’ve ever talked to has heard of it. I loved the fact that they were popular in Italy though because I got some Barba Papa figures there and they were like my most prized possession at the time. 🙂

  3. You know, if not for SOME people in this world….I would think that Barba Papa was either

    A) A figment of my over active imagination or

    B) A result of me eating lead paint off the walls when I was very young in my old Lexington rented apartment, and having some KILLER hallucinations!!

    I loved the sound that they made when they “changed their shapes and sizes!” It was like ” RAOUUUUUUUUUUUUNNNNT!!”

    *still giggling, by the way….

    Anyway….I am EXCITED for you and your trip to Italy, but at the same time BUMMED that you won’t be making it back to the US anytime soon. Even DAN was asking me the other day ” when is your cousin going to come back home to visit?”

    It is a SERIOUS understatement to say that I MISS you TERRIBLY.

    🙂 Kerrie

  4. Believe me, choosing between Italy and the States was heart-wrenching. We spent hours discussing which way to head this year. Originally it was supposed to be a big family reunion in Italy but my parents probably won’t be able to make it because of the business and I don’t think all of my Italian cousins will be able to show up as well.

    Can’t you just come over here and live with me? We have a guest room with its own bathroom. It’s calling you. Kerrieeeeeeeeee!

    And – I miss you so much I ACHE. 🙂

  5. omg barbapapas! lol! *sigh* ive missed you stinni =)…i went over to the old site and was shocked that you said goodbye!..but then i saw the happy hausfrau and was happy, ive been catching up for the past half an hour. This really should have been an email shouldnt it. when will you be leaving to italia?
    have an awesome day
    lotsa love

  6. Hey Laila – Long time, no read! How have you been? We leave in a few months so there’s still a long way to go.. It’s already way too hot outside to do much of anything with the children so I should be insane by the time we leave! Are you off anywhere special this summer? I’m so glad to hear from you! 🙂 Take care.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: