Land of Spaghetti, Lasagna, and Frank Sinatra?

Map of Italy

Map of Italy

By Tammy J. Trail

If you hadn’t guessed it already, our Writing Prompts Crew is taking you on a trip around the world this month. My husband and I have a dream trip we would like to take to Scotland and Ireland one day. I would also like to visit Italy.

The coliseum in Rome

The coliseum in Rome

You may think this a bit funny, but my first exposure to anything Italian was on Sunday afternoons in front of a television. My Grandmother loved to watch those movies made during what is called Hollywood on the Tiber. During the 1950’s and 1960’s, Rome was a major location for international films. These films were made in English for a global release. The movies I remember most are Three Coins in a Fountain made in 1954. This film also spun a song by the same name sung by Frank Sinatra.  You might also recognize, Roman Holiday, Ben Hur, The Agony and the Ecstasy, and Cleopatra. These movies and a few more were all filmed in Rome, and have become beloved classics.

Italian pizza with wine

Italian pizza with wine

Italy is also known for its wonderful food and beautifully tended vineyards. Naples, Italy, is the birthplace of pizza. Who doesn’t like pizza? I love it, but unfortunately it doesn’t like me. Spaghetti and lasagna are my favorites, too. And yes, I would like a little wine with my cheese. Italians consume twenty-six gallons per year, and a half-pound of bread per day.

Italy is only about the size of the state of Arizona. It has the tallest mountains in Europe, and the sandiest beaches. Swarms of tourists visit Italy and can experience whatever they fancy. If perhaps a tourist wants to experience some culture, Italy is home to a plethora of fine museums.

Cathedral in Florence, Italy

Cathedral in Florence, Italy

Statue outside the Vatican

Statue outside the Vatican

Florence is the birthplace of the Renaissance. Milan is known for fashion, and Genoa for being the oldest city of trade with many ship yards and steelworks. Of course, Rome is the most well-known city, encompassing Vatican City as well as an abundance of architecture and history. In Rome, a former Jewish ghetto is now some of the most expensive prime real estate in the city.

Another fun fact is  that William Shakespeare must have loved Italy, too. He wrote many famous plays like Julius Caesar, Romeo and Juliet, Othello, The Taming of the Shrew, and my favorite, Much Ado About Nothing. They all took place in Italy.

We can also thank the Italians for inventing thermometers, typewriters, eyeglasses and pianos.

One of the most tragic events in recent news was the earthquake that devastated a mountain region of Italy. On August 24, 2016, the town of Amatrice, Accumoli, and Marche, Italy, were struck by a 6.2 magnitude earthquake that killed at least 241 people.  Tremors were felt in Rome, nearly 100 miles southwest, in Bologna to the north, and in Naples to the south. Survivors dug through rubble with their hands to find those trapped. Please pray for the injured and for those who have lost loved ones.

I hope you enjoyed my small tour through Italy. I am looking forward to someday experiencing all of its history, art, architecture, and beauty. Can’t wait!

Writing Prompt:

What old films have you enjoyed in the past that take you back to an enjoyable memory?

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