Tuscan Sojourn

Author: • November 5, 2017 • Flash Fiction

“Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in
where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul.”
– John Muir


How did the long-term marriage end? Once the betrayal was revealed, the adulterous affair was the fatal blow to a marriage once filled with hopes and dreams. There was heartbreak and sadness, of course, but I also felt a sense of relief the long and drawn out affair was over.

On the heels of a divorce, and although I had not visited bella Italia for many years, a sojourn in the serene Tuscan countryside beckoned. When the plane landed at Aeroporto di Firenze-Peretola, I strangely enough felt I was back at home in Tuscany.

Tucked away in the postcard-pretty countryside, the ancient medieval farmhouse turned into a charming pension surrounded by vineyards and rolling hills was exactly what my body and soul needed. For the next two months I spent most of the mornings walking along narrow meandering cobblestone streets in the village, exploring neighborhoods, churches, farmers markets, boutiques, galleries, bookstores, perusing menus posted outside restaurants, or sitting in a café by the piazza observing daily life and family rituals.

I was particularly drawn to nearby Tuscan towns perched on hills with stunningly beautiful panoramic vistas of the surrounding vineyards and countryside. Public transportation was good and reliable, so I would ride the bus and spend the day walking and exploring hidden treasures off-the-beaten-path to my hearts content.

Exiting the twenty plus year marriage gracefully had taken its toll; so roaming the Italian countryside with colorful flora and fauna, and its medieval streets was the idyllic sojourn for the soul and to heal a broken heart.

On the day I returned home to Davis, California, I sipped Prosecco with my best friend in Café Bernardo, a casual, chic European-style café with award-winning wine list, taste-tempting menu, and a hip vibe.

“Tuscany agreed with you,” said Sue, raising her wineglass. “You look fantastic!” I raised mine in reply, “Grazie mille!

“You’ve got the look of love,” said my friend, smiling.

Oh, I had to admit that I’d fallen in love all right but it wasn’t with a man, and I wasn’t playing with the other team. I looked at her conspiratorially. “Truth is, I fell in love,” I said. “Can I rely on you to be discreet?”

Sue looked surprised. “It’s okay to confess to your best friend,” she went on, “I’m very discreet. Who was the lucky guy?”

I laughed. “The rustic beauty and solitude of the Tuscan countryside had me under a spell.”

Sue shook her head and looked at me in disbelief. “Really!”

“Yes, I am totally smitten with la dolce vita and there’s little I can do about it.”

There was a silence. In my memories I felt the way I did at twenty-five when, on the spur of the moment, I’d packed my bags, and left for my first romantic tryst with Firenze, combining my passions for traveling, hiking and epicurean delights – good food and good wine.

Then, between laughs, my friend and I raised our wineglasses in a toast.

“Here’s to la dolce vita,” Sue said.

Cin cin!” I said, clinking my glass of Prosecco against hers.

For a few tantalizing seconds I transported myself to the rugged beauty of Tuscany’s rolling hills where I found solace in nature to grieve and forgive, and the courage to embrace my new life as a single woman with joie de vivre.

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About the Author

Cecile's writer: Katacha DíazAuthor: Katacha Díaz

Country of residence: United States of America

Nationality: Peruvian / American

Mother tongues: Spanish, English

Katacha Díaz grew up in the exotic land of the Incas, where she dreamed of someday becoming an author. When she was fifteen, her family moved from Peru to the United States. Chasing her dream she became a researcher/writer. Wanderlust and love of travel have taken Katacha all over the world to gather material for her stories and articles. She now lives and writes in the Pacific Northwest.

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