the shape of things
Velveteen façades in russet, lime and yellow ochre line the Adige river as we cross the bridge. We float on paving brushed smooth by Capulets, underneath balconies from which foliage and translucent petals trickle and sway in the breeze. We gaze up at vellum folded towers and brush against shapely legs in beautiful shoes….We are in Verona!
How my senses sing to be in Italy! How my lips un-purse to see mammoth bowls of plump mozzarella and my blood warms in front of bunches of love- red chillies; how my ears gobble up the rolling r’s and the playful tripping on double consonants. How good, above all, it is to be skin to skin with my beloved.
We find a trendy ‘vinoteca’ on the main street for our first glass of ‘prosecco’, which we accompany with a selection of cheeses and three little bowls of ‘mostarda’ - clementine, fig and mixed fruit -, the condiment fizzing hot and zesty on our tongues. Then we move on to the ‘Bottega del Vino’ – an ancient bar lined with musty bottles of Valpolicella and Amarone. The wine waiter privately swills, sucks and jiggles the purple liquid in bell shaped glasses before placing it before us on the table. Something happened between me and valpolicella when I was sixteen which I’d rather not go in to, but I think that finally my prejudice against the bevvy has come to an end.
The next day we arrive in Bologna for breakfast. In the main square, two perfect hearts edged in brown on our cappuccino foam, we drink in the spacious and ancient platform criss-crossed with people on their way to work - scuttling, sauntering and striding – before crossing it ourselves towards the Morandi museum.
This is the third time in my life I have been moved to tears by a painting: The simplicity of shapes of things told honestly, without embroidery or interpretation, is as close to being touched by a tree or a river as I have ever come.
I return to Salzburg for our third performance of Mitridate. I have lost both my camera and my ipod, but I have gained a renewed commitment to being true to the shape of the music, whatever the circumstances.