Dreaming In Italian

Here’s what’s new with me.

Friday, April 3rd, 2020

I guess that I have been so preoccupied with the advance and effects of the coronavirus on life especially here and in the U.S. that I have failed to mention some things very important to me.

First of all Laura and I, after looking at numerous apartments here in Bologna settled on one and signed a lease. It was really fortunate that we did so sooner than later. She came here on Saturday March 7th and we signed the lease on Monday the 8th. That same day the decree was signed by the government that prohibited basically all travel not considered essential, not only between cities but within cities. The next day she was able to return to Torino because her residence (and her two cats) are there. I could not go with her because my residence is here and she cannot return to Bologna for the same reason. So we have now been separated for 3 1/2 weeks (it seems longer) and will probably continue to be separated for at lease 2 more and possible until early May. Bummer! Thank God for Whatsapp. We can talk every day with video. I’ve also used it to talk to friends in the U.S. It’s incredibly useful.

I did a post about house hunting in Bologna (click here if interested) on February 19th which included 3 examples of ads. We chose the third one. It’s on via Santo Stefano (click here for a map) which is in one of the more desirable neighborhoods in the city with great access to public transporation and not far from a big park ( Giardini Margherita) that Laura wants to go to often. It’s in a building built in the 16th century. Obviously it has changed a lot in the last 450 or so years. There is an elevator, small but usable, a relatively large terrace although it is surrounded by walls on 3 sides, but still is pretty nice. It’s lightly furnished at present but enough for me to move there by the first of May when the lease starts (if the restrictions here allow it) and Laura will bring a lot of furniture with her when she moves – hopefully in May.

What else is new? Oh, yes, the beard. Also the hair is getting longer. I usually go a couple of months between haircuts and this time I was scheduled for a haircut at about the time the movement restrictions went into effect so it’s 3 months and counting. I’ll probably get it trimmed in early May – just a trim, I like it longer. And I think that I’ll keep the beard. Let me know what you think.

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So what’s new?

Friday, April 3rd, 2020

Recently I had a message from my ex that John Prine is in critical condition from the coronavirus. Immediately my favorite song of his came to mind “Hello in there”. There’s a part of the lyrics :

But what could I say if he asks “What’s new?”
“Nothing, what’s with you? Nothing much to do”

Here there’s not much to do but I do have news. But first a couple of things in tribute to John. He along with Leonard Cohen are the poets that put their poems to music.

He wrote this song in his 20s. It shows an unusual insight into the life of a lot of seniors at such a young age

I’m far from alone in giving tribute to John:

What’s new with me, the new apartment, my beard, unfortunate forced separation from Laura due to the lockdown in Italy. I’ll do a new post about all of that – This one is reserved for John Prine.

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More Italian Mayors Rant

Tuesday, March 24th, 2020

An article in La Stampa, the newspaper of Torino and one of the major newspapers in Italy included a video of several other mayors in cities across the country with a message to their citizens.. Since this apparently appeared somewhere in the New York Times ( couldn’t find it) there are subtitles. Just click on the link below. – I had to modify this because the page of La Stampa is no longer available but I found it on YouTube:


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The Rant (Lo Sfogo)

Monday, March 23rd, 2020

There is a video that has gone viral (appropriate term) here. It is a young mayor of a smallish town in Sicily. He blows off steam about the casual manner the citizens of his town are making light of the mandate to stay at home. Unless you understand Italian you really can’t follow what he’s saying so with a lot of effort (and help from Laura) I transcribed at least a significant portion of it.

I am posting it because you can see feel his sincerity and frustration and above all it you can watch his expression and gestures. He get’s pretty worked up to the point that I gave up trying to transcribe it about 2/3 of the way through.

So here is the transcript as best I could do with a little paraphrasing here and there keeping the same meaning.


Many you have made posters saying ” everything will be alright”. Lots of people write on Facebook and with text messages. But I would like to understand how everything will be alright if we continue every day to go out grocery shopping? Grocery shopping should be done once every 10 days. How will everything be alright if lots of people go out every day and buy cigarettes? Instead of taking care of yourself, ah, OK  you have a vice of smoking, I’m not going to go into that.  You buy a bunch of cigarettes and take them home. Don’t leave the house every day to buy cigarettes.

How will everything be alright if the people go the the filling stations? What good is this gasoline if you need to stay at home? How will everything be alright if lots of people ask to have their hair done at their house? But what good is that? How will everything be alright if lots of people ask to have their hair done at their house? What good is it? This hair done at the in this time, what good is it? Make me understand.

How will everything be alright if lots of people call me to go out for a little run because they are stressed out? Guys I’ve been running for 20 years. Where I run there are a maximum of 20 people running. Now everyone wants to run. But where are you going to run if the last time that you ran was when you were in elementary school. (obviously just an excuse to get out of the house). But where will you go to run?

Today on Sunday many people are in the countryside to roast meat. To barbecue? Are you kidding me? You are risking our life and that of all of our citizens! Having a party in the condominium! But the contagion is right there! Stay at home means stay with your own family, not with the neighbors. – At this point I gave up. It’s harder to understand when he really gets worked up.

Andra’ tutto bene – it will be alright

BTW a glimmer of hopeful news today. The rate of infection increase was only 10%. The previous 3 or 4 day it has been between 13 and 15% and before that it was between 20 and 30%. So 10% is hopeful. I hope it continues to go down. By the way in the US the rate of infection increases has been pretty consistently at an average of 30%.

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