23 March 2011

un po ' Po

Lorella drove me to visit the small towns that dot the countryside near the Po River. The Po is the longest river in Italy. As a speaker of German, I could not help but think of the meaning of this in German! Languages are fun!
The small towns all had amazing squares - most had beautiful archways that framed the main street of town.
One of the towns we visited was Brescello, the location of a famous film from 1955: Don Camillo e l'on Peppone. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0048002/. In the town, still today one see's evidence of how important this film is to this small town. In the mail square, were statues of both Don Camillo and Peppone. I saw several tourists come to take photos WITH them. Plus the names of cafes, restaurants and shops reflected the film and it's characters. Finally one could see posters from the film in town.
Interestingly enough Brescello also had a tank in the center of a smaller square. The tank appeared to be American (good year tires, and other "made in America" marks). Lorella told me that this tank has fascinated her since she was a kid, but she had no idea why it was there or where it came from.

After visiting a few small towns, we drove out to see the Po River and boy were we in for a surprise! Looking at the photos above, one see's that the day was beautiful. The sky was blue and sunny. This was the first day of such weather since I had been in Italy. On the contrary, it was overcast and rainy all week. Well this bout of rainy weather was not just isolated to the week I had been there. Apparently, it had been a rainy river.
As we drove out to the Po, I noticed rows of tree's planted along the road. I found it all so beautiful. So breathtaking indeed that it took me a moment to realize something that made it so unique and so beautiful: I saw the reflections of each and every tree! Yes, the area was flooded and the trees were standing in water, reflecting in the sunshine, the water glinting and sparkling.
Photo taken from moving car.
We then pulled off to an area where we could see better the flooding, plus it gave me an idea of just how wide the Po is. It was quite wide - of course, I do not know how much really represented flood waters. The sun shone and everyone was milling about, looking at the water. We saw a restaurant, whose patio was completely flooded. All of the patio furniture was on a dock that was still above water. Plus we saw men working to clear debris out of the flooded area. It is clear that a lot of work will be necessary before the effects of flooding are erased.

It was lovely to see a bit of the area outside of Reggio Emilia and to experience the force of nature.

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