Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Book Pooper

Today was super hot again, so we didn't really do anything exciting.  I went for a run, lifted some weights,  did some yoga, and probably sweat my entire body weight in the process.  We could only stand to be outside for less than an hour, so Jameson just played inside for the majority of the day.  I still have more pictures of Venice to share, so today it's more statue fun!

Meet Niccolò Tommaseo, or, as known to the Venetians, "The Book Pooper."  The books really do look like they just fell out of his butt, so the title is suiting.  Tommaseo was an Italian author and linguist, and produced a number of works in his lifetime, including beginning the weighty 7 volume Italian dictionary, which was finished after his death.  The statue is located in the campo Santo Stefano, where one of our favorite restaurants (A Beccafico) is, and also where Christine claims to have had a Brad Pitt sighting.  Her and Christer were spending the night in Venice when her mom was in town, and they were dining at A Beccafico when Christine swears she saw Brad Pitt walk by with a nanny and 2 strollers, supposedly carrying the small twins, Knox and Vivienne.  The whole Jolie-Pitt brood was staying in Venice at the time because Angelina was filming a movie, so the likelihood that the scruffy, fedora-clad, stroller pusher was indeed the-one-and-only Brad Pitt was actually quite high.

Completely unrelated (we've got to go with the pictures I have on hand), but the way the obituaries work here is pretty interesting.  The newspaper isn't a very big deal, and, as far as I know, there isn't a daily or weekly paper system, so any sort of an announcement in a circular would only reach a select number of people.  Instead, the Italians post announcements in the old fashioned bulletin board fashion.

Funeral homes have permits for a certain number of bulletin boards in the surrounding areas, and when you contact them about the death, they make the necessary arrangements to get the sheets posted throughout the area so people know of the death and can contact about the funeral arrangements.  Every town has a central location, normally in the "downtown" area, where the bulletin boards are located, and the people of the area stop and take a look every once in awhile to educate themselves on the deaths in the area.

The following pictures just screamed Italy to me, but didn't really fit into any other blog posting, so here they are.

The stoop above was in Assisi, and the doorway below was in Cortona.  I wonder if, when the residents are placing their potted plants outside, they're thinking to themselves "I want my front door to be so very 'Italian,'" because that's what I think when I see these.

This little kitty was just sunning on his balcony in Venice.  So precious!

It's off for some reading and bed for me.  We're going to aim for an early start tomorrow and try to squeeze in a walk in the morning while it's still a bit cool.  One more day before Christine and I are Venice bound!

Today my favorite thing about Italy is:  How many people choose alternative forms of transportation.  On my run today I stopped at the post office, and in just that small area of town, I saw probably 10 people either walking or biking instead of driving.

1 comment:

  1. I am so jealous of you. I love reading your blogs, it's like having an Italian history class and most of the time I feel like I'm there with you. Your pictures are just beautiful. You've truly captured the beauty of the country. Miss you at work.