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Share Your Golden Moment In Italy, Past or Future…And Win A Book!

November 15, 2010

As we approach Thanksgiving, there is much to be grateful for!
To Celebrate,  We’re Giving 
To Commenters,  Selected in a RANDOM DRAWING  

TEN BOOKS ABOUT ITALY AND A
SUBSCRIPTION TO THE DREAM OF ITALY NEWSLETTER  

 
 TO PLAY:
Complete This Sentence In The Comment Section Below:
One Golden Moment in Italy for me was __________
OR
One Golden Moment in Italy for me will be _________

Write the first thing that comes to your mind,  for example:
–Tasting that panino–prosciutto and ripe fig–that morning in the Campo dei Fiori
or
–Seeing Titian’s Assumption for the first time
or
–Soaking in that outdoor thermal tub in Bormio, surrounded by the  snow-covered Dolomites, that my friend Sara keeps raving about!

 ***************************************************************************

ONE OF THESE
THANKSGIVING GIFTS
COULD BE YOURS…

(From Yours Truly and the  Wonderful Authors
Who’ve Shared their Golden Days In Italy On This Blog)

 

100 Places In Italy Every Woman Should Go, by Susan Van Allen  

 

 

Living In A Foreign Language:
A Memoir of Food, Wine, and Love In Italy,
by Michael Tucker,
(Golden Day 33: Castelluccio)


Marcus of Umbria:
  What an Italian Dog Taught an American Girl About Love,
   by Justine van der Leun,
(Golden Day 36: Todi and Surroundings) 
 

  

My Adventures In The Land of Tomatoes, by Meagan Brown,
(Golden Day 19: Florence)
 

 

Secrets from My Tuscan Kitchen,
A Cookbook by Judy Witts-Francini,
(Golden Day 16: Florence) 

 

 Cafe Life Venice:
A Guide to the Cafes and Bacari of La Serenissima
,
by Joe Wolff, photographs by Roger Paperno were seen in
(Golden Day 22: Venice)

Dream of Italy, Newsletter Subscription for 2011,
 edited by Kathy McCabe,
(Golden Day 31: Umbria)

 
 ***************************************************************************

They all make lovely gifts

 DEADLINE: MIDNIGHT, THANKSGIVING, NOVEMBER 25

Random Drawing and Winner Announcements will be on BLACK FRIDAY, November 26
You may win a book  to give to an  Italophile in your life
Or it may be your first present of the season!

We look forward to reading your Golden Moments In Italy—
 Grazie for playing!
 Open to commenters worldwide,
One comment per person, per favore
 
To Add Your Golden Moment, Look Below and Click on ##Comments…

 

                               
111 Comments leave one →
  1. November 25, 2010 9:21 pm

    One golden moment for me in Italy was earlier this year when my husband and I arrived in his father’s hometown for the first time. It was a lifetime dream come true and I remember our emotional embrace as the reality sunk in. Desiderio had left Italy 100 years earlier and now here was my husband, about to walk into the walled citta of Castelfranco Veneto…

  2. Ikechi Baldwin permalink
    November 25, 2010 12:03 am

    A golden day for me will be when I rekindle friendships from a Jehovah’s Witnesses Convention in Rome of 2009. What makes this moment so golden is that everyone there can from all over the world but,no matter the language we spoke we all had love amongst ourselves. My goal is to travel to meet some of the friends in Le Marche next year. I hear this is Italy all in one.I’m very excited by experiencing this moment with my new friends.

  3. Jill permalink
    November 24, 2010 8:30 pm

    One golden moment for me was years ago when I was surrounded by dear Italian friends, luscious food and sparkling wine and I laughed and joked with everyone and was an active part of the conversation. At that moment I did not realize it right away, but I was fluent in another language and could carry my own. It was a magical night when I felt completely at home in my adopted culture. Italy cast her spell on me and its hold had been tight ever since…!

  4. Libby Noseworthy-Boss permalink
    November 24, 2010 7:17 pm

    One golden moment in Italy for me was standing at the top of the Leaning Tower of Pisa and feeling the euphoria that my dad had experienced back in 1944 when he stood there as a young soldier (all the way from Newfoundland, Canada). He dearly loved Italy and sadly never returned. Dad died last year, and never got to hear that I felt it too! The euphoria!

  5. Joyce permalink
    November 24, 2010 5:41 pm

    One golden moment in Italy for me was dancing in St. Mark’s Square. It was midnight, there was a full moon, and the live music filled the square. What a romantic city!

  6. November 24, 2010 5:36 pm

    One golden moment in Italy for me was in May of 2008. My partner and I returned to the same villa we rented in 2004 in Vitiano, Toscana. The signora and her husband across the street were so happy to see us again. We brought them gifts from the US and they in turn had their own olive oil and flowers from their garden waiting for us on our table. They spoke no English. We were learning Italian. We spent two magical weeks living la doce vita chatting and learning about our adopted country with our wonderful Italian friends. I have never felt so content.

  7. Susan G permalink
    November 24, 2010 4:55 pm

    One golden moment in Italy for me was walking into Piazza San Marco and seeing that the Basilica was exactly that “golden” in the afternoon light. It was absolutely breathtaking!

