Saturday, September 10, 2011

Cinque Terre: Le Fin

Some final thoughts on Cinque Terre:

As we neared Liguria on the train, one section of the mountains looked like it was covered in snow. The elevation was far too low for that and I deduced it had to be removed by rock quarry equipment since we passed so many stone facilities right next to the railroad tracks. It was a little cloudy which added to the mystery of wondering what on earth I was seeing.

Ed Burtynsky, Carrara Marble Quarries

I later looked up the mountain range on my phone and discovered that I saw Carrara. My main point of reference is Ed Burtynsky photographs and suddenly it all began to make sense. I would see it from the airplane as I left Italy as well.

I saw a lemon so deformed it looked like it had eight legs like a carrot (not here but it's a good example of why Cinque Terre is known for it's lemon trees):

Cinque Terre where you can definitely tell the locals apart from the tourists. The former are elderly, stare at you through the windows of their prominently located apartments on the square, and huddle in groups in the alleyways talking about "Americanos."

I loved listening to the sounds of the restaurants and people walking in the streets from the balcony of my hotel room. I don't know if I want to come back here per se, but it makes me want to visit other parts of the Riviera in Spain and France in the off-season.

The church bells sound so rinky-dink compared to Venice or Florence. It is as if someone's in their backyard hitting a big bell with a stick. I had to listen to my sound recording at the Campanile in Venice just to compare and it is more majestic and mournful than the bells in Monterossa.

Rebecca Solnitt's "Blue of Distance" came to mind frequently (it reentered my consciousness in the Uffizi seeing how many Renaissance artists used the blue backgrounds to denote vast spaces). The "blue of distance" has a sense of longing attached to it. Since coming to Liguria, I'd like to think that I'm in that blue and it's not so distant anymore. I am engulfed by it. I don't long for it. It is everywhere and I am in it.

"The world is blue at its edges and in its depths. This blue is the light that got lost."
- Rebecca Solnit

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