Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Leave it to the Italians

If there is one thing I learned while growing up in an Italian family, it is that Italians love to argue.  Of course, my mother's family spoke a variant of the Venetian dialect, so arguing in Italian meant doing it within the family, else you had to argue in English.  But I digress.

They could argue about anything.  The classic one is 'who is really an Italian?'  Northern Italians love this one insisting that folks south of Rome are not real Italians.  Who makes spaghetti sauce correctly?  Do you sweeten the sauce or not?  This subject is very important.  Name a topic and they can find an argument in it.   

I got into an argument with an uncle over the name of a cathedral in Florence.  Was it Santo Maria del Fiore or Santa Maria Novella?  We were both right since we were both talking about different cathedrals, but that didn't stop the banter.

The men in the family, some living in the states and some living in Canada, spent their time arguing about who had the better hockey team, Detroit or Toronto.  Important stuff.

So, it came as no surprise this morning to come across a story from the Associated Press regarding Michelangelo's David.  Seems the City of Rome thinks they should have the statue.  OMG, I can hear my family now.  They would be siding with the Florentines, of course, and start insisting that those Romans are not true Italians.  They don't even speak the same language.

Frankly, sightseeing in Florence, or even Venice, is way more pleasant than navigating Rome.  But whereas you can pretty much walk all over Florence and Venice, it is a little more difficult in Rome. We got into a car fender-bender there and the Romans are pretty good at arguing too.

And so the argument about possession of a tourist attraction has started.  Well, I guess it is way better than arguing about guns at an art show.  Somehow I never saw Wyatt Earp as the artsy-crafty kinda guy.

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