A touch, a brush of lips against mine as hands move up my neck and through my hair - waves of sensations shivering throughout my body. The feel of new love, the excitement of chemicals that make the world seem brighter, the nerve endings open so that every experience is not one of thought but of surrender to pleasure. This is how Italy makes me feel - as if I'm under the spell of a lover.
A soft breeze brings the smell of spring flowers, as I sit in the park in Orvieto. I roll a bite of chocolate, orange gelato around my tongue, taking the time to taste the sweetness and bitterness. Beyond the medieval walls I can see the Tuscan valley below. Before I realize it's happening, tears drip from my eyelashes - I'm leaving in two days and my heart is breaking, knowing that I will be away from the place I love deeply.
What is it about this country that changes me so drastically? In any other place I'm a type A personality: I rush, I push, determined to experience all that I can from life. In Italy, I find myself closing my eyes to taste a great wine. I eat slowly for fear I will miss the delicious pleasure the food brings. I stroll, watching the world and noticing the small details. Everything becomes about experiencing the moment, and it is here in this place that I feel that I've really learned how to live.