I suppose everyone has one place in the world that they would consider their “favorite place”. Usually, everyone also has places they would love to go… places they have not seen yet. It’s true, there are many places I would love to see one day. Austria, Costa Rica, New Zealand, Norway, and Scotland … just a few in a very long list. At the same time, if I were given a choice to go visit my favorite place in the world or to visit a new place, it would be a real struggle.
It’s been nearly six years since I first visited Cortona, Italy. I was so in love an enamored with the picturesque location that a friend and I decided to bury a kind of pact promising that we would one day come back to Cortona. Yes, it was on school property… not sure if that’s wrong or not. I think we put it in a metal espresso container… can’t recall now. It’s probably going to be there for a while. I remember leaving the town, keeping my sunglasses on, hoping the other students wouldn’t notice my tears. I know, it all sounds very dramatic, but that is just how beautiful this place was and is to me. We left the study abroad adventure and I kept hearing the words of the Italian grocer who I would see almost daily; “You’ll come back”. When I was still an undergraduate, I couldn’t imagine when and in what way I would be back to Cortona.
Incredibly, I have taken the chance to go back to this hidden gem atop a Tuscan hill two times since my first visit. I’ve been able to share this tiny spot of paradise with loved ones, enjoying each moment of each day.
So many of my best memories… really my top favorite memories have come from my time in Cortona. Anytime I need to take a break, relax a bit, think of something that gives me peace and thanksgiving, I think of Cortona. Every now and then I still repeat the words I was told on my first visit. “You’ll come back”.