Friday, September 14, 2012

Bicycles in Italy

Whatever I Feel Like Friday

I had big plans for the first WIFLF but I’m running short on time. The first week of this 30 day commitment has required a lot more time than I anticipated, and likely more than it’ll require in the future once this schedule becomes routine. And I’m loving it, don’t get me wrong, but I’ve been putting so much time trying to make each day’s post something worthwhile I’ve not been putting much into writing anything else. And I’ve got assigned writing and a manuscript to work on.

This, of course, isn't your problem, but a necessary explanation for today's short and sweet (and frankly, quite random) blurb. I've actually been working today on something I wanted to post, but it isn't ready, and whereas I really am the type who needs to just write it and post it, this one requires a little more care. It'll have to wait for another day, because honestly, I'm exhausted and my brain is slightly fried.

So what do I feel like writing about today? Well you read the title, right?

I love photographing bicycles, but only in Italy. We lived just outside of Pisa, Italy for about five years and although I rather enjoy the reasonable and relatively safe way Germans drive, I do miss bits of the chaos that is Italia. People ride bikes in Germany all the time, but there's something about an old, slightly rusted bicycle left leaning against a weathered door or stone wall that's just poetic to me. You see in Germany most people ride nice, modern bicycles that just don't have the same romantic rusticity to them. No, Italian bicycles are one of those things I always loved coming across while we were there, and still when we visit. 

These photos are the only three on my current computer (the rest are hiding on a separate hard drive somewhere), and these I took two springs ago on a weekend trip to Bella Italia with a couple friends. 

I have no idea why I love them so much, the rusted chariots that take on a whole new and terrible meaning once peopled (this will make more sense after tomorrow's post goes up). For whatever reason, these bicycles symbolize to me the rustic charm that characterizes my first real home away from home, left unchained in a hall or in the street, because people look out for one another in general. It should be said that these particular bicycles live in small villages along the Mediterranean Sea, and though quite popular in the tourist season, they still maintain their small town feel. Meaning, everyone knows whose bike that is and that you're not from here, so it's best you keep moving. Unless you're some weird American girl taking pictures of our neighbor's old bicycle, in which case, have at it.

As a writer, you might assume that I look at them and wonder about who rides them or where they're going next, but I don't. I'm drawn only to the simple object that is the old and loved bicycle in a country where there may be graffiti on thousand year-old relics, trash in the street, and gypsy children forever eying your pockets, but also where your neighbors will pull you in off the street to force feed you and show you photographs of their new grandchild. She lives in America because her daughter married an American man; her name is Tina, she lives in Washington - do you know her?

1 comment:

  1. Ah, biciclette! I have yet to go to Italy, but it was the same for me in Provence.