My Postcard From Italy


Ciao amici! E ‘marzo. Sei di pulizia? Pianificare la vostra vacanza?*

If I ever study another language, it will definitely be Italian. The cadence, the expression, the waving of the hands while you speak – it all appeals to me on a lovely, intrinsic level.


I recently succumbed to an inexplicable urge and emptied a plastic bucket stowed under my bed. It’s been there for three and a half years – since the day its contents had been unceremoniously dumped into said bucket and transferred under my bed on the day of our move. We weren’t in a hurry, that’s just the way I pack.

In the bucket I discovered:

  • well, was reminded really, I am a terrible crafter. If ever I say to you, “Dear friend, I am about to embark upon thus and such crafting endeavor,” slap me.
  • a “Save $3 on Two Dinner Entrées at Olive Garden! Offer expires 2/29/04 – Seriously, how much would that $1.5 per plate have helped the last time the seven of us went out to dinner anyway?
  • Circular E, Employer’s Tax Guide ‘Employment tax rates and wage bases for (…wait for it…) 1996‘ !!!
  • picture of the day we planted the willow tree at the old house – It must be an old picture because in it Nathanael is shorter than the tree. He’s 6’4″ now… but the tree is now taller than the house.
  • 1 oz bar of Dove soap – approximately the size of a small mouse, or if you prefer, one weeks washing in my downstairs guest bathroom.
  • Shrinky dinks. – Okay, that’s awesome.
  • and this: a postcard I mailed to myself from Italy.


My idea, write down all the wonderful things as they happened and the trip would be preserved forever.
The bonus, a postcard and a stamp from another country!

Limoncello; folded pizza; You can’t drive on this road even if you do speak English; Anderson’s house; the hidden canal; Eddie and the pigeons; the talking corners; gelato; Michelangelo’s David and all the tourist gifts lovingly based on it!

In theory it’s a great idea but in practice it left me wanting more – the details were a little sketchy.

  • Remember Limoncello?* Yes, and I have been wanting more, now that you ask…
  • Folded pizza. Does it really taste better folded? I can’t remember.
  • Gelato. This does taste better in Italy; something about the light in the piazza and whatnot.
  • The hidden canal. No clue. It’s hidden to me… I know, that was bad. Sorry.
  • Eddie and the pigeons. I love this one, sounds like a 1960’s rock and roll band doesn’t it?
  • The talking corners. Ingenious Italian architecture. Also maybe a 1960’s rock and roll band.
  • The Anderson’s house. Just a villa they rented, originally built in the – oh I don’t remember – 1700s. Nothing fancy. But seriously, THE 1700s! People in other countries live in their history.
  • Michelangelo’s David. A 14′ marble sculpture mounted on a 6′ pedestal. Go to Florence. Pay your money. Wait in line. See this beautiful, awe-inspiring work. And then the rest of the day walk the streets of Florence and giggle at the ‘awe-inspiring’ array of tourist knick-knacks and knock-offs. You will not be disappointed.
  • “You can’t drive on this road even if you do speak English” Alright, this was kind of funny. It was a street made for driving, but evidently not for driving at that moment. Our American friend and driver, in his deviously broken Italian, explained that he had driven on the street because he spoke English and had no way of knowing the street was sometimes off-limits. To which the very exasperated poliziotto responded: You can’t drive on this road even if you do speak English!


Summer is around the corner. Whether you go to Italy (oh! I hope you do) or Oklahoma (it’s pretty there too…) you will have wonderfully interesting and, hopefully, wildly funny things to remember. Make some detailed notes and send them to yourself; send more than one!
Tuck them away and when you pull them out years from now… read them with an Italian accent. It’ll be so much more fun that way. Ciao!


*”Hi friends! It’s March. Are you [spring] cleaning? Planning your vacation?” Google Translate

When I first typed this I spelled it Limoncella. My spell-check didn’t like that and gave me this list of alternatives (just try not reading them with an Italian accent…) Salmonella, Violincello, Monticello, Citronella. (See? That was fun, wasn’t it? I told you :)


6 responses »

    • Poor Eddie… but it couldn’t be you this time – I think I’d recall touring northern Italy with you in tow, no?

    • That is, quite possibly, the nicest thing anyone has said to me all year (and I live with a really nice bunch of people)!

      I’ll have to see what I can do about that…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s