  8. Debi permalink
    November 24, 2010 4:35 pm

    One of my golden moments in Italy will be visiting Tuscany. I have dreamed about it for years – the vineyards, olive groves, the history, the people, and savoring everything Tuscany has to offer! It will be the vacation of a lifetime!

  9. Deborah permalink
    November 24, 2010 4:32 pm

    One Golden Moment in Italy for me will be when I am with the one whom I will love, riding in a gondola at sunset, passing under The Bridge of Sighs just as the bells of the Campanile are ringing……and we kiss. I have been told that when that moment occurs, he will be the one I will love forever. To have that golden moment in glorious Venezia has been a long time dream of mine. I do plan to make it come true.

  10. Nina P permalink
    November 24, 2010 2:40 pm

    one golden moment for me in italy was a gondola ride in venice in the pouring rain…magical

  11. November 24, 2010 2:38 pm

    I have to say that my Golden Momentin Italy for me was seeing Venice for the first time. It was like falling in love for the first time. I have read many books, watch countless movies but nothing could have prepared me for La Serenissima’s presence. Italy is beautiful but Venice is enchanting!
    I have been extraordinarily blessed to have the opportunity to be there twice and I’m doing my best to visit Italy, first stopping in Venice, as many times as I possibly can in this life time..

  12. November 24, 2010 12:43 pm

    There are many to choose from, including swimming in turquoise grottoes near Siracusa, scaling Stromboli’s active volcano at night, getting married in Ravello, and tasting the first cornetti out of the ovens at 3 am after a night of clubbing in Rome, but the latest would have to be receiving a last-minute invitation to dine at the Villa Aurora with the Principe and Principessa Ludovisi last month. Details available at http://www.mdolcini.blogspot.com/.

  13. Julie permalink
    November 24, 2010 3:48 am

    It would be outside of Milano…my daughter was 18 months old and we found a little outdoor restaurant…we sat most of the afternoon while she played with the owner’s children. The setting, the food, the feeling was so very perfect.

  14. November 24, 2010 2:00 am

    Wendy permalink
    November 24, 2010 12:39 am
    I had so many golden moments while visiting Italy. One that stands out was waking up to a full moon over the quaint village of Vagliagli as I watched the day begin. The sights of the mist shrouded hillside, the sounds of the church bells, the village dogs barking as they began their hunt for wild hare. The serene moments of the beautiful countryside made be feel I was truly immersed in the magic of its land. I love that place!

  15. November 23, 2010 7:22 pm

    One golden moment in Italy for me was when we visited the Synagogue in Rome and got to be in a wedding!
    We were initially disappointed because we were told we would not be able to see the Temple (since there was a wedding in progress). We decided to wait, so we hung out in the little museum for a while, when someone came in and asked if we were Jewish. Turns out they didn’t have a “minyan” (a group of 10 males required for conducting Jewish worship) so they asked us to join the wedding, along with a couple from South Africa. My husband was given a little handmade yarmulke to wear, which became one of his most prized possessions.

  16. November 22, 2010 9:23 pm

    One golden moment in Italy for me was seeing a teenaged girl–covered in tattoos, piercings, and Goth makeup, a foot-high mohawk, combat boots, torn fishnet stockings, a leather jacket, and a dog collar–holding her grandmother by the hand as they stood in front of the posted funeral announcements, and gently reading them to her out loud.

  17. Linda permalink
    November 21, 2010 2:21 pm

    A Golden monent in Italy will be when I can one day go to see Calabria where my father came from.

  18. Lu Vaccaro Bailey permalink
    November 21, 2010 1:21 pm

    One Golden Moment in Italy for me was meeting my Italian family.

  19. November 20, 2010 7:47 pm

    I have lived in several countries. One Golden Moment in Italy for me has always been an Italian a midsummer night in the country. Crickets singing the night away, a sky full of stars, the magical dance of fireflies, the balmy breeze of the Umbrian hills. Feels like home, as home as it gets, if one can say so.

  20. Judy permalink
    November 20, 2010 5:58 pm

    One Golden Moment in Italy for me will be next September when my daughter and I go to the beautiful Tuscan valley where my mother was born.

  21. November 20, 2010 1:51 pm

    A golden moment in Italy for me was when we were visiting the beach town of Rimini as a child and ventured way out in the country for a meal at a local’s restaurant. It was my first introduction to family style eating in Italy where one course follows another, then another, each time we thought, “surely THIS must be the main course,” only to be followed by something even more fantastic. I haven’t been back to Italy since I was 13. So hoping to take my 4-yr old son soon!

  22. November 20, 2010 6:44 am

    Anne Block PERMALINK
    November 20, 2010 6:03 am
    One Golden Moment in Italy for me was when I was invited with my girlfriend, Wendy, to have tea with Lucia Fiorentino in her beautiful home in Sorrento on the Amalfi coast. We had met this tiny, white-haired lady in her elegant handkerchief shop off the main square. There we learned that her shop had been supplying fine table linens for the Rockefellers and other wealthy families all over the world for generations. We asked for her address, and Lucia simply replied, “I live in the prettiest house in town. You’ll find it.” She was not kidding! We found her “prettiest house,” an enormous villa on a hill overlooking the Bay of Naples. Lucia treated us to a tour of its handsome drawing rooms filled with art and antique furnishings, then to tea spiked with a liquer Lucia had made from her own garden’s lemons and bergamot. She asked us to stay for dinner, but we declined as we planned to leave on the afternoon train. I have always regretted that decision. Lucia died a few years later, and her villa is now the fine arts museum of Sorrento.

