La Dolce Vita has a problem…..
…..The country is addicted to the Madonna
And Mama is the Madonna substitute
So two little problems need to be resolved…..
…..how does Mama have children without the
grunting, groaning, moaning efforts of Papa ?
Frankly, she can’t !
Who is actually the boss here ?
The answer is not straightforward…..
In the north of Italy the answer is simple
Mama ! ! ! ! !
But the pretence is maintained that Papa is in charge
As long as everyone (starting with Mama) acts as if Papa
is in charge then…..
…..Papa is as happy as a ‘maiale nella merda’ (pig in shit)
So it’s simply all a great big game…..
…..Mama to car salesman ‘Let me ask my husband which one
he would like’
…..Mama to Papa ‘Tell that prick we are having the canary
So a kind of flexible approach to ‘Madonnernity’ exists
Down south, the problem is more problematic…..
Mama and Papa can both be in charge…..
…..but not in the same household
Some southern Italian families are still living a medieval kind of life
This is summed up perfectly in the 1977 film entitled…..
…..which means…..’Father and Master’
…..in which to this day some girls go straight from her father’s
house to her husband’s…..
…..with NOTHING in between
And if said girl is not a virgin when she unveils her truth on the
wedding night (evidence not necessarily required to be displayed)
…..but preferably !
Then it is still grounds for an annulment in the eyes of the Catholic
Hard to believe but true
As is the statistic that nine out of ten twenty five, yes 25, year
old Italian girls / women…..
…..will swear blind they are still VIRGINS
Incredibly, many women think it doesn’t count if you do it in a car !
…..as opposed to a bed !
You are no longer a virgin
Equally incredibly, some women think if you don’t enjoy the sex
then it doesn’t really count !
And start getting used to it because that may be as good as
it gets !
Yesterday, the G-man went on a little Madonna hunt of his own…..
…..remember the big G is big on fidelity
No, the G-ster was ‘Sulle tracce di Jacopo Bassano’ or in
‘On the Bassano trail’
Jacopo Bassano was a sixteenth century Renaissance painter
…..Yes, you guessed it, Bassangeles
…..and his favourite altar piece subject was the Madonna
Up into the mountains with his true love (Giulietta) to the
tiny village of Santa Caterina di Lusiana…..
‘Madonna in Trono col Bambino e I Santi Caterina e Zeno’
‘Madonna on the throne with a baby and Saints Catherine
It brought a lump to my throat…..
Giulietta glided round the hair pins like she was on rails,
the autumn light was limpid, the roads empty, the leaves
just starting to turn
This IS actually better than THAT
(because you can’t do that when you are 90 but you can
still do this ! ! ! ! !)