Saturday, February 6, 2016


Traveling with a Ghost

   This is my first time back in Perugia since my beloved Judy died last summer.  We had been coming every January for nearly ten years, but our last visit was cut short by her swiftly deteriorating health.  Ever since, I have felt almost a duty to return and complete our trip.

    I recall one time a woman from
Judy's aerobics class ran out of a shop when  she saw us pass by soon after arriving.  "Buon tornato! E 'certamente gennaio perché qui è di nuovo Judy!"  (Welcome back.  It must be January because here is Judy again!)  Now I must explain several time each day why I am alone:  "Mi despiace ma mia moglie ha morta"  (I am sorry but my wife has died."  And as I walk the dark lonely medieval streets of this ancient city every stone is haunted. So I'm not really alone;  I'm traveling with a beautiful ghost.

    Ten years ago Judy and I enrolled in the Universita per Stranieri (University for Foreigners) to learn "un po' Italiano" -- very little, but we had a ball distracting each other and making friends.  So I enrolled for the next course "advanced beginner" this year.  This has been more painful than I expected but I still believe it's necessary to look my grief in the face with courage; that was Judy's final gift to me.  And I do believe it's already getting better ...

 . . . with a lot of help from my friends

    We developed a nice tradition over the years:  On our last night in Perugia, we would to eat one last pizza al zucco at Al Mangiar Bene, then "faremo una bella passiagata"  (take a beautiful walk)  circumventing the 3,000 year old Etruscan wall that surrounds the historic center, and finally stopping one last time to buy two Baci at "Sweet sweet way" for our nightly dolci.  Well, I nearly lost it when I saw that chocolate shop the other day --
I think I will stay away for more reasons as well

    And last night I braved a return to Al Mangiar Bene, happily accompanied by my old friend Wally and enjoyed Umbricelli with Sugo d'Oca (spaghetti with goose sauce), a bottle of Montefalco Rosso, and Panecotta caramelo for desert.  Wally paid. And I was OK, thanks Wally

    Everyone has been so kind to me this week and I have already had more fun than this post would have you think.  I do have many fun tales to tell in this blog.  Stay with me, it's getting better!

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