  23. Louise Fiore permalink
    November 20, 2010 6:06 am

    My golden moment took place at one of my favorite restaurants, Colline Emiliane in Rome. Our waiter was the proprietor’s son, grandson of the original owners. After chatting for a while about the usual tourist topics in a mix of English, and in my case, bits of fractured Italian, our conversation turned to memories of the food our Italian “nonna’s” made. I am third generation Italian-American from New York, our waiter the third generation of his family to work in this restaurant.

    As dinner wound down and the restaurant emptied our already wonderful evening turned golden when our waiter shared this family story. “Years ago, when my grandparents ran the restaurant, Federico Fellini was a regular customer”. Pointing to a work table visible inside the kitchen, he continued, “Whenever Fellini came in he always insisted on eating at that table in the kitchen with my family, instead of out here in the dining room with the other guests. One night Fellini was here, sitting in the kitchen as usual. My aunt, who was a child at the time, was at the table with him, and to keep her occupied while my grandparents worked he drew cartoons on a cloth dinner napkin.” He pointed to a picture frame on the nearby dining room wall and concluded, “Take a look, the cartoon he drew that night is in the frame over there”. I’ll never forget Fellini’s whimsical drawing or the warm conversation shared on this magical night!

    • susanvanallen permalink*
      November 20, 2010 6:22 am

      Here is another wonderful way for me to end the day–to imagine Fellini drawing cartoons at one of my favorite restaurants in Rome! Thank you Louise and GRAZIE to ALL you commenters–every one of you has truly moved me with your memories and dreams of Italy. Buon weekend! Susan

  24. November 20, 2010 5:19 am

    one golden moment in italy for me was walking up on my birthday, which was a sunday, and hearing the churchbells of rome wishing me a happy birthday! the day ended with a bunch of dearest friends at a wine bar which stayed open just for us. a perfect memory.

  25. Louise Wright permalink
    November 20, 2010 3:32 am

    One of my many Golden Moments is visiting the three fabulous Caravaggios in San Luigi dei Francesi every time I am in Rome.

  26. Beth Jackson permalink
    November 20, 2010 1:51 am

    One golden moment in Italy for me will be when I actually begin my one week Master Class at Orsoni de Venezani next October.

  27. Anthony permalink
    November 19, 2010 8:32 pm

    One Golden Moment in Italy for me was overlooking Verona from the top of the Roman Theater our my first visit to Italy this fall. The images look photo-shopped but they aren’t!

    One Golden Moment in Italy for me will be when I get to return.

  28. Rubab permalink
    November 19, 2010 6:02 pm

    There are so many but back in 2001 during my first (and so far only visit to Italy):

    One Golden Moment in Italy for me was when some girls from my tour group and I decided that we would celebrate our first gondola ride in beautiful, surreal Venice by partaking of the bottle of Chianti that I had bought and been carrying with me since our visit to Florence. We brought plastic cups and a cheap bottle opener–too cheap–because it broke!!! Oh. Oh. The cork was stuck. But our gondolier came to our rescue. He managed to find a sharp, metal-pipe object to pierce the cork and another solid object in his gondola to hammer away at the cork. It was quite a sight seeing him hammering at the cork (and quite the photo op) as we and 3 other gondolas with members of our tour group watched. A resounding cheer finally went up from all of us in the 4 gondolas when the cork finally got pushed through to the bottom of the bottle. The gondolier was quite determined that we have our wine and we did!! It was the most amazing ride and wine ever–sheer heaven.

  29. Joanne Zavlaris permalink
    November 19, 2010 5:29 pm

    I was 20, in Rome and stepping off of a bus near the Spanish Steps. A gorgeous Italian boy took my hand, said something to me, (I did not speak the language) so to this day, I still do not know what he said, however, it was one of the most romantic experiences of my life. That was it, just a moment….It made Rome the most romantic City I ever visited. I am now 57, and I can still feel the warm air and the electricity that went through me in that moment. Aw….bella Roma!

  30. Leslie Vincent permalink
    November 19, 2010 1:47 pm

    My golden moment in Italy happened in Florence while watching my Louisiana born and bred young grandchildren playing with other children in the Santa Maria Novella piazza. There were 2 other little girls climbing on the obelisk base then jumping off. One was from France and the other from Germany. They did not share a common language but shared the innocence of little children having fun. The game of “chase” is a universal one that these lovely children also played and the smiles on their faces was magical. This was truly a golden moment that I will treasure forever. I can still see the sweet faces of these children as I remember that day with such fondness.

  31. Kim Mikula permalink
    November 19, 2010 1:04 pm

    One golden moment in Italy for me will be eternal, as I continue to visit each year. Italy engages the five senses and has a way of penetrating the soul. My heart longs for each new journey in Italia, yet to be discovered. Salute!

  32. Arden Slavin permalink
    November 19, 2010 4:17 am

    For many years I kept an article about Paestum and waited for the day. When it came this past summer on a cruise with Voyages to Antiquity, I was captivated by the ancient temples in their magnificent (and flat) site. It was definitely worth the wait.

