by Carol Schultheiss Cavalini
You’re thinking; a walk in the countryside, a picnic with cows in the background. Ha! Not quite. But perhaps your romantic imaginings are not too far off. This is Italy and as Fellini indicated, life can be magical.
The day started with clear plans that quickly disintegrated. A drive east to Soave (same as in the wine) to get tickets for a guitar festival concert Sunday night followed by a hillside hike picking wild asparagus.
We got to Soave early and wandered the town, visiting a park and admiring the architecture and bread guitars decorating shop windows. I had already visited the castle several times so we didn’t do the long hike uphill. While waiting in line we ran into one of my husband’s numerous cousins. It’s easy to run into relatives here. And of course got invited to visit and see his house just outside of town. This involved ambling over, all the while, visiting cute churches and roadside shrines, noting the first leaves on the grape vines and collecting a shirt pocket full of capers that were growing wild on a rock wall.
We rambled some more on winding back country roads. This time we got to the hillside and picked the wild asparagus; fresh produce for a risotto or frittata. En route we got a phone call telling us about a gallery opening in two hours.
A quick clean up and change and we are on the road again. This time we headed to the older Veronetta area of Verona. A shop specializing in furniture from the 50s/60s/70s, was hosting the work of a half dozen photographers. The subject matter, for all, was China. White wine aperitivo in hand, I wove in and out of the furniture, chatting with people I knew and studying the photographs.
A Saturday late afternoon ramble about town is a reminder for this American, that the local life taken in small doses can help you appreciate the good things everywhere.
Written by Altpick’s Italy Correspondent and Artist Carol Schultheiss in Cavallini.