The voices are raised. They’re talking over one another. The same words are being repeated repeatedly, especially “No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no.” I worry it’s getting too tense. Stefania assures me this is nothing more than a debate. All Italians do this. I’m trying to hide in the other room anyway. I can’t contribute to the debate except by putting on another pot of coffee. I’ve done that now it’s time to run.

We visited more of Umbria today. We had another gelato, visited another church, and climbed another thousand steps. We saw more and more beautiful views and villages and people and places. We ate at a beautiful restaurant and I bought a pair of beautiful Italian shoes. I’m not using ‘beautiful’ for nothing, either. It’s the word I hear most often here. The women are beautiful, the days are beautiful, the towns and views are beautiful, meals are beautiful, life is beautiful. Just ask any Italian.

When we’d had enough of city centers and stairs Stefania said she wanted to come back to Fabio’s house, lie in bed and listen to the flies. I sat in the garden with Pistache, the black and white cat, and crocheted. We were visited by some lizards and serenaded by the birds. I was cloaked in a bare blue sky and the smell of grass and the warmth of the sun The light is brighter here, I think it’s because it is reflected off the hills. I can’t help but notice it everywhere I go. From Maine, to L.A., to Italy the light is different everywhere. Here it’s so bright it almost burns the eyes.

Tomorrow we head to Milan. It’s my last day in Italy. I think it’s time to come home.

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