July – August 2005
I was given the opportunity to live in Italy in the summer of 2005. It had been 31 years since I was there last, as a hippy backpacking through Europe. My colleagues apartment, which I was subletting, was part of a condomium complex in Viareggio, a town in the province of Lucca, situated on the coast of the Tyrrhenian Sea in the north of Tuscany, Italy. Viareggio is one of the most famous and traditional seaside resorts in Tuscany. Twenty minutes by foot, we were delighted by its famous liberty period architecture. Fond memories of hearing a neighbor opera singer practice the scales while my son practiced his songs on his clarinet reaffirmed me of the high value the Italian people place on classical music and art. I felt at home in Italy, as an artist, being surrounded by some of the greatest art of the world. It is easy to imagine Michelangelo chiseling his stone, or the brush of Piero della Francesco painting his frescoes, or Federico Fellini, directing his cast on the beach for La Strada, or Puccini composing his operas.
Some fond memories:
“…Greek idealism, a civilization of music and philosophy and Roman pragmatism, a civilization of law and rationality, blended perfectly to create a new culture that forms the basis of Western civilizations of which we Italians, the greatest people on earth should be the proud heirs.”
From the film, “Pane e Tupani” (“Bread and Tulips”) -- “It is a simply ravishing country, from the delicious gelatos to the beautifully, impeccably dressed people, with exquisite taste for taste, and romance…”
Pianist: Portico d'Ottavia, Rome