Visitors from another continent

Visitors from another continent

Monday, August 26th, 2013

At least it was not another planet. In fact it was a friend from Italy. Paolo is the first person that I met in Bologna. Actually I had met him on-line before I went to Bologna the first time. I had stumbled across a Facebook page called “The Tandem language learning BOLOGNA ”. I just noticed a very strange thing. There is an almost identical Facebook page with both “language” and “learning” capitalized. But that is not the right one. You too can go there and find people posting for partners to trade expertise in Italian, French, Spanish, German… probably just about everything else. So that’s where I found Paolo. They also have a weekly meeting in Bologna to meet face-to-face. In any case Paolo and I corresponded for while until he seemed to lose interest. However when I wrote and told him that I was coming to Bologna he offered to meet me at the airport and from there we did a bunch of things together on both of my previous trips there.


So now it was my turn to play host. He came to the U.S. with his son Stefano. Stefano has lived all but the first 5 years of his life in Germany with his mother so he speaks German, Italian and English. It was interesting that he speaks Italian with a German accent. In any case they stayed with me for 3 nights. The first full day I played the “Cicerone”. An interesting derivation of that word which translates as tour guide. It seems that in ancient Rome, the man Cicero, a philosopher, linguist, politician and was especially famous for his oratory, especially liked to give tours of the city to visitors. The name became the thing, like Kleenex or Xerox. But, as is often the case, I digress. Stefano in particular wanted to see San Francisco. So we drove over the Bay Bridge, proceeded through the financial district and then through China Town. Next was the North Beach neighborhood, famous for it’s Italian flavor, then through the Marina area and finally crossed the Golden Gate Bridge. On the other side we made a couple of stops for photo opportunities and finally wended our way through Sausalito and back into the city with a stop for lunch in Cow Hollow (Union Street shopping area). After a stop for some ice cream (so sad in comparison to Bologna gelato) we wound our way up to Twin Peaks for the magnificent view of San Francisco while being frozen by the winds there.

The next day was less frenetic. We went to an Italian Meetup, had lunch in Oakland and went to a local sort of street fair called “Art and Soul” in Oakland. I was disappointed in the event. Why pay a bunch of money to enter a street fair where most of the offerings are overpriced and under-quality food? There was some good music but that’s true at a lot of street fairs where no money is required. I did get a priceless photo of Paolo with one of the local singers.

Paolo and his new girlfriend

So now it’s back to Bologna for me. I leave for a lengthy visit. I’ll study for at least a month in Bologna and spend some time traveling. A lot of adventures ahead.


2 Responses to “Visitors from another continent”

  1. Alberto Says:

    t’invidio tanto. Sei un bravo! Alberto di Berkeley

  2. Joe Says:

    Grazie Alberto – stay tuned (difficile a tradure, forse “rimanerete con me/noi”


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