  33. Linda Pugno Snyder permalink
    November 19, 2010 1:55 am

    Stepping into the small, village church in Ozzano in Piemonte. Walking over to the Baptismal Font and standing where my dear father was baptized as an infant. The sun came into the window as I touched the object that held his holy water and I was humbled.It was like going back in time and I could picture my nonni as they held him.

    • susanvanallen permalink*
      November 19, 2010 4:14 am

      This takes my breath away–just as every one of these comments has over the past few days. Thank you all for sharing such personal beautiful moments–they are a joy to read.

  34. November 19, 2010 1:45 am

    So many golden mometns and moments to come. Hiking in Assisi in the early 80’s only to turn around to discover that a crowd of elderly men were following me. Discovering that the tortellini in brodo at a small town train station was better than the ones served in restaurants back home…

  35. Connie Dickerson permalink
    November 19, 2010 1:43 am

    Connie Dickerson My last visit to Italy was to spend time at Orsoni in Venice! What a precious time. Not only did Orsoni let me color with smalti, it gave me a part of Venice
    that will forever bring joyful tears. But, this is the sweet problem of Italy!
    How is it possible to have only one golden moment in Italy–the land of golden lifetimes?! The most golden moment for me could only be at that moment of leaving when I feel as if I am abandoning my soul and then the most wonderful thing happens–I know for sure that I will be coming back! How else could it be? Could it even be possible to say arrivederci to the soft caressing air of Venice in the evening, to the reflected sunshine of Florence’s Duomo, to the colors of Ravenna, to the mysteries of Selinunte, to the comfort of Ravello, to the vast beauty of history, souls, and art of Rome, to the Mediterranean’s blue?
    Of course not. Italy is a golden place–a place that gives birth to beautiful nature and beautiful people who give us even more beauty in marble, color, ink, and caprese salads! So, just writing about how much I love this land called Italy has given me another most golden moment in Italy–a land of living
    life–all of it good or bad–to the fullest.

    Life is extraordinary!

  36. caterina permalink
    November 18, 2010 11:42 pm

    One of the most poigant golden moments for me was escorting a blind student through the Bargello museum in Firenze and getting permission for her to “see” the wonders of art and sculpture by touching, feeling, and “seeing” the magnificant art there.

  37. November 18, 2010 11:27 pm

    One Golden moment was when I went to Vita, Sicily, in March 2004. When Renato and I arrived at my cousin’s, cousin Enrico’s house, his wife Margherita, (who we didn’t know) had pasta waiting on her table for us! She also showed us the ruins of my grandparents home in the old part of the small village. Margherita drove us to Erice, and one night her family took us out for pizza and pastries in Castellammare. I remember going to City Hall and they made copies of my grandfather’s marriage certificate and also my uncle’s birth certificate. I was also very excited to be where my mother grew up. She always spoke of her life in Sicily and how New Mexico’s climate reminded her of the climate in Sicily.

  38. Trisha Scott-Dence permalink
    November 18, 2010 10:23 pm

    One Golden Moment in Italy for me will be when my dream of moving permanently to Italy comes true. All of my moments in Italy have been Golden… in three trips…all over Italy….
    Every person, Every place, and Every moment…….Pure Gold.

  39. November 18, 2010 9:14 pm

    One golden moment in Italy for me was when I was at Capalbio in summer- It was a gorgeous evening with a full moon lighting up Venus- the star of the Goddess of Love, and I dove into the sea, opening my eyes I realized that I was swimming through a star-lit universe… of phosphorescence! It was one of the most magical events in my whole life.

  40. November 18, 2010 7:55 pm

    One Golden Moment in Italy for me was listening to Carolann Duffy, the British Poet Laureate, read her poems on Isola San Giulio, lago d’Orta, at the Poetry on the Lake Festival in October – such an uplifting experience in the most magical of settings.

  41. November 18, 2010 6:55 pm

    One Golden Moment in Italy for me was this summer at sunset in Siculiana, Sicily, my daughter and son in law were married in SS. Crocifisso as the bells tolled!

  42. Lana permalink
    November 18, 2010 5:34 pm

    We stopped in one of the stores on Ponte Vecchio in Florence. I found a nice ring there & decided to buy it. My then boyfriend Alex said he is buying it for me. OK 🙂 And the reason was:
    One Golden Moment in Italy for me was when I was proposed by my husband Alexander in the middle of the Ponte Vecchio in Florence.It was such an unexpected pleasure. Unforgetable….

  43. November 18, 2010 5:28 pm

    my golden moment in italy was standing at the top of the spanish steps in the rain!

  44. November 18, 2010 5:24 pm

    One Golden Moment in Italy for me was … walking through the Villa Borghese park down to Piazza di Popolo, then have a delicious early afternoon lunch. It was raining, but it was blissful!

  45. November 18, 2010 5:18 pm

    One Golden Moment in Italy for me was climbing to the top of the island of Capri to see the ruin of the Emperor Tiberius’ villa. It was well worth it.

  46. Diane Vigilante permalink
    November 18, 2010 5:03 pm

    One Golden Moment in Italy for me was seeing St. Teresa in Ecstasy in Rome for the very first time. I was as ecstatic as St. Teresa!

  47. Genie Palacios permalink
    November 18, 2010 4:22 pm

    One golden moment in Italy will be when I celebrate my 40th Birthday with my closest friends over looking the Amalfi Coast in September 2011.

