As far back as I can remember, I’ve been enamored with castles. When I was in high school I collected travel brochures that featured tours to Europe, and there were always pictures of castles.
I would wonder … What was it like to live in those tall, heavy-beamed rooms, surrounded by thick stone walls? I imagined elegant furniture, heavy draperies and thick, woven rugs …. winding hallways and secret passageways … fabulous, spiraling staircases leading into crenelated towers.
In fact, just the other day my husband and I were out for a drive in the countryside, and we decided to take a road we’d not been down before. Just a few turns up a steep hillside and there is was – a castle I’d never seen before. Of course, we had to investigate!
Sometimes you can tour inside these hill top castles, and other times they’re closed to visitors. Some are still residences, others have been converted into private apartments and still others are vacant – like the one we saw the other day. Vacant and foreboding – and all the more intriguing.
So the question is … What’s your “castle”? What are the things that you’ve always dreamed about seeing, exploring or doing? If those things are not yet in your life, perhaps it’s time to shift your direction a bit so you’re heading where you were meant to go.
Pamela Haack is host of the Italy Retreat for Women Entrepreneurs (an event held annually for highly motivated, high-achieving women entrepreneurs) and founder of Off the Beaten Strada, where she creates and organizes personalized experiences and customized retreats in the heart of Italy, for travelers who wish to be immersed in the history, culture and traditions of this magical region.