Sunday, June 25, 2006



Princess Alexi, Miss Rhonda and I loved to sit in the piazzas of Firenze and Fiesole and watch the people go by. We were able to conclude, after several days of exhausting research and certain quantities of refreshing Italian beer (huh?), that some things are universal: red pants on well-dressed men; orange ties on well-dressed men; mullets on well-dressed men ; mullets; fanny packs, however are strictly a Milano phenomenon.

I love how the Italians meet each other, young and old, in the piazza and share a bottle of wine or a bottle of water and laugh and visit and spend time with each other. Of course, the Piazza della Signoria was the place in Renaissance Florence where the people were summoned to hear the latest initiatives of their government and in some cases, to express their righteous indignation (read that Savonarola) . These days a number of statues occupy the piazza including a copy of Michelangelo's David and Cellini's bronze Perseus Holding the Head of Medusa and my other personal favorite, Hercules and the Centaur by Giambologna.

At any rate, the Italians enjoy this state of living that allows you to be with your friends in a public place for a social encounter, with nothing but your dialogue and conversation to entertain you. For them, it's entirely enough. American teenagers understand the beauty of this exchange, they call it "hanging out" but as "hanging out" is not a productive effort, in the style of the American protestant work ethic, our teenagers are roundly criticized for these exchanges. They resort to the 'nothing to do' defense, which is entirely unbecoming. American parents would do well to follow their teenagers to the parks to meet their own friends for discourse and conversation, as well as observe and monitor the social interactions of their children. What's the worst that could happen? A few relaxed moments in the afternoon sun or evening air? Some smiles? laughter? Oh dear ...just how would Wall Street take the news?

These particular children had the best Joe Rivetto regalia and as they all spoke brilliant English, had a great time initiating us into the world of Joe and all things hip and cool in Firenze, Italia. The class is not water. The best is yet to come. All this and more. See for yourself.

JBelle
On Location
Chianti, Italy

2 comments:

Phil said...

I love how the Italians meet each other, young and old, in the piazza and share a bottle of wine or a bottle of water and laugh and visit and spend time with each other.

What language are you speaking above? I do not understand the words and concepts. :)

Seriously, Americans are so darn uptight about everything. I sit in the park watching my kids all the time, and I see other parents doing that, but we maintain our little islands of solitude. I've never been approached by another parent in a social situation. I've done my fair share of going up to them, but reactions are usually negative or mixed. I have absolutely no clue what it's like to "share a bottle of wine or a bottle of water and laugh and visit and spend time with each other."

jb3ll3 said...

It's really a sad thing, isn't it? The contrasts are so sharp. And the teenagers! Their social skills are far in advance of the American kids of the same age. It's the role model, the most powerful tool a parent can employ....