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Ciao from Italia

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Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Puerto Vallarta
Credit: Elenathewise | Fotolia
Maria O'Connor blogs for Expats In Mexico Blogger
Maria O’Connor

Ciao, amici! I miss Mexico and all my friends in Puerto Vallarta, but I’m having a wonderful time exploring southern Italy and Sicily.

This week’s blog comes from Acireale on the beautiful Sicilian coast. A lovely little town nestled between the Ionian Sea and Mount Etna, one of the most active volcanoes in the world at nearly 11,000 ft. above sea level.

We have spent the day catching up with old friends from Puerto Vallarta who have made Sicily their home for the last ten years. Wonderful wine and conversation and fresh seafood and porcini mushrooms handpicked on Mount Etna itself…a marvelous day all around.

A lot of people seem surprised when I tell them that I am going on vacation, almost as if living in Puerto Vallarta was vacation enough, and it really is! But sometimes getting away makes you appreciate even more what we have in our PV paradise.

As I travel through Italy, I have noticed many similarities between Mexico and this country: the warmth of the people, the relaxed nature of life and the long, slow meals where you can really savor the food and conversation and not think about rushing off to do the next thing.

My friends and I have been travelling for the last 10 days throughout southern Italy and now Sicily. We have stayed in Bed and Breakfasts along the way and have been welcomed as family into these homes. We all speak Spanish and two of us are learning Italian. We have found that combining the two tends to work out very well! Nobody seems to mind and so far we have not had any problems getting by and have even been able to carry on fairly detailed conversations…of course the wine helps!

When this trip is over I will have been out of Mexico for six entire weeks, the longest stretch since I moved to Puerto Vallarta over 25 years ago. This morning I was thinking about that and just as I was feeling sad, the local church bells rang at 7:00 a.m. and played Ave Maria, just like Puerto Vallarta’s Guadalupe Cathedral does each day at 6:00 and 12:00. I did not feel so far away.

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