  48. November 18, 2010 4:11 pm

    a golden moment; mine are like a glistening chain of golden beads shining around my neck…

    The first time my cousin said to me “Ti voglio bene”

    The time my cousins and I went to the woods and they discovered that I could find mushrooms as fast as they could.

    the time I was walking down the street and ran into Franca, who said to me “siamo della stessa razza” She was a cousin i had not met yet.

    the very first time I was in Calabria, I sat on the ground overlooking the property that my family has farmed for centuries. I knew my grandfather had walked on this dirt, and his father, and his mother…

    Every time I pick up a rental car from the airport, and drive to Sersale, and I take that left turn, where I find my own “secret” parking place, where my cousin told me I can park whenever I want.

    those are a few..

  49. diann bartnick permalink
    November 18, 2010 3:40 pm

    My golden moment was when I experienced Rome with my husband. We walked the
    narrow streets and took in the beautiful Italian people and wonderful little boutiques
    along the way.

  50. Annette permalink
    November 18, 2010 3:34 pm

    My golden moment in Italy was seeing the Vesuvius my Nonna described to me as a child for the first time.

  51. Beth permalink
    November 18, 2010 3:11 pm

    One Golden Moment in Italy for me was when I took a painting class in Siena and we sat in Piazza del Campo and watercolored; it was enchanting!

  52. November 18, 2010 2:52 pm

    One Golden Moment in Italy for me was seeing the one room house in a small hill top town in Reggio Calabria where my husband was born. He was the fourth of five children, and although poor in money they were rich in heritage and tradition. An American cousin visited the family in the 1950’s and decided they should come to America where she felt my husband’s father would have more opportunity to find work than in post WWII Southern Italy. They traveled to the US in 1959 through sponsorship by Catholic Charities. My husband was 8 years old at the time. He learned to speak English by being immersed in a regular class in school with no bilingual help or instruction. He grew up to be the first in his family to have a high school diploma and then a BS degree from college. We were married young and had two children, raising our family in NYC. It wasn’t until our son graduated college that we were able to afford going to Italy as a family to visit my husband’s hometown. It was a very emotional moment to see my husband’s eye well up with tears as he remembered all the places and people of his childhood. Of all the wonderful cities we visited that trip — Rome, Florence, Venice , Genoa, Turin, Milan, etc — that little hill top town in Calabria was the most beautiful and meaningful to all of us.

  53. Tracy permalink
    November 18, 2010 2:16 pm

    My golden moment in Italy will be the first time I shop for my dinner at the open air market in whatever small town I’m staying in. I’ll amble past the stalls, touch and smell the products, chat with the vendors, and they’ll understand the Italian I’ve been practicing for years.

  54. November 18, 2010 2:16 pm

    One Golden Moment in Italy for me was my first olive harvest. It was hard, backbreaking work. I used muscles I never knew I had, we picked in the rain for three days… it was cold, but seeing that sweet golden oil pouring into my oil container and using the oil from the olives I picked and making bruschetta from Pane di Genzano was an epiphany for me. It doesn’t get more kilometro Zero than that for someone living in Genzano!

  55. Sue permalink
    November 18, 2010 2:08 pm

    One golden moment in Italy for me was when I was floating down the Grand Canal in Venice in awe of this magical place with tears in my eyes. My dream of seeing Venice was all I imagined and more

  56. Megan permalink
    November 18, 2010 2:05 pm

    One Golden Moment in Italy for me will be getting the opportunity to study there, and finally standing in the land where my great grandmother was raised and understanding the beauty of my past, and speaking the language uttered by my ancestors. Che bello!

  57. November 18, 2010 1:42 pm

    One golden moment in Italy: Late November, standing on the balcony of our cousin’s tiny top-floor apartment in Roma near the Pantheon, watching the sun go down over the great jumbled sweep of tiled roofs, church steeples and domes. A huge flock of starlings swooped above, dancing and shifting together in the clear sky. I felt as though I was momentarily lifted out of the present. The Eternal City… timeless.

  58. Lorrie permalink
    November 18, 2010 12:52 pm

    One Golden Moment in Italy for me was taking a romantic gondola ride in Venice with my husband on my birthday! Wonderful memories!

  59. November 18, 2010 12:47 pm

    One Golden Moment in Italy for me was the day I first set foot in the beautiful town of Amalfi. I knew immediately that it would become a special place for me, and one that I would return to again and again. Little did I know at that moment the reason! It wasn’t long, however, before I learned that my soon to be boyfriend was from Amalfi. Now I live on the Amalfi Coast, and I often think back to that golden moment when I first visited Amalfi.

    Many happy Thanksgiving wishes!
    Laura from Ciao Amalfi

  60. Nell permalink
    November 18, 2010 12:43 pm

    My Golden moment in Italy was when I flew into Palermo with my Husband and my Son and Daughter, as we taxed down the run way I was awash with so much emotion tears were streaming doen my face, that 53 years before I left with my mom and brother and now I was bringing my children my husband to the place I was born, that had been the one constant ache in a corner of my heart, they were going home with me.
    My dozens of cousins and aunts and uncles from both sides of my mom and dad’s family were waiting for us in the Terminal.
    All that I had once thought I’d never see again my grandfathers farm , my grandparents resting place and that of my fathers I would be able to show and pay my respects with my family.
    It was a very poingant yet one of happiest moments in my life.

