Baptism of Elefantini

January 29, 2013 § Leave a comment

Clover in Italy
Elefantini
was born on August 16th, 2011 (coincidentally, with an entry titled “Dockville Festival: Music Baptism”), and it has served as my outlet through Italian residences, European backpacking travels, and long nights in Austin.  It has featured art, music, videos, photos, stories, reviews, recipes, and rambling thoughts.  It’s been a good friend.

But Elefantini sometimes gets confused as to who he is.  What is his purpose?  Why does he exist?  So, I’m going to explain (briefly) (maybe).

Elefantinielefante ino.  Elefante means elephant, the largest land animal.  Ino is an Italian word ending, used as a diminutive.  To make smaller, safer, softer.  And for aesthetic reasons (for both the eyes and the ears), I pluralized it.  Elefantini.  Lots of little elephants.  Lots of really big animals, made little enough to be held in your hand.

That’s my goal with Elefantini.  I hope to show you Italy through my eyes; show you the little things that come together to form Italy as a whole.

When I hear Italy’, I do not think of big cathedrals, of Berlusconi, of the mafia in the south, of the Hotel Canal Grande in Venice, of the Vatican, of Casanovas, of spaghetti and meatballs, of the Vatican, or of Dolce and Gabbana.  I think of the Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, of hazy sunsets over the Apennines, of the Torre Clementine at Portonovo, of thin pizza in a backyard of a village where the population of domesticated animals outnumbers those of humans, of  the slant of the cliffs on the hike between Riomaggiore and Manarola, of the empty cups of caffe’ in front of old men sitting outside of bars, and of bright art exhibitions inside thousand-year old churches.  And of many other little things that I hope to share, rediscover, find, and savour.

I would like to explore Italy, all aspects of it.  But not in the big sense, not in the over-arching headlines that summarize stories and change the entire world.  I would like to zoom in with the lens and take a simpler view towards the jumble of everything- of the good and the bad- that forms this nation, and this culture, and this fascination.

So here’s to all of the elefantini that have made me smile, that have taught me something new, and that I have yet to befriend.

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