A Little Bit of Me

Jottings and Writing, miscellanous misgivings

Graemes Big Day Out

Maranella looks like Southland on a bad day except for the three bright red Ferrarris howling toward me and the yellow Lamborghinii following. Around the corner another herd of the prancing horses and all of a sudden the sir is filled with screaming Ferraris as they take spins around the official race track. Or do they? The air is filled with myth and although we are at the official Ferrari factory I don’t believe we will be allowed anywhere near the real assembly line.
The blood is pouring through my veins, my blood is running hot when I spy the famous silver prancing horse at the factory entrance. Then the reality hits. Overcrowded, overpriced, loud, intolerant tourists. A 15 minute ride around the racetrack is €80 for 15 minutes of promised high speed. Anyway we are off to a tourist day which consists of some of the treasures of Emilia Romanga. And how could it possibly beat 250kmh around Highlands race course in a Lamborghini?
Wine tasting is first on the agenda and we are dropped off at a vineyard specialising in the making of Lambrusco, the Italian sparkling white, red and rose wine. I ask myself as I approach the hulking son of the winemaker why anyone would want to spoil red wine by putting bubbles in it. My introduction is greeted with “ you should put the accent on the c this way not the way you have” So much for Italians respecting you if you have go at their language.

Then pig heaven done twice. This time my introduction is greeted by a flurry of eyelashes, a toss of blond hair and “ how long have you been in the country – you speak such good Italian”. Never mind that she is a flirtatious South Afrikan who has just now talked Alison into forking over a further € 15 to have the “extended” tasting of prosciutto and salamis which we have already sampled the pre ious week from the supermarket around the corner from our flat and have found that matched with chilled melon is a dream evening meal. Then she proceeds to talk about “how we do things” as if she has been here since a bambina whereas she has probably held more biltongs than horse bones.
We then had the tour of the Ferrari factory museum at headquarters and it was exciting and interesting and the photos will thrill all Ferrari fanatics but I felt curiously deflated. Too much to absorb, to many people taking photos , too many people wearing Ferrari merchandise, too many people really not knowing what all the fuss was but wanting to be part of it. We ended up in a quiet park having a choclate bomb and reading our Kindles and I thought that rzther sad. Then on to one of Alisons whims but not until our sourpuss dtiver threw a hissyfit, closed the door of the bus and drove off while punters thumped on the windows and doors in a vain attempt to stop him. Turns out he was on a different mission but his lack of any other language and the gaggle of Japanese, American, German and French screaming at him scared the beejesus out of him and he fled. We witnessed the same thing at the winery when Alison asked a husky local if we could look over the garden and he almost burst into tears and screamed for help from the guide. He just couldn’t speak English.
So on to the Pavarotti museum. Not expecting much but what a man, what a life, what a house. I just cane away with such a feeling of his greatness, his humanity, his Italian full of life, and the essence of the man. I have made a pledge to listen to him and some of his collaborations. As we await our tour bus we sit in the grounds of Pavarottis house and a beautiful Maserati pulls up to the security gates and for a moment I feel like royally waving and asking them in for some grappa. They drive away.
We finish the day at the home of another great man , Enzo Ferrari. His house of birth is now a museum of his most famous cars and engines and next to it is a museum his “other son” (not sure if the 2nd legitimate one or the illegitimate one) has erected with all Enzos most famous creations. A great day finished off with me managing to correctly get a taxi and give the right address in Italian. A day to remember20160906_03414920160906_01323420160906_043048img_20160905_131805

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