Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow
The days and weeks blend together until the stories of the places and the people stand alone, and specific dates no longer play a leading role. Some stories have no accompanying photos, some museums don’t let you take photos, and some photos are added because they beg to be included …like the Taiko Drummers on the steps of the Duomo.
Visiting the Uffizi
Lovers in Italy
Lovers kiss and hold each other in Italy – on the street, on bridges, in restaurants, by the sea, in art galleries – and it’s not just a peck. Their desire is wicked enough to cause spectators to move aside for fear the lovers will explode – or to watch and hope they too will catch fire.
Finding a new friend in a museum
Being amid the crowds of people and life size statues made me desire human interaction. I discovered that if you’re alone and you want to talk to someone at a museum, you either go to the viewing point where people are allowed to take skyline photos, or sit with a notepad at the end of a bench and start writing. At the patio outside the museum café, aka the viewing point, it didn’t take long for a couple from Belgium to ask me to snap their photo and they snapped mine in turn.
In the long hall lined with the naked statues, I sat at the end of a bench leaving space for someone to sit next to me and started writing intensely in a journal. There seems to be nothing more alluring than interrupting someone who is focused on writing. In about 45 minutes, at least eight different people sat down and started talking to me.
“Youa speaka English,” my first new friend said. He was about my age and I assumed that since he sounded like Marcello, our upstairs neighbor, he must be Italian. I was half right. He was Italian, but born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA and he had a military buddy who lived in Pittsburg, CA. "Youa know Vaina?, " he asked.I replied with an expression which implied I did not understand the question. I didn’t. I didn’t know if Viana was an artist he was trying to locate in the museum, a dessert, a movie star, a sports car, or a politician.
“It’sa the town wherea my family came from,” he said. “I broughta my American family toa see it.”“Youa know Capodiamonte?” he asked mentioning the name of a town he said was near Naples.
“Well, youa know,” and he mentioned another town.
I replied yes to knowing the location of Rome, which caused him to ask if I knew the location of other obscure towns along with providing their coordinates.
“No sorry,” I said again, “I don’t know the Italian map very well.”A man and boy came out of a gallery room and started walking toward my new companion. “He looks like you,” I said nodding toward his balding middle age son with the large hook nose, rugged skin, and small close-set dark eyes.
I guessed they would meet up with his wife and daughter-in-law in the gift shop. He rose from his temporary seat by me and took the hand of his willing preteen grandchild. Their heads bobbed up and down, back and forth, as they did the stop-and-go spectator dance down the hall flanked with the naked uncircumcised men and women with rounded marble breasts.