  61. November 18, 2010 12:26 pm

    One golden moment in Italy for me was touring the streets of my dad’s hometown of Terracina, then relaxing to an amazing dinner in a restaurant built literally right on the doorstep of the house he was born in. It was the perfect night, with the best company (my best friend and sister) and it felt as though my dad was sitting there with us. It was when I realized that a piece of my heart will always belong in Italy, in Terracina….

  62. Sandra Hindmarch permalink
    November 18, 2010 12:03 pm

    My Golden Moment in Italy, was visiting the Isle of Capri. I have always wanted to go there.
    It was everything I could ever imagine.

  63. November 18, 2010 11:54 am

    One (of the many!) golden moments for me when I was in Italy was driving through Umbria and seeing signs for my grandparents’ home town of Perugia….I’m still trying to keep my goosebumps down. Suddenly the thousands of miles separating me from my “home” in the U.S. didn’t seem so far away…

  64. Susan permalink
    November 18, 2010 11:08 am

    One Golden Moment in Italy for me will be when I am finally blessed to return to Italy …with my son…I have dreamed of bringing him to know the land of our ancestors….the land the pulls at my heart day after day! I can almost taste and smell it already!

  65. November 18, 2010 9:46 am

    Arriving in a little town outside of Siena that we had picked as a random stop to get off the main tourist attractions after several weeks on our European sojourn, I was completely enthralled with the look and feel of this sleepy town. There were old men playing a board game in the towns shaded piazza and a youngster kicking a football around and not much other signs of life in the mid afternoon. Poking around the few shops that were there, I was delighted to discover real panforte and other familiar and some not so familiar Italian specialties on display in a simple but elegant window display. Having made some of these delights for work over the years but to experience them first hand where they originated was a thrill for a budding pastry chef. Emerging from the cobbled streets to a wide open tuscan landscape complete with iconic cypresses and rolling hillsides, I was astounded to realize that the color of these hills that I was gazing at were indeed what is called raw burnt sienna. Wow. It was no longer just a name in a paint box, but a real color of a place indelibly imprinted into my mix of memories to fondly revisit from time to time over the years.

  66. November 18, 2010 9:36 am

    One golden moment in Italy for me was sipping Prosecco on a warm evening in a lovely wine bar at the top of the Spanish Steps in Rome – I was with friends, there were citrusy candles lit all round and the atmosphere was magical.

  67. November 18, 2010 9:02 am

    One Golden Moment in Italy for me, was lingering lazyly in our little boat in the silky sea of Positano on the Amalfi Coast because it was a perfect September day and we just didn’t want it to end.

  68. November 18, 2010 8:56 am

    One Golden Moment in Italy for me was bursting into tears at the beauty of the southern Italian countryside!

  69. November 18, 2010 7:29 am

    One Golden Moment in Italy for me will be to go back to Rome, to Colli Romani, during a summer evening and sit on the terrace of one of the many restaurants and just sit there eating and drinking while admiring the Eternal City!

  70. Del Martin permalink
    November 18, 2010 5:50 am

    One golden moment in Italy for me was seeing the dying city of Civita di Bagnoregio shimmering in the setting sun for the first time: so beautiful; so magical; so mysteriously sad.

  71. Jeri permalink
    November 18, 2010 4:56 am

    One golden moment in Italy for me was seeing the Sistine Chapel for the first time. I was so overcome by its beauty that it brought tears to my eyes.

  72. Tom Sheaffer permalink
    November 18, 2010 2:56 am

    Being with my wife (and our two sons) in her grandparents home towns of Montaguto and Buccino next April, a dream she has had for as long as I’ve known her, but regrettably without her Mother who passed away earlier this year.

  73. Terri Tuliszewski permalink
    November 18, 2010 12:08 am

    One golden moment for me in Italy was when I had the opportunity to make my own pizza on a Sicilian farm that made their own mozzarella cheese and lemonchello. The hospitality of the family, the warmth of the old brick ovens and the flavor of fresh ingredients will last in my memory forever.

  74. Rosie permalink
    November 17, 2010 10:42 pm

    One golden moment for me was seeing Michelangelo’s David for the second time. I had been to the Academeia when I was a college student and seeing Michelangelo’s David for the first time made me cry . I wondered when I retured 30 years later if it would have the same effect – it did. I have been fortunate to be back to Florence many times since that second encounter and everytime David stirs something in my heart that brings me to tears.

  75. Debbie permalink
    November 17, 2010 9:51 pm

    My golden day would be that my son and
    I would take this trip together. My mama has passed away but the dream that we had was to go to Italy to visit since that is where her daddy my grandpa was born. The three was us where to go as a family. But my mama’s dream and mine to take my son didn’t get a chance to make it happen. So, then someday my son and I will be able to make this trip together and knowing that my mama is still with us, as she is with us everyday in our heart. We miss you Nona

  76. Christopher Pilla permalink
    November 17, 2010 9:25 pm

    One Golden Moment in Italy for me was this past summer when my wife and I were travelling on our honeymoon. We checked into the most wonderful Villa and went out to enjoy the scenic countryside and amazing local towns. On the way back it was quite late -just after midnight. I had set the GPS unit to register the longitude and latitude before leaving the Villa in order to make an easy return trip from our adventure. The GPS unit had us take a turn here, a turn there, “proceed on unpaved road”, a couple more turns here and there only to hear that we were “at our destination”. With no lights available other than the car headlights, we realized we had a huge corn field on one side of us and vines on the other! Our villa was no where in sight.
    Turning around, I somehow managed to navigate back to a main road. We eventually arrived at our Villa and laughed for the next few days. The villa was spectacular and the trip full of a life time of memories. We look forward to our next adventure to Italy just as soon as we can. We just LOVE IT aly!

