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migliore
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Posted on Fri, Dec 10, 2010 07:33

Italia is approximately the size of Florida with 80 million people packed in.  There's a joke that if all the Italian diaspora who live overseas in the USA, Australia South America and other parts of Europe -- all people who still are eligible to vote in Italian elections -- ever returned, Italy would sink. Fortunately the buildings and the scenery are a little different than Florida.  Italy's architecture offers more to look at than the almost countless shopping malls in Florida.  Mountains range along the spine of the Italian peninsula and slope down to the Mediterranean Sea.  Often Italy is referred to as "bel paese", the beautiful country.

Driving from Napoli to Torino is about the same distance as from Naples to Panama City, Florida.  The drive north in Italia might be just a little more special, though.  Depending on the route you take you'll go through Anzio and Nettuno, Firenze (Florence), Rome, Livorno, Pisa, Viareggio, Genova (Chris Colombus' hometown), Savona (port city for Torino/Turin) and then into Torino itself, a magnificent city designed by the Romans around a system of open piazze / plazzas.

Allied troops landed at Anzio and Nettuno to get behind Nazi lines and Nettuno is now Italy's "City of Baseball."  Florence, Rome, Pisa...need I say more about the wonders they are to behold?  And everywhere along the way was the greatest treasure in all Italy...la gente Italiana, the Italian people.  They serve cappucino at rest stops in china cups.  Coffee to go / da portare is still a little unusual there.  They fashion a paper cup for you, but the lid rarely fits.  (Hey, entepreneurs / imprendatori there's a business idea -- export paper cups and lids to Italia).  Needless to say, Italians like to linger and converse.

Adrianna had told me to meet her in the Piazza Vittorio Emanuele dalla chiesa della Gran Madre di Dio, named after an Italian king and Mother Mary.  And somehow despite the distance and my confusion with the Italian highway system I was on time.  At one point in frustration I told a toll collector north of Savona, "Non capisco il sistemma Italiano!"  She just nodded and laughed knowingly.  The fact that even as a stranger in a strange (and friendly) land I was able to show up on time up in a piazza where I had never been before says alot about male psychology.

When I had met her while she attended college in Paris ten years prior, Adrianna was already lovely.  Now she was fully a woman, taller, even more graceful and refined, and as beautiful, charming and intelligent as ever.  Veremente io dico...intelligente, gentile, simpatica.  When I saw her in the piazza I paused for a moment as she stood waiting and watching for me.  Her posture was excellent and she wore a one-piece, sleeveless beige dress that looked like it has been created by...well...an Italian.  Her shoes were elegant, high-heeled...well...Italian shoes.  In that instant before walking forward to greet her, I heard fleetingly the voice of one of my drill sergeants in basic traning...only this time he actually sounded encouraging, "Take a deep breath." 

"Ciao, Adrianna, ben tornato fra noi.  E' una gran piacere di vederti di nuovo, car'amica."

(to be continued)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



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migliore
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Posted on Sat, Dec 11, 2010 07:32

Bill, Mac, Curi, CG,

As always you rock, you rule and you get to the heart and essence of a blog.  Roger the issue with the Congressman who thought Guam sfonderebbe...the Italian word used in the joke actually means to collapse or fall in.  You know me, always the etymologist / etimologo.

 

So at least the Italian joke is a little more realistic than the Congressman's vision of a island actually flipping.  All the extra people would have to congregate on one side for that to happen, whereas the Italian scherzo forsees everyone more or less evenly dispersed -- remember that le montagne run down the middle of the peninsula so it is logical to expect that the massive weight of these huge mounds would cause the country to collapse into the sea with a little help from the weight of the repatriated diaspora.

 

See how the military taught me to think?  Wonder if I can claim a VA disability payment for a functioning brain turned into a klunker.  Or yeah, maybe I'm eligible for the next cash-for-klunkers bailout.  Thanks for noticing the cliffhanging going on.  As a kid at the Yucca theater in Midland, Texas on Saturdays we would watch the great Flash Gordon, Buck Rogers serials.  "My Friend Flicker" was another one broadcast on the Mickey Mouse Club.  

 

By the way, the Yucca Theater was a total madhouse -- the top of a Gandy milk carton would get you in.  They turned out the lights and kids when crazy.  I survived.  I will write on. Here's a picture of the piazza by the River Po.

 

 

 


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Curious2078
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Posted on Fri, Dec 10, 2010 18:17

Quoting billzeke:

About Italy sinking. I know that was a joke, Migs. Did you see when one of our more intelligent Congressmen during a Congressional hearing asked about Guam sinking or capsizing when questioning one of our Military leaders about sending additional troops there??? Problem is the guy was not kidding... 



"Exactly what I was thinking about, Bill, when I read Migs comment about Italy sinking. Only that congressman didn't just say Guam could possibly sink. He said it would CAPSIZE, and then sink. okay, Migs. Hijack over. Sorry. Nice story, but you're killing me with these cliffhangers, Migs.!


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billzeke
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Posted on Fri, Dec 10, 2010 09:36

About Italy sinking. I know that was a joke, Migs. Did you see when one of our more intelligent Congressmen during a Congressional hearing asked about Guam sinking or capsizing when questioning one of our Military leaders about sending additional troops there??? Problem is the guy was not kidding... 



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rmac22
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Posted on Fri, Dec 10, 2010 09:18

My friend, you leave us hanging. Please continue. rmac


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