I’m Italy bound for culinary school once more. This time, it’s pasta in the North. Distressingly, I find myself lacking any anticipation for my adventure. School is paid for and my flights are booked, but I’m facing difficulties arranging the second week of my visit. Jeanette Winterson’s “The Passion” has me unexpectedly longing for Venice again. “Everyone should see it – once,” was my decree for 30 years. Now, I’m aching to return – but not amid summer’s high season. I see narrow streets clogged with overweight Americans, sunburnt pink, wearing fanny packs and grumbling about the lack of ice. I’ll wait for the misty February Venice, shrouding the enigmatic and the strange.
No other Northern city has captured my heart. Milan – yuck. Trending on my list are Parma and Bergamo, both lacking in popular allure. There still remain Italian destinations I wish to visit – the cinque terre, for example, but not this trip, not alone.