  77. LuAnn Kanabay permalink
    November 17, 2010 2:07 am

    One golden moment in Italy for me was scrambling down the hillside beneath the Ponte delle due Torri in Spoleto – the fragrance of wild oregano beneath my feet, the gnarled branches of ancient olive trees overhead, the sun hot on my face and arms, and my imagination taken with the possibility that Francis of Assisi had walked this very same hillside. The afternoon ended perfectly with a glass of cool white wine at the cafe by the bridge – bellisimo!

    • susanvanallen permalink*
      November 17, 2010 4:17 am

      Grazie LuAnn for a beautiful ending to another Golden Day of comments! I have been gasping reading all of these–so grateful to be living vicariously through such wonderful times in bell’Italia!

  78. November 16, 2010 8:32 pm

    One Golden Moment in Italy for me was… attending a family baptism in Varazze for the newest member of the clan. To get from the church to the post-baptism festa, we had to walk down a long flight of stone steps. At one point I turned back to look behind me and saw the most poignant visual…the baby’s father carrying the tiny, white-draped infant in his arms, surrounded by three of my uncles (big, burly guys), all in dark pin-striped suits, looking like bodyguards for the newborn. It was the coolest image–one I’ll never forget. 🙂

  79. April permalink
    November 16, 2010 6:08 pm

    My Golden Moment, was taking a day, away from my friends, and exploring Florence on my own. I literally would lose my self in the streets, following my eyes and the beutiful architecture, captuing it with my lense. I emmersed myself no plan, and stumbled on Il Duomo! It was beautiful and as the sun was setting looked as if God was setting it algow. I had learned enough Italian to communicate and asked if I was from Jersey (LOL I’m an Alabama, southern girl 😉 And even helped an older couple with directions. It was a wonderful experience I will never forget!! And thankfully have the pics as both art and tangible memories!

  80. Cathy permalink
    November 16, 2010 4:09 pm

    From a 10 day trip last summer with my daughter’s high school choir while attending the International Choir Festival in Val Pusteria…so many moments…from the friendly people and the beautyof San Candido in the Dolomites, driving past fields of golden sunflowers in Tuscany, the breathtaking history of the sites in Rome… how can I pick just one!?

    But my first Golden Moment was the choir recieving special permission to sing in a quiet corner of San Marco in Venice (you are only allowed to speak in whispers if at all inside and no pictures).. the beautiful sound was indescribable, gave us chills and reduced some us to tears. What an honor to have their first performance in Italy at such an incredible location.

    I fell in love with Italy and although it was a wonderful trip, I dream of returning for a more relaxed vacation as our entourage was 63 teens, 6 teacher chaperones, 11 parents and 1 tour manager!

    • November 27, 2010 4:01 pm

      Congratulations, Cathy, Your copy of “Italy: Instructions for Use” will be on its way a prestissimo. And how appropriate that your Golden Moment was in Venice itself. I hope you’re able to return soon….

      And thank you, Susan, for running the contest. Bravissima!

  81. November 16, 2010 2:41 pm

    My golden moment in Italy will be when Berlusconi is arrested.

    • Andrea permalink
      November 17, 2010 1:17 pm

      Hopefully sooner than we could expect. But it could be enough not seeing him and his servant politicians around anymore.

    • November 27, 2010 4:02 pm

      🙂

  82. Johanna permalink
    November 16, 2010 2:07 pm

    My golden moment was sitting at “my” cafe by the Pantheon, drinking a cup of hot chocolate on a cold November afternoon, taking in the sights and sounds of the piazza, writing in my travel journal and realizing that I had fallen in love with this city and would return as often as I could.

  83. November 16, 2010 12:28 pm

    One of my first Golden Moments in Italy was my first sip of Brunello di Montalcino in my favorite bar (The Tea Room) in my favorite town (Siena). I think that was the moment I knew I wouldn’t be going back to California!

  84. Margaret Di Stasio permalink
    November 16, 2010 9:41 am

    As a 51 y.o Australian, never having had the joy of visiting Europe my golden moment came this year. I signed up with WWOOF and worked on a vineyard in Tuscany trimming the vines and sleeping in an old caravan on the property. The joy of working on the land after teaching for 30 years was immense. I will never forget the welcoming family, home made pizza, bread, wine, olive oil, morning espresso and regional dishes. But etched in my memory is the magnificent vista before me as I stood on the hill surrounded by vines, looking down on the little village below, hearing people go about their daily chores while the church bells chimed every hour. Pure heaven.

