We went to two castles yesterday. We drank cappuccinos underneath the walls, took a tour of the frescoes, saw the way people lived one, three and five hundred years ago, and ate real Italian pizza for dinner. I was surprised to see how this country has managed to combine ancient history with modern life. It’s practically seamless. Some things don’t seem to have changed at all.
All around me there’s a sense of beauty and a strong inclination to keep it so. They protect their environment here, both natural and manmade. Men take time to groom themselves and appreciate the beauty in women. The dress, the makeup, the gardening, the homes are all aesthetically pleasing with an attention to detail. The streets are clean, the buildings in good repair and there are frescoes everywhere. I think this emphasis on art and culture has improved the lives of people here in a way Americans don’t realize they are missing. It feels good to walk around town on a Sunday afternoon and see so many other people doing the same thing. Everything is closed, cars aren’t allowed in the center city, and everyone comes out in their Sunday best to talk and walk and enjoy the warm weather. There’s no missing gender or age demographic, it’s a real community feeling so different from the American entrepreneur always out to better himself. Here it’s family, country, world, connection that matters.
When I turned on my computer it seems like everyone I know is celebrating the death of bin Laden. It seems strange to me that that would be the event that unites our countrymen. Why does it have to be that? Why not just a Sunday afternoon?