May 13, 2012

buon giorno!

"One doens't come to Italy for niceness," was the retort; "one comes for life. Buon giorno! Buon giorno!" bowing right and left. "Look at the adorable wine cart! How the driver stares at us, dear, simple soul!"
      - E.M. Forester A Room with a View

This quote from A Room with a View, when Miss Lavish is touring Lucy around Florence for the first time, aptly encompasses my feelings about Italy, in particular our trip to Apulia. It really wasn't that nice; it was gritty and it was real, with abandoned houses and a somewhat forgotten feeling. But within those quiet city corners and olive groves there was a lot of life, true authentic Italian life, being lived, and we got to live it too, even if just for a few days, "Buon giorno!"

This photo just happend. It was pure luck. We had heard the vegetable seller before we saw him, yelling "Carciofi! Finocchio! Arancione!" up to the apartments huddled around the little square. Instead of the customers going to the market, he goes to the customers. The woman on the second floor opend her shutters and yelled down to get his attention, she wanted some carciofi, all while we were standing right there just wishing we had a kitchen and reason to buy something off the back of his truck. I'm often self-conscious of photographing strangers, but I had to capture this moment, so I whipped out my point and shoot film camera, took the photo as fast as possible and then slipped it away. I didn't even realize he was looking at the camera until I got the photos back. It's my favorite photo from our trip. It so wonderfully captures everything that we loved about being in Southern Italy for a few days. 

...and now to get back to Zürich posts...or maybe we'll just have to go on another trip soon! 


  1. Incredible photo! Seriously. It could win an award. Dying to visit Italy.

  2. Tal, whoa! I can't believe this photo was such pure luck! Amazing shot! Totally agree -- could win an award!

  3. A fabulous capture indeed. I LOVE it. Bravo!

  4. Thanks everyone! So glad to hear you love it too. I've already printed it out and stuck it on the fridge as a reminder of good food - great trips - simple pleasures - and how much I love Italy!

  5. I just about died when I saw this photo, everything about it is perfect. And I loved what you wrote about, too. I'll choose good, real, authentic life over niceness any day. Thanks for sharing (and capturing) this Talley!