Jun 18, 2008

From Rome to Florence, Before the Book Presentation

From Camilla:

A whirlwind of emotions. In the midst of the excitement over the Italian edition of The Price of Silence, I’m reconnecting with friends who are pouring out their feelings, their fears, sometimes, not often enough, their joys. I listen and feel with them, for them and wish I could be with them more often.

I’m reading, speaking, breathing Italian. I walk the streets of Rome and go back in time, looking at the street corner where I bought my sister some lilies for her birthday, the restaurant where I gobbled down pizza after seeing Woody Allen’s Manhattan with friends, the palazzo that used to be the Foreign Ministry where my father worked. But Rome, that for years stood still, is changing. A lot of old reference points are gone. I don’t like it. I selfishly want the milestones of my memories to be there always, even as I realize that to let go of the past is a good thing.

I’ve just arrived in Florence. I’m staying at Erika’s house. She’s the Italian translator, who has become a close friend. She fed me a wonderful champagne and salmon risotto, lots of white wine. Tomorrow night the book presentation. I’m thrilled and scared at the same time. I don’t know what to expect. Thank God Erika is here to give me courage. She has a lot of friends. They will be coming for her and, if they are half as welcoming and generous as she is, it will be a memorable evening.