31 May 2013

European Vacation Fourteen - I Miss Florence

Once when I was little -- probably about eight -- my mother had tickets for her and I to see a play. It must of been something like Beauty and the Beast because I recall it was suited for young audiences and I was super psyched about seeing it. A day or so before the play I got sick as in running a fever. I was thus disqualified from going with mom and a cousin filled in for me all this despite my vigorous protests that I was just fine. How I sulked. My life was ruined. Oh sure I reasoned at the time there would be other plays other events other great days there would be Christmas and baseball season and parties and trips but this night was lost forever. This occasion could not be replicated. Never replaced. I was devastated. Today I still remember the feeling though -- as you’ve noticed -- not the name of the play I missed. And I was right -- the night was never replaced.

I never thought this trip was going to be perfect. But I did hope. Last night I was awoken by acid. Not the kind I experimented in my wayward youth. But the kind that works up your esophagus. It burns creates discomfort and renders sleep impossible. So I spent half the night awake and miserable. When the missus woke me up this morning to go to Florence I was in no shape to travel. I was not only exhausted but still feeling bile creeping around where it shouldn’t be. So the rich Italian food had finally caught up with me.

I assured my darling wife that would it be perfectly fine for her to go to Florence without me just so long as she didn’t run off with Enzo or Guido (she’d never).

I slept quite late and finally shakily got out of bed showered and had a bland but tasty breakfast. I determined not to make a waste of the day and when I felt up to it began wondering the streets of Bologna. I’m a perfectly content solo traveler and meandered happily to and fro (for the record to is okay but fro is really nice).

I eventually stopped at a music and dvd store determined to find a movie on sale that I could use to wile away a few hours until the better half returned. I needed a break from my travels as I still felt the effects of my lost night. I settled on Gangs of New York as my copy back in the states is scratched. I was intrigued to see it again after having been to the Cinecitta where it was filmed.

Half way through watching the movie I felt up to more walking and so again explored new vistas in Bologna. I stopped at a supermarket that was not unlike what one finds in the States aside from different labels different prices and Italian speaking clerks. Returning to the apartment I finished the film and now I’m writing as the wife is due in half an hour. I will reiterate that being without wifi is terribly inconvenient and I hate it don’t like it and it sucks and yes I’m spoiled and yes this kind of bother is why I’m not the sort who ever goes camping (my idea of roughing it is a hotel without cable TV is what I always tell people).

Yesterday was quite pleasant as Germano took me to the Bologna cineteca which is one of the most important ones in the world being responsible as it is for the restoration of many great films. He gave me the behind the scenes tour explaining my presence to others by saying I was a film critic (one can make that case I suppose). It was cool to see screening rooms named for Marcello Mastrioni and Martin Scorsese. Scorsese is of course an important figure in the preservation re-discovery and restoration of film. In the projection room I saw a door autographed by film notables including Scorsese and the great Finnish director Aki Kuarasmaki.

I write this in the early evening of Thursday May 30. Tomorrow we leave Italy for the last leg of journey which takes us to London and will include spending some time with Helen Mirren.

Despite missing out on Florence I continue to be enjoying myself immensely. And I happen to be feeling nearly 100%. Pretty cool.

(Postscript written the following morning: Wife returned having had a smashing time which included seeing Michaelangelo’s David and a slew of Botecellis (my favorite artist). We repaired to dinner with niece and children Germano being off promoting the film. It was our last Italian dinner -- for this trip I have to come back and I have to make it to Florence. Spaghetti with seafood and man was it good. Now to find a place with wifi so as to post this. Ciao.)

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