There are some sounds of Italy you can never forget, never quite get over. Laughter is among the top for me. By Lindsay Sinko PFI USA Florida Office.
My husband and I were at the beach a few weeks ago and at the sound of a family’s laughter he and I shot each other a glance. “They’re from Italy!” We didn’t even have to ask each other. We knew. Without hearing a single word, only their laughter.
There are some sounds of Italy you can never forget, never quite get over. Laughter is among the top for me.
Even before I spoke a word of Italian except an incorrectly pronounced, “grazie” and the odd, “ciao”, I could pick out Italian laughter. There was this infectious internal joy that somehow came through even in a laugh.
We couldn’t help introducing ourselves to the family, who did indeed turn out to be from Italy. And for a few minutes in Florida, speaking Italian with them warmed our hearts. Why? What is it about these sounds that just instantly takes us there? There are so many sounds that remind me of Italy and make my heart jump for joy.
A moving train’s clickity clack, clickety clack. Surely, the window offers views of a Tuscan hillside or an ancient aqueduct! The unmistakable clinking of wine glasses followed by an audible sigh of relaxation and bliss. I can almost taste the Brunello!
Our very own Moka machine, steaming up an afternoon shot of espresso. May it be half as good as Sant’Eustachio! Deafening church bells at noon. Where is Giotto’s campanile in pink, white and green?
Fountains bubbling away playfully. Did Bernini design this one, or add a few turtles at least! But, above all, the sound of Italy to me is music. Not only the knock-your-socks-off voice of Andrea Bocelli, but the street musicians. Melodies that welcome you out into the piazza and yank at your heart strings.
An accordion playing “Funiculi Funicula” or “That’s Amore”. A violin that looks too tiny to be real managing to play a very recognizable, “Con Te Partiro`”.
A chef happily singing, “Volare” in his kitchen. “Nel blu dipinto di blu, felice di stare quaggiu`…”
The quintessential mandolin bringing a passion to, “O Sole Mio” that only the sound of tremolo can. Go out at night in the states and you’re likely to hear a lot of things. Booming bass, screaming engines, sirens, and honking horns, to name a few.
But when is the last time you took a walk after dinner and were greeted by the sounds of conversation and laughter, instruments and fountains? The sounds of Italy stay with us forever. Thankfully, a few of them make their way into our homes and take us back, if only in memory, every time the nostalgia comes calling.
My favorite memento is a beautiful music box decorated in wooden inlay by the hand of an artist in Sorrento. It plays, “Torna a Surriento”, and as sure as I open it, my heart does indeed return to the sun-soaked lemon groves of the coastal town. Limoncello anyone?