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25 October 2011

About a sister

Gorgeous Lisa here in Trieste

Lisa is my closest friend, so close that I call her a sister. The sister I never had. Our friendship didn't debut in an idyllic way, though. It came unexpected, but like all surprising things happening your way when you least expect them, it matured through he years and it became something to be proud of.

There seemed to be no affinities between us when we met. We only knew we were in London for different reasons and stayed apart, trying not to interfere with each other's activities in the basement we shared. It took us months to realize that we were there to escape the same problems instead. As soon as we came to terms with this fact, we immediately started to bond. Not without a few dramas before, certainly. By the time our prejudges were cleared by then, we found out that we had more in common than we thought and started to fly high despite the distance (she still lives in London.)

If it's true that our friends are a reflection of ourselves or of the most important aspects of our personality, I think it's Lisa's courage that I admire the most. She's raising a baby abroad and on her own, away from her beloved family and from her partner himself, who didn't provide the moral and economical support she deserved. Today she's a fierce single mother of a lovely 10-year-old who reinvented her life. 

I'm proud of you, sis! And I can't stop thanking you for all the precious time we spend together. Having lisa and Alanis here, in the first apartment we call house, made me glad and extremely pleased. I loved spoiling them rotten. I really did. 

Miramare Castle was the firt thing I took them to visit on our way back home from the airport, where I picked them up. They were fascinated with the majesty of both the exterior and the interiors. Maximilian really did a good job in commissioning this castle to the best architects and gardners of the time. Too bad he was killed too early and couldn't enjoy this piece of beauty. His wife Charlotte's rooms are magical. Each single window has views on the sea and, even more attractively, the castle is rounded by a huge park which was filled with exotic plants and flowers. So the couple had lots to be entertained with during the short time they lived there at least. 

I thought hard to what to give Lisa as a welcome present. In the end I opted for a sightseeing tour of Trieste. I thought that, since they were only to stay here for 2 days, watching the best of the city could be a win-win. And it was. The trip also allowed me to view the city with a tourist eye. Not that I ever ceased but, well, it makes a difference.  

I also took them to Slovenia. Trieste has adopted me and is allowing me to spend the most significative years for me here. It's a place I'll always be related to because of Alice's formative years. But Slovenia is a country I fell in love with, it has a special place in my heart. I chose Koper, closer and practical, for Lisa and Alanis. A quick tour of the historical center and then some time off at the gardens near the port. They loved it.

But the real highlight of their stay here wa the weekend we spent in Verona. I had to overcome the fact this little trip meant travelling without Alice for the first time ever (I'm used to taking my daughter with me everywhere when I travel), but I knew this could also make me good. It felt strange, when I'm without Alice I feel like a miss an arm or a leg. Odd like that, I know. The umbilical cord had to be removed in these terms sooner or later. Now I'm happy I went. And I tell you more: I decided I need more trips on my own! he he

When we arrived autumn had made its drastic debut in a couple of hours. We weren't prepared with warm clothes and that was the only negative aspect of this little getaway. After the check in formalities at our hotel we immediately departed for a general stroll in this beautiful city. It's famous worldwide for the magnificient Arena, the ancient amphiteater of the Imperial Age that hosts the prestigious opera season and for being the setting of the beautiful yet tragic love story between Romeo and Juliet. Hence the name 'city of love.'

The famous Juliet's balcony in Villa Capuleti
L'Arena, the symbol of the city

But Verona is more than that. It's a city where three different cities cohexist beautifully in harmony. The Roman, the medieval and the Della Scala's (the Scaligeris, the family who governed the city) styles mark the urban development and make it charming. 

Piazza delle Erbe

As a plus, the river Adige that runs throughs it adds a romantic touch and creates two loops that guard the extraordinary historical, cultural and artistic heritage.

Castelvecchio (old castle) with its fortified Scaligero bridge
View from the Rive Gouche

Lovely days with lovely people. Thanks, sis, and see you in London now!


  1. A beautiful tribute for a special friendship.

  2. Correct (thanks). This special woman deserved a special post!


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