  85. Karen Bellamy permalink
    November 16, 2010 8:15 am

    One Golden moment in Italy for me, will be feeling & seeing the history.
    As an Australian and being very proud of it, we lack any sense of history being only 200 years old.
    All I want from my trip to Italy is to be able to put my hand against a wall and “see & feel” the history of it pour through me, to know how people lived, to walk in the footsteps of the ancient civilizations of Italy. That would be Golden.

  86. Dee Schaffer permalink
    November 16, 2010 6:51 am

    My Golden Moment will be when I finally get to go to a Nomadi or Zucchero concert. The MOST perfect moment would be a Nomadi or Zucchero concert in Perugia during the Eurochocolate festival…! What magic would that be?

  87. Laura permalink
    November 16, 2010 2:18 am

    One golden moment in Italy for me will be standing in a setting, countryside or city, and coming to the realization that I am not watching a scene from a beautiful movie; I am in the movie!

  88. DebraE. permalink
    November 16, 2010 1:04 am

    One golden moment was wandering the ruins of Pompeii, feeling the swirls of energy fom those who once conducted the business of their daily life on the very streets I walked.

  89. Patricia Larsen permalink
    November 16, 2010 12:50 am

    One golden moment for me was the first time I walked the streets of Pompei. In spite of the ravages of time and Mt. Vesuvius, I had a strong sense that everyday life in the Roman Empite – minus modern medicine and technology – was not so different from ours. Residents cared for their families and friends, enjoyed food and wine, worshipped their gods, found multiple modes of artistic expression and carried on with the business of making a living.

  90. Lorrie permalink
    November 15, 2010 9:29 pm

    One Golden Moment in Italy for me will be when I actually get to visit Italy. All of the moments will be golden!

  91. Denise Long permalink
    November 15, 2010 9:04 pm

    …was walking in my Mother and Grandmother’s footsteps.

  92. November 15, 2010 8:23 pm

    One golden moment for me was tasting the scampi being sold in a restaurant on the island of Torcello. We stopped for lunch and I had the best scampi I have ever tasted. They melted in my mouth. Yum Yum.

  93. November 15, 2010 8:12 pm

    Although I am very fortunate to have many golden moments in Italy, one moment that I truly cherish – as it is forever stamped in my heart – was my first visit to Italy when I stayed in the beautiful city of L’Aquila in 2002. The magic of this city and the kindness of the people made me fall completely head-over-heels in love with the country as a whole.

    A once historic town, pure and uncorrupted by tourists, L’Aquila now lays abandoned and broken from last year’s devastating earthquake. My heart aches knowing this, but I feel blessed to have been able to have my first experience in bella Italia there. I have faith that the Abruzzese people – “forte e gentile” as they are – will soon find strength and hope to eventually re-build their beloved capital city. My thoughts will be forever with them.

  94. November 15, 2010 7:27 pm

    One golden moment in Italy for me happened when I stepped inside the Pantheon in Rome and immediately felt it was a spiritual hot spot. Awed by the magnificence of the space and the God ray streaming in through the dome my eyes honestly brimmed with tears.

  95. alina permalink
    November 15, 2010 5:44 pm

    One Golden Moment in Italy for me will be when I meet up with two of my girlfriends in March 2011 as we head off to explore Florence and Tuscany!

  96. Suzanne Codiga permalink
    November 15, 2010 1:06 pm

    One golden moment in Italy for me was being scraped away from my dinner table by a group of sympathetic souls as I sat happily crying alone over my tiramisu in San Gimignano…they poured me some grappa, toasted to the beauty of the moment, and stumbled out into the night with me 3 hours later..

  97. November 15, 2010 12:15 pm

    Although not in the contest, I’d like to share this: A truly Golden Day for me occurred the first time, nearly 20 years ago, that I first set foot in Rome. It was on this bright sunny July day, that I stood in the middle of Piazza Navona, soaking in the cinematic atmosphere of Piazza Navona, and was struck with that colpo di fulmine (a lightning strike), rendering me forevermore hopelessly in love with Rome. The enchantment has never waned, and it has changed my life.

  98. November 15, 2010 11:22 am

    One golden moment in Italy for me was tasting my first Granita di Cafe con Panna and knowing I was in heaven!
    It has never left me and I long to go back and taste another one!

  99. Elyne Lai permalink
    November 15, 2010 10:52 am

    One golden moment in Italy for me was riding bicycle at Tavarnelle passing through Tuscan farmhouses, vineyards and olive tree groves. I was blown away by the picturesque landscapes!

  100. Ann B. Erickson permalink
    November 15, 2010 7:27 am

    One golden moment in Italy for me was realizing over Easter dinner that my Italian host family was not just my host family, but that they had actually become like a second family to me. I’m so proud to be their “piccina.”

  101. bagnidilucca permalink
    November 15, 2010 5:54 am

    One golden moment in Italy for me was finding myself alone in the incredible Duomo in Siena, it was pure magic.

    • susanvanallen permalink*
      November 16, 2010 4:43 am

      GRAZIE for being the first Commenter! The image you describe is awesome and it’s clear you broke the ice to reveal so many Golden Moments of wonderful comments!

      Thank you all for your words, that send goosebumps through me–as you so clearly describe your Golden Moments In Italy past or the Golden Moments to Come. This has been a great start to a dazzling conversation, and I am grateful to you all for being a part of it.

      • November 16, 2010 7:13 am

        Thank you for your fabulous posts about Italy. I look forward to them.
        Debra

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