Posted by: 4initalia | January 6, 2009


Fa nevica. It’s snowing. An American with a minivan takes little notice of temperature and precipitation. But here in Italy, where I don’t have a car, a sense of direction, or even warm shoes, I’m three snowflakes short of hypothermia and three degrees south of hysteria.

Fortunately, we’re trapped like rats in our apartment. It’s January 6th in Italy, Epifania, and everything is closed.


In Italy, everything is closed most of the time. Italy is closed many mornings, all through lunch, (1:00 – 3:30), most afternoons, all day Sunday, any day within three weeks of a holiday, and any time you want to buy a cell phone. Chiuso.

It’s not that there’s a huge incentive to go outside. Modena in winter is damp and cold. Yesterday, there was icy fog. Or foggy ice. Our landlady, Giovanna, kindly drove us to several government offices. Scoffing at my cloth coat, she offered a fur one. And a fur hat.

Missy Environmentalist recoiled in horror: I do not wear the pelts of dead animals. But then we stepped outside. When the jagged blade of silvered frost slashed at my throat and hands, I understood fur. I wanted to hunt down something large and hairy, kill it myself, and wrap its still-warm body around my pathetic wool and cashmere coat.

Now there’s an epiphany.

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