Da Padova to Venezia, a Way Of Life.

 

 

Padova, and Venezia, two jewels, in a rich, popular region of the name Veneto are cities that resides on the north east of the Italian peninsula. This irresistible region, with its vast range of culture is an ancient focal point for the humanities. Also being one of the most popular regions of Italy as a vacation destination, its cultural identity remains intact despite of the many business locales for tourisim like fastfood, and so forth. As read, legends says that the Venetians seem to be linked far back to the the Fall of Troy,  also connecting their far past to Anatolia, or like other historians believe, even to the Celts. They, the Venetians, where called “People of The Wind”, which is not much of a suprise as this region is situated on the fascinating Mar Adriactico (an area of Mare Nostrum). Venice, in particular was one of the richest maritime republics in the world. An important point of exchange, even today with it’s many tourists you can still feel a residue of the past.

The heartfelt trip, started with its first stop in the city of Padua. Padova, as written in Italian, was, and still is a spectator of important artistical influences. The Tuscan, Giotto at the Cappella degli Scrovegni, with his elevated art of the 13th century, and the various mix between gothic, Romanic/Byzantine, influences of the Basilica di Sant’Antonio, they are just few of the many evidences of such history. My hotel in an ideal spot was right beside of the Basilica di Sant’Antonio. I had the chance to spend much time observing the sacred works that belonged to the Basilica of the Saint from Lisbon. The majestic reliquies, the green interior gardens,  and the many symbols on the walls where fascinating. After having spent the rest of that quick stay, roaming the streets of Padova’s center eating ice cream at Venchi, and having a glass of Gewurztraminer (Alto Adige Doc) at the well known, elegant Caffè Pedrocchi. I headed down to what is said to be the second largest piazza of Europe called Prato della Valle where a festival was being held that night to celebrate Ferie Augustae. Being another very important place, the delightful location, had 78 statues of important men of various sciences along with obélisques that held high along with the much adored statue of Dante.

Not expecting that Padova was such a short trip by train to Venice. It amazed me to find myself so arriving so quickly. Everything ancient, and luxurious it was also very welcoming with it’s old mannerisims. Right as I took foot, I wanted to stay. Many tourists flooded the steets, dragging each other along full of excitement. The city bursting with liveliness, one could not help feel as if there was a gigantic celebration taking place. I was staying at a hostel, in the area of Giudecca. Perfect for someone like myself who prefers silent, and intimate places without too many people around. Giudecca, being one of the eight minute islands. Just residing at the south of Venice, without much proof, it was hypothesised that it’s name derived from two Sinagoghes that currently do not exist as they where destroyed durring the 16th century. With another theory stating that it’s name derives from past activities of “concia”, which is the tanning of leather. Who knows the truth? The historians may. All I can tell you that now it is a suggestive residential neighborhood.

It was easy to get lost in Venice. I enjoyed wandering around without a map just allowing myself to be there. With such a little stay, time fleeted, and as I walked around gazing at awe what needed to be seen.  I passed by San Marco Square reminding me of “Crooner” the first story part of Ishiguro’s Nocturnes a recent read of mine. Prefering, to eat berries at the dock, chatting to the locals with the company of cappucino, and snacking on little yellow lupini while walking down alleys to see the sights. I found much peace. My best moment was taking a two hour boat-ferry at night while listening to waves, and the cooling air around the islands. That being said, it was a wonderful trip, and if there is still so much to learn about Antonio Canova, Giovanni Bellini, and many other masters that had influenced this grand city. I have learned alot durring the way.

 

Local Goodies, The Distant Tahiti, and Elle Italia.

 

 

What is in common between the magazine Elle Italia, a bowl of local grown nightshades, and Monoi De Tahiti? Not, much unless you have a vivid imagination to figure it out, but if you do happen to have one let us wonder one moment. Elle magazine originates from France of the 1940s. The ambigous fruit, Solanum lycopersicum, also nicknamed “The Apple of Love” by Queen Elizabeth I, derives from a distant time, and place. Monoi a product from Tahiti, a sacred oil, used by the French Polynesians. Happens to be a pleasantly scented oil, a product now you may find in many profumerie throughout Italy. Per fortuna!

So where are the connections? There are many, but lets save our rational thinking for other topics, like science, and go back to simplicity just to point one thing out.

That is the fine detail.

