August 16th, 2020
Witches Brew: Outtakes, Deleted Scenes, and Bonus Footage
Practically having traversed Italy from top to bottom, I feel like it’s a good idea to add some material which didn’t make the cut, so to speak, for whatever reasons. For the most part, I was intending to use these shots but they either didn’t come out right or it was difficult to incorporate them without disrupting the flow of the article; also, however, there are a few pictures here that are meant purely for comical purposes, but I’ll leave it up to you to decide which images belong in what category.
Parco dei Ravennati: No, this park isn’t located in Ravenna, but in Rome; in fact, it’s not even located in Rome proper but close to the ancient port of Ostia Antica.
Via San Gregorio Armeno: Also informally referred to as the street of nativity due to its famous Christmas market, but it wasn’t Christmas in Naples—it happened to be August and it was pretty hot; good thing we went at night when the sun was taking a nap. According to the country’s official tourism agency, out of all the Christmas markets in Italy, this is the one you shouldn’t miss. I guess we didn’t miss it—we just came at the wrong time.
Lucius’s House: I have a new property in escrow and you know what they say about real estate—location, location, location; that’s why I chose Pompeii. As you can see, I get the finest views of Vesuvius and you always receive the best deal on lava in these parts. The only problem is that I can’t pinpoint the previous owner—was it, in fact, Lucius? No, I think it was Marcus, but then again it could’ve been Maximus. Who knows? Getting the contract done on this baby is going to be tough.
Mexican-Palermitan horse: The driver only speaks Italian but the horse is B1 in Palermitano. All jokes aside, Sicilian is considered a so-called “vulnerable” language by UNESCO. Likewise according to a 2008 study cited by the Endangered Language Institute (ELA), “only a third of the population will speak Sicilian at the end of the 21st century.” Sicilian is different enough from Italian to be considered its own language; in fact, it would be more correct to say that Sicilian itself has dialects of its own as there are even notable differences between the way people speak it in Catania and Palermo, for example; the language, however, is slowly losing its uniqueness because of “increasing pressure from standard Italian.” Along those same lines, according to National Geographic, “One language dies every 14 days. By the next century nearly half of the roughly 7,000 languages spoken on Earth will likely disappear, as communities abandon native tongues in favor of English, Mandarin, or Spanish. What is lost when a language goes silent?” The lesson here: Stop learning English and study some Sicilian, and this is coming from a guy who’s wearing a t-shirt from the English language school he works at—almost in every photo.
Spiaggia Pineta del Gelsomineto: Cliff diving videos are always fun, especially when you don’t know if things went well afterwards, or not. Judging by the fact that I’ve completed this article, however, it’s safe to assume that everything turned out all right—but then again, this whole thing could’ve been ghostwritten. How is a prankster like me familiar with UNESCO and endangered languages anyway? Again, I’ll let you be the judge regarding the veracity of this article’s authorship.
“Where are your jokes now? Your pranks? Your songs? Your flashes of wit that used to set the whole table laughing? You don’t make anybody smile now. Are you sad about that? You need to go to my lady’s room and tell her that no matter how much makeup she slathers on, she’ll end up just like you some day. That’ll make her laugh. Horatio, tell me something.”
—Hamlet, Act V: Scene I
And so, our Italian adventure ends on a very cheerful note. It’s always nice to know the world is both full of meaning and no meaning at all—somewhere, in the back of my mind, I distinctly remember something about being or not being, staying or going; maybe Hamlet himself said this or could it have been The Clash? “Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,”—for God’s sake, let’s not get into that right now. I neither have the time nor the patience.
About David Garyan
David Garyan has published three chapbooks with Main Street Rag, along with (DISS)INFORMATION, a full collection with the same publisher. He holds an MA and MFA from Cal State Long Beach, where he associated himself with the Stand Up Poets. He is currently studying International Cooperation on Human Rights and Intercultural Heritage at the University of Bologna. He lives in Ravenna.