Martha and I have just celebrated the wondrously arcane task of cobbling together her Italy Travel Fan Page by spending an evening listening to a cd of Italian music called Putumayo Presents: Italian Café while enveloped in the fumes pouring off a chicken roasting in a very hot oven. The swinging Italian music came from the era shortly after the war, when American musical styling gained a foothold in Italian cities, which already had a strong attachment to music and now felt a new post-war optimism, too. It was time for some “dolce vita” and this sweet life would be provided mostly by men. The music, like pizza, then made the long journey back to America thorough the likes of Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin, among others. I love the music on this CD.
Yes, the era spawned paparazzi, men who took snaps of celebrities from the shadows, mostly women attached to the arms of handsome and nouveau-wealthy men. It was a time of machismo. Men were in.
But something changed, maybe around the time Italy had its “economic miracle” in the 80s. The edge seems to have suddenly come off the machismo, as if we noticed all of a sudden that the prosciutto was pink and feminine, unlike the ruddy redness of the cured hams of Spain, for example.
I got thinking about the people I follow on twitter who talk about Italy with passion. Mostly women. Then, too, there are women writing books about travel in Italy for women, like Susan Van Allen in her Delta of Italy Exotica originally appeared on WanderingItaly.com Mar 05, 2010, updated: Jan 28, 2021 © James Martin.Categories Italy Travel, General