Musings of an Italian-American Catholic wife, mother, and writer

Musings of an Italian-American Catholic wife, mother, and writer

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

What do Gladiators Wear Under their Skirts?

It goes without saying that a trip to Italy means seeing a lot of art.

And art means seeing a lot of nudity.

And that means a lot of giggling from our six-year-old, who is NOT discreet.

At all.

In all fairness, this all started on our spring break trip to Washington D.C. when we dragged (dragged being the operative word) the boys to the Museum of Art. Oh, they protested, but I was adamant that we at least see the presidential portraits and, as it turned out, everyone enjoyed them.

But just as we exited the gallery we stumbled upon a life-size sculpture -- a very nude male statue -- and our six-year-old couldn't stop laughing, and saying the word pee-pee which, in turn, caused his brothers to laugh.

This started something, I see that now.

So, in Italy . Nude statues everywhere, and our little one had to point out every. single. pee-pee.

Even Nonno laughed.

Then, our 13 year old wondered why all the, well, pee-pees looked like crayola crayons.

Crayola Crayons.

So, my husband took him aside and explained circumcision.

I'm telling you, I could not make up this stuff.

Then, there was this statue.



You see that it is not nude. Not at all. But as the adults were standing around talking, wouldn't you know that our little one walked all the way over and tried to look up the skirt.

Remind me to never vacation in Scotland . . . you know, kilts and all.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

16 out of 423

About ten minutes after leaving my relatives' home for the airport in Venice, I realized I left my camera on my aunt's dining room table. Even though we had plenty of time, a glance at my husband (who had just driven through three traffic circles and was merging onto the autostrada) told me that there was no way we were going back. I didn't even mention it; I knew my parents would be following us in a couple of days, and I would just ask them to bring the camera back with them.

When I got it back three days later I was thrilled to finally be able to go through our vacation photos . . . all 600 of them. Now, before you think I am absolutely crazy, let me just say that, with a digital camera, taking 600 photos is all too easy.

But yes, I agree that 600 is too many, so I went through all of the photos and whittled the number down to a more manageable 423.

And since it would take far too long to download all 423 to blogger (thank goodness, you must be thinking), I am featuring only 16 that showcase some of my favorite things about our vacation.


ROME




(La Bocca della Verita'/The Mouth of Truth
Have you seen Roman Holiday w/ Audrey Hepburn?)

POMPEII






(a fresco that survived the destruction of Mt. Vesuvius)

SORRENTO





CAPRI





VERONA




My Mom, Zia Paola, Zia Tizi



DINING AL FRESCO








The End

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Home Again

This morning, as I begin the process of unpacking, a folded piece of paper falls out of one of my tour books. It is a receipt for two bottled waters and four gelatos purchased at a gelateria in Piazza Navona. I study the receipt and think: I ate a gelato while walking in Piazza Navona.

This sense of wonderment is something I experienced often during our three weeks in Italy. Standing in the shadow of Mt. Vesuvius, or in the middle of St. Peter's Square, or under the oculus in the Pantheon I wasn't so much struck by the beauty of it all as I was by the fact that I was there . . . physically there.

Then, at night when I reviewed the day's adventures and thought about walking around the ruins of Pompeii, or about all the modes of transportation we took to get to the island of Capri (train, boat, funicular), or about our horse carriage ride through the ancient woods of the Royal Palace in Caserta, I often wondered: Did we really do that?

Traveling in a foreign country is an adventure, and every day we headed into the unknown armed only with a map, some guidebooks, and a spirit of adventure.

I smooth out the receipt and smile. I had a gelato while walking in Piazza Navona.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Checking In

Three days in Rome . . . six days in Naples/Amalfi Coast . . . now, six days in Verona (my favorite city).

La dolce vita, indeed.