When you live in a foreign place for a long time, things start to become familiar to you, as anyone might expect. Sometimes even to the point, where you borderline take the beautiful sights for granted, kind of like sunrise and sunset. Occurs every day but how often are you paying attention? Until you’re in the final hours of that place and you start to really ask yourself, what is it I love so much about this place? After living in Italy for 2 years, the Lady of the Hour, Ms. Vesuvius became very familiar to me.
Her moods were the sound of the day. During my carpool commute, I only had to drive into work 2 days out of the week max and, therefore, had more time to stare at this lady, and try to understand her. Especially in the back of Patrick’s car while listening to 10 different versions of “A Whole New World” on a continuous loop. (I’ll never let that go.)
Sometimes, the morning air in Naples would be so heavy with fog you could barely see her silhouette in the distance, and sometimes you couldn’t even see a peak of her at all. Sometimes, the fog sat in clusters and morphed her shape so that you could only see bits and bobs, depending on the angle.
It was always after a rain shower that she showed her true self, as if she didn’t want to be seen unless she was sparkly clean. Like in this photo right now, she’s posing for the camera with a clear blue sky in the background. This is the second to last photo I took of Ms. Vesuvius on my last few days in Naples, Italy. And it’s my favorite one.
Gigi, an Italian painter I had the pleasure of meeting in Italy, was a painter whom I commissioned to paint a few paintings with an Italian theme. One of the portraits he did, was of her majesty from across the Naples bay. It’s so interesting how many different silhouettes and angles she has, depending on where in the city you fancy a glance at her. As every classy and mysterious woman, Ms. Vesuvius rarely shows her true self, and even when she does, you can never be so certain that is all she has to give. The lighting changes her, the sky color, the constantly changing landscape helps reveal her mood. In this moment^, I feel as if I captured her wild and free and unaware. That’s the version of her I like the most.
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