Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Omaggio a Piazza della Repubblica

This is hands down my favorite postcard of Calitri.  

I have admired it's vintage Kodachrome colors on the wall of Dorina Paolantonio's apartment for years. And it could easily be her in pencil skirt and white blouse strolling around the Piazza della Repubblica, while turning to glance at the guy on the vespa closing in behind her.

I say omaggio because today the Piazza is little like it used to be, and not only because of the 1980 earthquake. It has been left mostly abandoned, no more than a parking lot for the Comune. 

But the real omaggio goes to Dorina's family who had a Singer agency and repair shop on the Piazza for at least 3 generations; their Singer sign painted on a side wall still visible, though beautifully faded, as part of the general rubble.  

Dorina's father Vito Paolantonio was The Master sarto of the village.  Dorina herself would sit in the big front window of the shop and follow the comings and goings in the Piazza - who was strolling with whom etc - as she gave sewing lessons to young women about to be married. 

I can't help thinking that with a little imagination the Piazza della Repubblica could be transformed again into the lively center of town life, nay the center of Irpinian life, that it used to be ... 

'Ngimma cort!