Life is unpredictable and never stops to amaze me. Last year, June 2019, after a vacation of a few days on the Island of Ibiza, my life took a very unexpected direction, especially my love life, which led me to spend a lot of time in Torrevieja, a small town on the coast of Spain. Torrevieja is a very cosmopolitan town with people living here from almost everywhere in Europe. When I arrive in Spain last year I wasn’t speaking the language, even if everybody thinks that Italian (my first language) is similar to Spanish, well, it is not! Also, I’ve been living in America for the past 10 years of my life and mostly speaking English every day, so can you imagine the confusion in my head trying to understand how, or what and when to speak? Hilarious!
Thank God, I have to say I had my own personal Spanish teacher 24h with me to practice, that totally helped the cause! 😉
When I arrived for the first time in Torrevieja last October 2019, I wasn’t really in my best shape, unfortunately, because my vacation then turned into a ‘summer-long staying/work experience’ on the island of Ibiza, ended up with me falling from a rock step one night and breaking a leg! Yup, the worst thing that can happen to a shoe designer that focused her career on her legs, but let’s say that I will tell you more about it in another post. (I have actually fulled recovered now).
Let’s go back to the story, I arrived in Torrevieja in a wheelchair ready to start a month of rehabilitation and physiotherapy, exercises, gym at the Sport.it with jacuzzi baths, and everything possible to recover my leg, feel better and start to walk again. Thank you to my boyfriend, Ivan (I was kidding calling him my Spanish teacher), that helped me since day 1 and with a lot of patience stayed with me during this crazy process. I couldn’t walk, I was using crutches and it was painful, took a lot of time and nerves to recover. We were taking baby steps and day by day we were doing things and he was showing me the town, mostly driving the car with me sitting inside, or pushing my wheelchair along the beach and trying to making me feel better, he is been a real angel, really he saved me. We even dressed up for Halloween and went to a party, my dress: Corps bride! Considering how I was dealing with my leg was the best choice of a costume ever!
I was living the hardest time of my life but I was enjoying discovering this new place and I was grateful for my life trying always to stay positive. I missed New York, my work, my shoes, my events and i missed my family in Rome, Italy but i needed time to heal my pain and my leg to be able to travel again.
It was about the end of November when I finally felt much better and after the doctor’s approval, i started to walk slowly only with the help of one support. So from now on Torrevieja will be famous to be also the city where ‘The Cinderella of New York’ started to walk again! Hahahah Actually Thank you Torrevieja, my lucky town! I had a very speedy recovery here.
Walking was my exercise, so every day we were going somewhere. Torrevieja spreads from La Mata to Punta Prima, and has 14 kilometers of coastline. It was once a small fishing village. It still is a fishing port, but the village is now a town.
From a nature point of view, there are two large lagoons with wonderful colors of pink and green, two natural reserves where you can see Flamingos. Walking around them is very rewarding and these natural surroundings make it a good tourist area.
I was loving visiting all these beautiful places, the seashore, and parks, las salinas, Torrevieja is famous for the production os salt, and the weather in December was still nice and sunny, i couldn’t believe it to be on the beach in a bikini in the full winter season, i was remembering the winters in New York and i wasn’t missing the Big Apple at all at that moment! Sorry New York, life priorities! Beach and sun.
In December in the center of town, in the plaza (square) they make a beautiful Christmas nativity scene and a tree decorated facing the main church, Spain is a Catholic country and the faith for God is very strong, i loved to be there during the festivities.
There are great walks in Torrevieja along the promenade toward the eastern docks. Here there is a magnificent avenue which is a raised structure supported on breakwater which runs out for almost a mile. There are seats and pergolas where you can relax halfway along is a statue of a woman waving to her fisherman husband, a cycle path and walkway runs along the lower path leading to a new marina and very relaxing bars.
The shopping is quite good but the best place is the Habaneras shopping arcade. And of course, we have to mention the weekly street market. People travel from miles around as it is one of the largest on the Costa Blanca. It is always on a Friday and serves both local Spanish people and foreign residents and the many tourists. It covers 2 sq km.
The food is really good in Spain, one day with some friends we took part of the town festivities for the Paella’s day, is a tradition here, and groups of friends and people get together to cook big paellas, also the town has some sponsors that cook a huge paella for everybody. I loved this day, i was feeling already much better with my leg and i even danced a little bit. Spanish people love to party and have fun, i think more than any other country in the world they really love to party. It’s fun!
I enjoyed my time in Torrevieja, i learned so much of the Spanish culture, after few months i was able to speak Spanish, or mixing my Italian with Spanish witch i find it more funny and interesting, especially in my conversations with my boyfriend.
Living on the sea, breathing fresh hair and having some time for myself and a break from my crazy life gave me new inspiration for creating new pieces of my Kilame Collection.
For Christmas, we went to Italy, and then after to New York City where i was part of NYFW and i organized a big Fashion Show and event, we stayed in America one month after going back to Spain. I felt amazing being able to work and walk again, i was looking back and i couldn’t believe everything that happened to me in the past months, but, hey, i was ok now, The Cinderella was back in town.
We arrived at the end of February in Torrevieja and a few days later, the world changed. I am sure that you know what i am talking about. The pandemic of the coronavirus started and here we are now, in lockdown, home, in Torrevieja. I am lucky to be able to go on the roof and see the sea, breathe hair and pray God for being in good health, me and our families. I pray for the world to be cured and for us to go back to our lives even if we all know it will be a different life. I talk on the phone with my family in Italy, we are waiting for all of this to stop, hopefully soon.
To kill time every day besides working on my computer and when i feel inspired create some embroideries on shoes, i enjoy cooking, like the rest of the world right now, improvisate some ‘home-photo shoots’ and watch TV series in Spanish, my favorites is Money Heist, La Casa de Papel, filmed in Madrid, Spain. I can’t wait to be able to go for a long walk on the beach again and enjoy more of Torrevieja, especially because Summertime is around the corner. Let’s be strong world!
Stay safe everyone.
Your ‘Cinderella of New York’ live from Spain.