Monthly Archives: April 2024

Welcome Back to Anghiari

Yes, this is the same title that I now always give to a post on arrival in Anghiari, and I’m going to repeat myself again because, once again, I have received such a warm welcome. Every time I arrive here, I discover anew this wonderful experience. In the street, in shops, in bars, in restaurants, in the piazza, I am hugged and kissed and greeted with big smiles – ‘ciao, benvenuta, bentornata!’ And invitations. There is, however, a subtle difference from last year, when, after 4 years of covid, people were excited by my reappearance. Now, the welcomes are as warm, but there is a sense that my returns are expected, people are not surprised to see me – ‘it only feels like yesterday’. So, I feel accepted as part of the place in my coming and going. And with a certain lightness, I happily resume my daily Anghiari routines. Despite jetlag, it took only a couple of days for life here to feel full, yet calm, without any rush. And rich with everyday encounters. What an enlivening return.

I have already made new connections. For example, I have met Stefanie Risse, who moved here from Germany in the mid-80s and has been involved with the Free University of Autobiography since its inception in the 90s. She has invited me to join a letter writing group that meets every week (Circolo di Scrittura Autobiografica a distanza di Anghari). I was warmly welcomed when I went along on Tuesday and, for next week, I’ve been invited to write and present a piece on my first memories, for which I’ll probably do something about horses! I am already getting more suggestions for people to interview on a sense of belonging. Stefanie has also introduced me to her yoga group (in a bar, of course, post lesson) which I’ll be joining. So, I feel almost too busy with living life here to write posts! We’ll see.

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