Virgil was here

I visited Mantua yesterday. Stone cold Mantua, as I’ll now think of it. Before I begin, for anyone considering taking a bus through the mountain regions of Italy, consider valium before the trip. And I heard a horrible story about people going to assist accident victims on the other side of the bridge not realizing there was a gap that plummets to the bottom of the mountain, falling several 100 feet to their death. For those of you who can, imagine the impression that made on me.

Mantua, in spite of the cold, is lovely. Driving on a bridge with it back lit in the fog and afternoon rays, it looked like a ghost town. Surrounded by lakes, I’m certain I would visit again in the summer. Really lovely. We toured the Palazzo del Te, a mannerist masterpiece by Giulio Romano, which houses the famous painting on the ceiling that shows Apollo’s, umm, underside as he is riding the chariot. Very up close and in person, I couldn’t help but be struck by the sense of humor by Romano.

After that was the Ducal Palace, or as I now think of it, the coldest place on the planet (never wish to live in a palace, or you could end up here on a February day). However, incredible art in here. The room of giants, where Zeus crushes them by blowing up stone with his thunderbolts, uses the entire room as the canvas. No surface is left untouched. The tapestries, how? Anyway, I can’t explain it all because at some point my brain began to frost over. Oh, but the family that built it thought it would be a great idea if their horses could take them to their rooms, so ramps wound up into their bed chamber. Part of me, of the never ending stairs, relates.

However, the best and warmest thing about Mantua, once again involves food — the local dish. Pumpkin stuffed ravioli in butter and cheese. Mmmmm. Just thinking about it brings the moment my tastebuds rejoiced dancing back into my mind. Perhaps not as tasty as the pear and cheese ravioli I will insist all of my visitors try when they come, but very close.

I had my camera for this trip, but haven’t developed the film yet. Will post when I can.

6 responses to “Virgil was here

  1. OK…I am sooooo ready to move to Italy! I know you hear this all the time but THANK YOU for articulating what you are experiencing with such vivid and relatable imagery! You truly have a gift.
    I was swept off my feet and thrown into a carriage by a tall, dark and handsome young Italian man who takes me back to his bed chamber via a maze of ramps where he whisks me through the door and…OH, SORRY…I thought I was writing my PG17 romance novella. 🙂 It is very evident that I do not have the same type of gift. It’s just every time I read your blog my imagination goes wild! And thank you for putting in links for those of us that are visualists so that we also get a peak of where/what you are seeing first hand. Keep up the fervor!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Your words are so beautiful, I felt chills and sensed the cold stones of the palace floor when I read this. Perhaps we will save that for my visit in July. Find nice warm places for our February visit. Do you need me to bring some more warm clothes (for you). Bet your leather gloves came in handy! See you in a few weeks!

  3. I’m blushing with the knowledge I have a very biased audience. Thanks though. Mendalina, you may have stumbled onto a second career, romance writing . . . just avoid over use of the phrase “throbbing tumescence.” Trust me, no one wants to stumble upon that in a book.

  4. Stumble upon it elsewhere perhaps . . .

  5. I LOVE pumpkin, so I can only imagine how yummy that ravioli was. YUM! Sound like a fun (if chilly) day!

  6. perfect site good information, very nice news and etc… tnx

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