Kevin Brennan Writes About What It's Like
My wife has been out of town this weekend, at the wedding of the son of a dear friend of hers. Strange to be alone in the house for three days. It’s me, the dog, the cat, and the routine, all of which are very nice but — you guessed it — not enough. I miss her. And so I’ve grown wistful.
Thank goodness for Google Street View!
Sure, there are hundreds of famous whereabouts you can plunk yourself into — at the foot of the Eiffel Tower, along the length of the Great Wall of China, beneath the Acropolis, amid the pyr-amids, for all I know. Those I don’t care about much. I’m just glad I can virtually stroll the lanes near the place where we were married.
That would be, oddly enough, Arezzo, Italy. For reasons I can’t even remember fully, we decided almost nineteen years ago that we didn’t want to go through your typical nuptials, being a pair of non-religious so-and-so’s who didn’t relish the idea of a big shindig. Call it eloping if you like. We decided to head for Italy, where we’d at least be certain to get a terrific post-wedding meal.
Somehow we made the arrangements, via a very nice woman we took Italian lessons from (grazie, Debora!), and nailed down an appointment at the appropriate city office in Arezzo, where, upon appearing, we realized the language problem was, indeed, a problem. Nobody spoke English. We had pig-Italian at best, and the ladies in the office had big uncomprehending eyes. After a bit of back-and-forth in sign language and hybrid Engalian, someone who could hold her own with English appeared and helped us set up the Big Day.
Here’s the building we were married in.
It dates from the 1400’s or thereabouts. Across the piazza is the place we misheard the day before as “The Big Chair.” The waitress who described it meant “The Big Church.” No harm done.
After the wedding — and we didn’t understand a word of our vows, by the way (until Christina, the city official who’d helped us earlier, translated for us) — we headed down this lane. The day was as beautiful as the one in this pic. Warm, sunny. Spectacularly memorable.
Down we went, giddy, laughing, full of joy and mirth…
La Piazza di San Francisco, where we had cappuccinos and enjoyed the lovely day, and while we sat at a table right about here…
…the bell in the Big Chair, as if scripted, chimed twelve noon. Twelve beautiful ding-dongs on a beautiful day in October 1994.
That day is alive. Neither of us will ever forget it, and now we can go back anytime we like.
For Susie… my Italian is limited but here goes: Il mio aliscafo è pieno di anguille.
(Top photo via. All other photos from Google Street View.)