The fine details are the minute things, that for many can go unnoticed. They are the types of profumes we wear, the colors we prefer, that special coffee we enjoy drinking daily. They are the little things that many may not note as important, but in the sum reveal to us who we really are. Diverse people may go all their lives unaware the of the profound shape of words, the intonation of emotions, and the senses’ reaction to the vast enviroment in which we are emerged in. Yet, there are others, on the other hand that can feel through it to their own various degrees of personal perspective. Some can see the details of a dress, they can take notice of the interchanging values tween belief, and true worth. Then there are also some so keen, they are even capable to feel it in the food they eat.

Fine details are many, they are everywhere, just like the hue of the light that shatters from a light source. It is bound to affect you. Mine? The fine details that I intentionally  implement in my daily routine is a long list, because of the simple complexity of my nature. Along with reading Elle, and having a bowl of local veggies set like flowers on a table. My favorite detail is Monoi De Tahiti. It’s scent of Gardenia Tahitensis, the flower of the tropics, can easily take a person afar, and having myself yearn of distant lands. To imagine the flowers being freshly picked to then have wrap around one’s head for a lovely crown is a lovely imagery to dream about. It’s minute detail after a refreshing bath is a happy reminder of the beautiful details of life.

Visions of Amaruka, a Centuria D’Amore.

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The poetry book Centuria D’Amore, adapted from Meghadūta, Amarusátaka, Caurapâñcâśikâis under the care of the Italian, Indology linguist, Daniela Sagramoso Rossella, and with the introduction of Giuliano Boccali is more than just a translated poetry book exclusive to love.  The captivating tale behind it’s creation is one mystery. That mystery being of the life of Amaru, a man whoes dead body was said to be entered by Adi Shankara.

Shankara, an Indian philosopher and theologian of the 8th century, as a celebist; in hopes to learn all about the subject of eroticisim spent 100 nights within the deceased Amaru’s body. In hopes to get a better understanding. To believe, or not to believe would be question of debate. There is not much information available. This piece of Sanskrit history is a collection filled with many vivid tales of passion, intrigues, fidelity, and so forth.

Of all books, this is a book I will forever keep. The reason is that my deepest, and most sincere memories of love comes from pondering, and contemplating this selection of poems. While I wish I could write more, as it being an interesting topic to be delve into. I will keep my personal thoughts simple, because obviously I am not an expert to type much.

( Book’s scheda: Diretto da Giuliano Boccali, Il Gange, 1989, Marsilio Editori Venezia, traduzione Sanskrito da Daniela Sagramoso Rossella)

Afrodita: When Bread is So Good.

 

It is so typical of people to refrain from bread. In a calorie counting crazed society, who would not be? To be truthful I never keep it around, and the same goes with the pasta.

So untypical for an Italian-American, I know.

Yet, there is this vision of mine similar like a personal wish. That wish is to have always fragrant, freshly baked bread at home, and to have a kitchen constantly running. The kitchen, a place of peace. A place, where people can learn to share a space. A place to master the senses, and refine that one most important quality called “patience”. Like a classroom of a school, a classroom as a kitchen, you do not necessarily need books to learn everything.

“Real soup is to the body what peace is to the soul.” – Isabel Allende

Aphrodite: A Memoir of the Senses, was written from a mature woman’s perspective of love, passion, and intimacy. Isabel Allende a well affirmed author, and journalist from Chile with many creations published, gave us this treasure of a book. The title dedicated to history’s most adored, goddess of the name Aphrodite. Who could not feel the attraction? The book contains the concoction of many things, as it expresses itself in a way to take it’s readers to many different scenarios, and wild places in the realms of love”making”. Obviously, one can not think a better way of making something as that of  making bread.

Not to be judgemental (it is not my intention), certain points of the book did seem to become slightly dull, and various ingredients are not explained well into depth. What saves me from not being distracted away from the book is the sense of how Isabel Allende transmits what I consider to be of foremost importance. The heart. The heart when it comes to making love, with making food, with eating, and so on. Her connection to her roots is immensely touching to make a person ponder. Love, food, and roots these three words can not help, but remind me of what is the most important things in life.

The book also have many quotes of poetry, so delightful, and uplifting each dedicated to that spicy subject. My favorite of Srngarakarika, Kumaradadatta in which if you want to read the exact poem you must do so by the book. This is not a place for spoilers. Containing a wide selection of recipes, many recipes, in which a person should try. The ones I did came out to perfection. My favorite recipe section is the part for salses.

