One of the most important things I have done in my life was spend 6 months in Italy. I studied abroad in college and to say it was a gamechanger would be a gross understatement- I truly credit that time, those experiences, that independence with shaping who I am more than any other singular time in my life. There’s something about getting lost and then found again, all by your own doing, both literally and metaphorically, that grows a person. My time in Italy grew me.
And next week…next week I get to go back to the Motherland. With Ryan. Who will be my husband. And he will get to see firsthand this place that is as much home to me as Chicago.
I had already planned on finding this cafe when we were in Rome and an email from one of my roommates in Italy confirmed its spot on our agenda. This map was drawn by the Italian cousin of our professor who had us over for dinner and then gave us a tour of Rome at night in his Fiat (seriously). It’s tucked behind the Pantheon and was the first place I 1) saw foam art and 2) where I carried on my first entire conversation in Italian. I went back repeatedly because it felt lucky, this cafe. And for the il gran cappuccino. And the barista who would come from behind the counter to kiss me on both cheeks. It’s basically perfection within four walls.
And with this sweet little hand drawn map, we will be sure to find it. Lost and found again, in all of its meanings.