To Most Americans, even those of Italian descent, a visit to Italy is a combination of tourism, gelato, and Roman ruins. But for me Italy is always a visit to the valley of my ancestors. As a poet and writer I am always listening to the music of a place and Vestone the town where my mother is from and my family has dwelt since at least 1500 is a feast for the aural senses.
First off as a person who speaks Italian, Portuguese and Spanish I am very attuned to Latin languages and the dialect spoke is eastern Lombardy is a delight. The guttural sounds and sounds that combine French and Provencial with an almost round sound and then enters sharp and hard grunts that create a language that frankly is so superior to the sweet language of Dante and St Francesco that it pains me why more poetry is not written in that tongue.
The valley where my mother is from is a deep green. With small towns that no tourist bothers to visit but it is a place we are connected to and while my family and friends there are very stylish, frankly the guy who takes care of the goats is more fashionable than most Americans there is a sense of style that I as a fat American cannot but attempt to imitate. Lake Garda another spot of family is just beautiful and my relatives there are just delicious.
The ten days I spent in Italy, more particularly the Valle Sabbia of the Province of Brescia was delightful and to be in the valley of my ancestors, eating Spiedo, Polenta and great Red Wine with a piece of Bagoss.... pretty damn good. You can keep Florence and Milan I will take Vestone everytime. With a side dish of Padenghe and Lake Garda as dessert.