That being said. Lets rejoyce ourself to food, and drip our bread into fountains of olive oil the same way we abbandon ourselfves to sincere passion. Food is precious, and with it the world is a better place.

I would like to thank the gentle woman from Chile that gave me this book. She knew I needed to read it. ❤

 

Alba.

Books are so unique from each other. Each with their own distinct intentions not one is ment to be without meaning. Both fiction, and non fiction represents a personal truth. When my sight came into contact with Alba I could not help by not being, somewhat urged to buy it because of the brillant hues of the imagery of it’s cover. The book named Seher in it’s original language; was written by Selahattin Demirtaş a Turkish politician, head of the democratic party HDP (Halkların Demokratik Partisi) durring his current unjust, detainment in a Turkish prison.

The read was not a difficult one, and as noticed was tended to give it’s readers an important message. Each narration was deeply written, and when one read its many short stories you can feel the persona’s message pass through your bones. Seher, with it’s twelve different stories sheds a light on realities of other places in this world that I barely knew of. Informing myself of various situations, and illuminating my personal desire for a different world this book touched me greatly. In contempt of the fact at times I need a perfect atmosphere to settle down with a book to read; I was able to Alba as I shopped for groceries, went to eat pizza, and in the park strolling. Causing my hands to tremble, and saddness to overtake me this book was bought to give me a reason to think. Giving me a motive to work harder to become truely emancipated.

(Book Scheda in Italian: ALBA by Selahattin Demirtaş, pubblicato in Italia tramite La Feltrinelli, 2018. Tradotto da Nicola Verderame)

Natural Remedies: To Heal the Heart.

 

From me to you:

  •  Have an expresso. Leave tips to the waitresses, and waitors despite Italian customs.  The receiver’s happy smile will create wonderful healing properties. Yes, it does work you just have to observe closely.
  • Set a book on the bench, and give it to the next person that happens to find it.
  •  Give compliments to everyone. Even if you have to be respectful by keeping the compliments to yourself. Feeling down in the dumps? Be kind to yourself, and compliment yourself too, and say “Sei bellissima!”.
  • Be  sensible: Have awareness of speech. Being the lover of sounds, languages, and poetry. I take extreme care of the meaning of words. (Yes, etumologia is so hip, and cool). What a person says tells alot about how well grounded they are with the surrounding world around them. Despite, I am a lover of Punk music. I refrain from cursing when mindful. I just rather say some lengthy borring sentences to get my thoughts across. Why is this? Because clear communication is our only hope I believe. Of course, we got to be humanly human at times too.
  • Have a healthy meditation with rose incense, and a pink rose quartz by yourside daily. The pink crystal, and the scent of roses work wonders.

To take into consideration: Complimenting is a great way of measurement when it comes to understanding insecurities in ourselfves, and of others. Use it as a way to measure your heartbeat.

Nocturnes : Nightly Music En Plein Air

 

A delight to read was Kazuo Ishiguro’s 2017 Nobel Prize winner named:

Nocturnes: Five Stories of Music and Nightfall

Five short stories, plotted in the various localities of the “western” world, a couple in which locations happen to be in Italy. Starts its account in Venezia, whoes initial main character’s “diminutive” is Janeck. Janeck, the street musician, instantly caught my attention as I could easily relate to the character in many aspects. Truthful to the places, one could not help ask if Ishiguro was directly involved in the situations despite the stories being fictional. Janeck for example goes through a common theme of mainy street artists living in Italy, being sweet, and sensible. He shows the similar qualities that repeat withing the many characters throughtout the book. Simply, fascinating with their inner dialogues; each seem to follow a similar pulsation for music, struggling who more and who less for their desires to strive. Respectfully capturing a reader’s heated attention (please note I am extremely sensitive in matters of “human attraction” <3), the author’s ability to cause one’s imagination to want passionate exchanges between the characters was well accomplish.

Despite, it’s nocturnal connotations. I enjoyed this book by the light of day, en plein air, sitting at nearby coffee shops, here, in this little Italian town where I find myself at. Being a tad bohème myself many of the character’s fustrations are/where that of my own. This book is a great read to accompagnate with various songs of important musicians whoes names where inserted throughout the book. Take Ben Webster for example,  the “Brute” from Kansas City, Missouri. He made great music!

(My book copy: Notturni Cinque Storie di musica e crepuscolo. Scritto da Kazuo Ishiguro, pubblicato tramite Einaudi (Torino) 2009 e 2010.)