A friendship made in Verona

May 19th, 2023

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Andrea Vanacore and the poet Barbara Gaiardoni, in Verona, Italy; May 8, 2023

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…..When I decided on visiting Verona, Italy during my European holiday –as it was about to enter its third glorious week – I did so with the intent of visiting the Roman amphitheater constructed in the First Century, which was a model for Rome’s more famous Colosseum.  I also heard Verona was a great city for food, architecture, and strolling.  It checked all the boxes.

…..Verona is also a city in which the poet Barbara Gaiardoni resides.  A writer and artist who engages with multiple creative interests, she is a “freelance pedagogist and love writer” who has written children’s books published in Italy, as well as Japanese poems published in English.   Barbara has only recently begun submitting her poetry to Jerry Jazz Musician, and I thought a visit with her would be an interesting experience that would serve the dual purposes of meeting a contributing writer as well as a local Veronese.

…..When I reached out to her and proposed we meet for a short visit while I visited her city, she graciously accepted, and, along with her life partner Andrea Venacore, met me on the city’s main piazza, which overlooks the theater.

…..Over typical Italian drinks (spritz for me and Andrea, espresso for Barbara), we got to know one another despite our language challenges.  I was witness to their creative energy and spirit, and also heard about their love of their city, as well as the difficulties of living in it during the COVID and newly post-COVID world.  But tourism is coming back, and the town is vibrant and charming and abundantly filled with beauty, rich history, museums and live music.

…..Our visit highlighted the varying ways in which people create – and write poetry.  At the moment Barbara is specializing in writing origami poetry, and compiles her work in palm-sized booklets with 1 – 6 poems on a single sheet of paper, then folded origami-style.  Examples from her work, Untitled, can be viewed on the Origami Poems Project website (click here to go there).

…..Meeting Barbara and Andrea was great fun for all of us, and a wondrous travel experience that makes me want to extend myself more and meet other contributing writers along my various travels in the future, which fits into my goal of living a more exterior life.  Time does have a way of racing by at this stage of life, and it is important to fully embrace that which is left.

…..As Barbara writes in her origami collection:

The stars fade away
Like water on the sand
In the shade.

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Joe Maita

Editor/Publisher

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Me and Barbara in the piazza

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Some photos from Verona

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Since my time in Verona, I have been in Venice:

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Where I met Terry, my friend of 45 years…

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From there we took a train to Bari (in Puglia, the heel of Italy’s boot)…

 

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We then went to Lecce…the “Florence of the South”…

 

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And then to Matera…where I am writing this from…

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I am blessed…

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Listen to the Carla Bley Band’s 1981 interpretation of Nino Rota’s composition from Federico Fellini’s film, 8 1/2

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Other posts about and from my European journey

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Click here to read “My pursuit of the exterior”

Click here to read “In Prague, things just sort of worked out”

Click here to read “Beyond Category…Two Vienna jazz clubs”

Click here to read “A friendship made in Verona”

Click here to read “C’est Si Bon’ – at trip’s end, a D-Day experience, and an abundance of gratitude”

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Click here to subscribe to the Jerry Jazz Musician quarterly newsletter (it’s free)

 

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2 comments on “A friendship made in Verona”

  1. It has been wonderful reading about your journey, Joe. Blessed, indeed.

    Here’s to continuing to live a more exterior life!

  2. Great vacation, great photos and food and friends. Nice article and with Carla at the end. What could be better.

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