Several of our old friends and colleagues are packing up to either return to Canada or head off to new postings. Their pictures and descriptions of farewells, packing up, moving boxes, and the general uncertainty of it all had me revisiting our final days in Italy 10 years ago.
As you acknowledge that your time at the post is finite (something I avoided for almost four years) you try to get in all the things you meant to do into those remaining weeks. In June and early July 2011 I was no different.
Looking over posts from that time I found one on the last historical walk of so many that I took with our friend Nancy. We had been celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Risorgimento that year and Nancy took us to the site of one of the early battles for the unification of Italy. And she revealed a story of an incredible woman who had fought alongside her husband. A story that, to my mind at least, bears repeating.
Tuesday I took my last tour – for a while at least – with a dear friend who is an art historian par excellence. One of the joys of living here has been to see so much of Roma through her eyes, with her guidance and encyclopedic knowledge. And often, because of her contacts, I’ve gotten into places on her Monday/Tuesday walks that most people – even Italian friends – have only seen from the outside. But with her as your guide even the “regular” walks take on a special flavour because she has the enviable ability to make things spring to life.
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