So last Tuesday was Mardi-Gras or Carnevale as they call it here. While you were flipping pancakes, we indulged in dressing up, throwing copious amounts of confetti, eating lots of fried sugared pastries, face painting, laughing and general shenanigans.
All the while visiting world heritage sites of course…
I mentioned before the parents at the local school organise regular weekend activities. This time it was our turn to visit the Palazzo Vecchio. You know the one… it has that big tower, its got Michaelangelo’s David outside… and its right next to the Uffizzi, that gallery with Botticelli’s Venus in it… That one.
Inside the Palazzo Vecchio, lots of important meetings were held.
Italians are fans of meetings. Or perhaps not? They seem to either be in a meeting or looking for a way to avoid a meeting. Either way its all about meetings. And this imposing building is a testament to this fact.
Coincidently, on the same day, while on our drive down the perilous road to get to Firenze, we found ourselves squeezed between an oncoming local bus and a recycling bin. The latter was carefully straddling the nonexistent pavement and taking up about a third of our side of the road on a blind corner. The bus was cutting the corner, leaving just about enough room for a vespa.
Somehow we managed through though, and while negotiating the squeeze we delighted in noticing how the public transport vehicle and the refuge dispenser were the exact same blue… Meaning should we have miscalculated the gap and scratched our car, we would have merely been rewarded with matching go-faster-stripes along each side. Sweet!
“Why is this?” – we thought. And it got us imagining how many meetings, over how many years, would it have taken to unanimously agree on this exact shade of blue for both the busses and the recycling bins? How many photocopied, letter-headed, notarised, pieces of paper had to be distributed? How many samples of blue were put forward? How many cappuccinos? lunches? lunch breaks? How many haircuts were charged to the tax-payer? How many suits needing dry-cleaning and checking (double-checking) in the mirror? How many clandestine back-handed handshakes? How many knowing nods? How many winks? Imagine the faux-outrage complete with rolling-of-eyes and exaggerated sighs, when someone, (a rebel), proposes a green for the recycling!
I must say though, as a designer myself, it is indeed a very pleasing shade of blue…
More electric than our ubiquitous navy, but not garish. Bright but at the same time formal – a far cry from boring facebook dull-day-dishwater blue. This is no ordinary blue, this is Azzurro!
But you probably have to whisper it breathlessly to really get the full sensory experience.