La dolce vita

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Situated 935 miles away from the centre of Rye, I’m a little ashamed to say the thoughts of my East Sussex home are the furthest from my mind. Sat at the Paradiso restaurant under the dappled shade of a great Pasadena Oak tree, I recall fondly with my fiancĂ© the sights and scenes of the day: St. Mark’s Cathedral, the Doge’s Palace, the giant two scoop ice cream we ordered from a local gelateria.

Yes, we’re in Venice; an ancient power house once acting as the gateway between the West and Constantinople and beyond. In the two days we have been here, the idea of la dolce vita has often cropped up in conversation. La dolce vita, or “the good life” as translated in English seems to be an obligatory way of living here, tourist or not.

Sipping on an aperol spritz and watching countless more people indulging in local fresh produce and alcoholic beverages at 1pm on a Tuesday, la dolce vita is infectious. Phrases such as “We don’t get this back home” and “Britain has a lot to learn” are thrown around far too easily over lunch, and we’re soon browsing shop windows searching for average house prices and seriously considering emigrating in the wake of a cost of living crisis and great political instability.

But la dolce vita, a life of heedless pleasure and luxury, is it really just an Italian thing? After 48 hours, I finally think of home and I think of Rye. “Pleasure” and “luxury”; there are many pleasures to enjoy in this Sussex hotspot. A pint of fresh, local ale and a scotch egg at the Waterworks, a glass of warm red wine snuggled up at the Kino as you wait for the great cinematic experience to begin, a dip in the refreshing waters of Winchelsea Beach in an attempt to avoid the summer rush on the sands further up the coast. Surely, these are our pleasures.

Maybe not cicadas chirping in the balmy summer evenings that immediately inspire that holiday vibe, but indulging in local food and taking in the unique sites that make Rye and the surrounding areas the special places we know them to be. And the luxuries? Well, the luxury is to be free to indulge, and to take comfort knowing it’s these simple pleasures that bring so much joy and happiness to our lives. Will I miss Venice on that dreaded flight back to London Gatwick? Of course I will. But knowing a Sussex pint and a walk down the winding cobbled streets will be there to greet me, well, that’s me living my dolce vita. What’s yours?

Image Credits: Daisy Thomas .

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