Aspetta and The Italian Bulldozer

civitavecchiaport-day

Port of Civitavecchia

We will be traveling soon, a cruise on the Azamara Pursuit, to seven coastal cities around Italy. We will fly to Rome and board the cruise ship at Civitavecchia.

 Therefore, I have homework; a refresher course on geography and the weather, deciding what to pack and wear; and what to see at each port.

I have also found it helpful to read novels set in our travel location and previously read “Under the Tuscan Sun,” by Frances Mayes, and found one by my favorite author, Alexander McCall Smith. He is known for the “The #1 Ladies Detective Agency” series featured on PBS.

The title, “My Italian Bulldozer”, grabbed my attention, and when the main character, Paul, describes Tommy, the man his significant other ran off with, as a tattooed MESOMORPH, I knew Tommy had a fat neck before viewing the Kindle definition; a compact person with muscular body build.

Alexander McCall Smith transforms the mundane with insight, i.e. “the past has a bigger shadow than people believe,” and Paul takes off for Tuscany. I am hoping to  get an education about Italian wine.

Northern Italians are fair, and that is why my mother says I have blonde hair;  her side of the family, the De Salvo’s, were from there. My husband says I am not really Italian.

amalfi-from-the-front

Amalfi

The first port  will be Amalfi, then Sorrento,; Taormina, Brindisi, Trieste and final port, Venice.

Really Italian, or not, growing up, we thought we were.

sorrento

Sorrento

On Saturdays, my grandfather, Achilles DeSalvo, would take the train from the Bronx to  Long Island, wearing a sharkskin suit, a pressed handkerchief in his breast pocket, shoes with a spit shine, and hat, arriving around noon. After lunch he sat in the living room to read the newspaper and smoke a cigar. We gathered at his feet and watched his manicured hands unwrap the cigar then present the cigar band as a ring to one of us. Next, a Mounds bar was divided into four parts for all to share. After reading the newspaper, he phoned his bookie.

taormina

Taormina

We called our grandfather Pop-Pop and and the only Italian that past his lips were the words aspetta, meaning wait and capisci, asking, do you understand? Other than his sharkskin suit, he wore, pajamas, or a guinea t-shirt with his trousers.  His father, Alfonso DeSalvo, came to America from Abruzzi, to be an American, owned a tailor shop in Manhattan, and English was spoken in their home.

panoramic-tour-of-trieste

Trieste

I may not be that Italian, but have a real Italian name, Claudia Chianese. My husband’s family came from Naples, my best guess is from Casamiccola. There were many Antonio Chianeses sailing from Naples, or the equivalent of looking for John Smith in the USA, it has been difficult to know for sure.                                  

 

grand-canal

Venice

Aspetta, our cruise will end in Venice, capisci?

. . . . just saying

14 thoughts on “Aspetta and The Italian Bulldozer

  1. Didn’t realize your trip was coming up so quckly-when do you leave? The pictures make me feel like I’m there! And, do you know, are there many of that WWII statue or just one that travels?? I have seen it in 2 places and now in Civitavecchia-it is huge. How can it travel around the world?

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  2. I really recommend downloading Rick Steves guide to Naples and the Amalfi coast on your phone and I loved reading An Italian Journey by David Addison …just saying We also did a terrific walking food tour of Venice that was fun and informative last fall

    On Sun, Feb 17, 2019 at 10:40 AM claudiajustsaying wrote:

    > claudiajustsaying posted: ” Port of Civitavecchia We will be traveling > soon, a cruise on the Azamara Pursuit, to seven coastal cities around > Italy. We will fly to Rome and board the cruise ship at Civitavecchia. > Therefore, I have homework; a refresher course on geography and the ” >

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  3. Oh, my, what a trip you are going to have! Going back to our roots has such power to it, as I found on 2 trips to my ancestral lands in western Norway. Bravo to you for undertaking this fascinating journey! Now, how do I say “Bon voyage” in Italian??

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