Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Italophile Forever

I have been in love with Italy since Italia '90.  As a 15 year old Spurs fan that long hot summer with it's highs and tears (mostly Gazza's) has left indelible memories with me, one being one of the last time I would truly enjoy football with my father.  My complex, funny, exasperating inspiration that is my Dad, junior Spurs & England schoolboys player, who grew up to be a Tottenham mascot during the high times in the early '80s.

My Dad never was blessed with a son so instead all his footballing knowledge was passed to me & for years I basked in the undivided attention I could grab, having a coke in the pub after a match on Boxing Day, reveling in the camaraderie of the joys & disappointment.  I suppose Italia 90 summed up the pinacle of that, we jumped for joy, wept when we crashed out.  And this time I was allowed a weak shandy to commiserate.  Not long after was the last time I went to a game with my Dad.  The first semi-final to be held at Wembley, and we lost 1-0 (of course) to the Gooners.  After that humiliation followed the literal agony of escorting my increasingly disabled father home on a stuffed tube, seeing the pain etched on his face.

So I suppose one of the main reasons I lost my love for football was no longer enjoying going to matches, or nipping to the pub afterwards.  He of course still watches every sport under the sun, but now bedridden he hasn't much choice in it.  He's still him.  He's not a bitter person.  But maybe I am.

But my love for Italy remained, it was the first place I flew to, the heel of the boot, in '97 and I enrolled immediately at college on a language course on my return.  I then landed in Rome in 2005 (we won't mention it wasn't Florence as I picked the wrong airport).  I threw coins in the Trevi Fountain, wished for the love of my life, came home, opened my eyes and we're still together now.

I've spent two marvellous trips to Venice with my family (culture and caravanning by the beach, perfection!) which have only cemented my Italian obsession.  Here's my little man, giving it large.

Wouldn't it be lovely if I could combine my adoration of Italy with a resurgence of love for footie?  After all, where better to get the bug again outside a Trattoria with the local enthusiasm for the beautiful game?

This is my entry to the Al Fresco Holidays and Tots100 World Cup challenge

Have a trip like mine with Alfresco Holidays! 
Win a trip with Tots 100! 

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