Buon Natale

Yesterday was the day I said goodbye to the artists on via S. Lorenzo.  They are only there at the weekends and I’ll be back in Belgium next weekend.

I was so surprised to hear them wish me Buon Natale as we said our goodbyes but of course, it’s almost Christmas, even if my New Zealand-orientated self doesn’t understand the possibility of Christmas in the dead of winter.

I was so very pleased to see Franco Fondacaro this time.  He is the guy in the photograph below, captured as he talked of his art with a client.  Not long after I left Genova last time, he was beaten up and robbed, early one morning while out walking his dog. 

Franco fought back.
Franco is 83, and completely adorable. Everyone was horrified that he had been attacked by the two guys.  He spent quite some time in hospital and is slowly recovering from a serious neck injury but stll, he is full of life and laughter.  It was good to see him.

Meanwhile, Shannon finished Amedeo’s new website and so, last night, Karla, Amedeo and I had a working/farewell dinner where I showed them how to operate the new site.  I think it’s a good idea that Amedeo’s latest work is always out there, especially now winter is coming.  Now I just need to work on the About text which is currently a direct translation of his Italian bio via google translate. 

We also spent time working out whether to move Karla’s website over to Blogger or some other space.  I think we will.  And some new business cards have been designed for both of them.  We had so much fun.  I’ll miss them.

I love it here.  I come alive in a way that I don’t think I am alive any place else.  It’s been difficult this time but the cough is almost gone.  I’m strong again, and walking all over the ancient heart of the city.  I was sitting on the stairs of San Lorenzo Cathedral earlier, close to my favourite lion sculpture, just watching the world go by while eating a slice of onion focaccia ... happy. 

Happy to be here, in this moment, in this place.
Buon Natale ...