Pretending to Not Be a Tourist in Italy


Whenever I dreamed..fantasized…about going to Italy, I must embarrassingly admit it was not about seeing incredible architecture, ruins or days of non-stop touring to pack in as much as possible.  No, my dream was to live among the locals, spend my day as they would and fit in as much as possible…which is pretty unreal being that I don’t speak Italian am I’m not earning an income to “live” here, I’m just a vacationing, relaxing gal pretending to not stand out too much.


The beauty of this trip…thank you, Michael so very much…is that I’m staying at one beautiful villa, where I set up “home” on day one, have  meals on my terrace  if I desire,  and not feel an ounce of pressure to do anything other than attend my cooking classes…which for me, is a dream in of itself.


This morning I shopped and walked…about 3 hours, up and down steps and steep roads. I will say, with all the food I’ve eaten, I feel like I lost weight!  And not that I was looking, but one of the older woman at my villa…I’d say in her 70’s wearing stretchy tighter pants, has incredible buns of steel..and I bet she has never set foot in a gym!


The clothes are made in Italy and many are made right in Positano.  Soft, gauzy linen materials, feminine and flowing.  I window shop constantly to zone in on one perfect piece.  It’s not inexpensive, but it is quality and I don’t mind spending more when I know it’s worth it.  Plus every time I’ll wear it, I will feel like I’m back “home”.   A few phrases I learned well, quanta costa? … how much is it?”  And, lo prendo…I’ll take it.

I bought my daughter pantaloni corti.   I’m not translating, she will need to figure it out or be surprised.


Up a distance, I hear children, shouting and laughing and see three yellow school buses. It’s about 1:30 pm now.  I’m having my lunch from my market stop in the morning.  Below my terrace I hear the family owners of my villa having their lunch.  Another young lady brings Paola’s little girl over for lunch.  I can smell some wonderful aromas;  a homemade pizza was carried down.   The sound of silverware clicking on the plates..and to me..the most beautiful sensual language spoken.

Being here brings back memories from long ago when my relatives would get together; my cousins and I playing in the basement, my uncles sitting together while my aunts were around the table talking away.  Then the food came out….and we were all one big, happy, loud family!

I love being in the kitchen. Early mornings, soft music, a hot espresso. Easing into the preparation of delicious meals. Glancing through cookbooks, gathering inspiration and planning my day. I look forward to the cycles of the seasons, the pleasures of tasting and savoring and sharing this with those dear to me. Weekends are special to me as my week days are often rushed, but still I create the ambiance, light the candles, set the table and uncork the wine.


  • Chica Andaluza

    I loved what you wrote today and I could really relate to it. When (11 years ago now) I first went to Spain and rented a house my approach was the same. To learn some Spanish and to try to fit in. I fell in love with the place, went back the next year, fell in love with Big Man….and look what happened! Hope your daughter enjoys her pantaloni corti! Un bacio

  • Mad Dog

    Another great day! You’ve gone to Italy at a wonderful time of year – the weather is still good and it’s off season, so you can almost be one of the locals 🙂

    • spicegirlfla

      The weather has been so beautiful. Sunny, gorgeous days and cooler evenings. I’ve slept with my slated doors to get the night air. I got very lucky for my first visit, though they say it’s pretty mild here year round.

    • spicegirlfla

      Yes, more pasta, pizza and gelato! Surprisingly though the taste is so delicious that I can easily be satisfied on a small amount. Which is a good thing, or this would be quite a “heavy” trip!

  • Hotly Spiced

    It sounds very romantic. You must be having the best time. I haven’t been to Positano (or Italy itself) but I have a lot of friends and family who go there and just love it. My sister got engaged in Positano so she’s a huge fan of the town. How lovely to be staying in one vila and making it like home and being able to live like a local – the very best way to see a city. I used to subscribe to your blog but I’m no longer receiving email notifications of new posts. I’ll subscribe again xx

    • spicegirlfla

      Oh.. Getting engaged in Positano sounds very romantic. My host met her now husband here when she was visiting from the US and was married at the church here. I haven’t been that lucky…yet 😉

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