Dear all,

It’s the end of the second week of January and I’m still recovering from the holiday season. Did I have fun? Sure. Am I glad it’s over? Definitely.

I do really like the holiday season, but you have to imagine that it lasts until the 6th of January in Italy and by that time you cannot hear one more “auguri” or smell one more “dolce”. You need time to relax. To have a weekend in which you meet practically nobody and do practically nothing. It’s almost like a detox of everything. Of course, the holiday season may be especially tyring for me and my boyfriend, because we are never home. We are either in the Netherlands or in the South of Italy. All the travelling wears you out of course. However, I wouldn’t do it any other way. And, fortunately for me, the Christmas days in the Netherlands were quite relaxing. Before the actual celebrations it might have been a little bit hectic, but the 24th of December I was able to spend in something not much more elegant than my pyjamas. Try to spend at least one of the holidays like this, it’s truly rewarding.

Christmas and New Year’s in Italy one might call the “holiday season”, however, “food fest”, is perhaps more accurate. It’s all about the food and we ate a lot. It’s difficult not to eat a lot when your boyfriend’s mom is such a terrific cook, using vegetables from her own land and making everything herself. I helped out as much as I could without being too much in the way and even participated in creating my own gnocchi (recipe will follow soon) and zeppole (an amazing sweet pastry).
We honestly tried to relax, but when it’s sunny outside you feel the need to plan visits to Pompeii and Naples. We walked for hours there, starting early in the morning and being home late in the evening, accompanied by friends who had travelled all the way from Germany and even from Brazil. Suffice it to say that we were knackered afterwards and very much in need of a decent break from all the fuss.

Anyway, it doesn’t mean (obviously) that I won’t miss Naples’ delicious sweet breakfast that gave us a little boost to start our day in the crowded heart of the city. If I’m really honest, I’m already in the mood again for some typically Italian Christmas treats, but perhaps first Eastern.

“Dolce” in Naples

From Italy with love,

Merel

p.s. from next week on I will post on Wednesdays and Fridays (if possible).