Monday, May 21, 2012

Silver bullets and an earthquake

We had just pulled onto our street after biking through the foothills of Bologna when a chocolate pang hit. I knew I needed something sweet to share with Mikey after tucking Ada in, so we rode to the end of Via Solferino and prepared to turn left when hundreds of vintage race cars—Alfa Romeo, Fiat, Lambourgini, Ferrari, Lancia, BMW, Mercedes—started zooming past. Turns out we happened upon the route of the famed Mille Miglia (thousand miles). Called "the most fascinating vintage car race in the world" the route starts in a northern Italian city called Brescia goes to Rome and back, weaving through several cities over the course of the four day race.

image via
We kept watching until there was a large break in the cars (and some regular non-race cars started driving past) and made our way to the market. I picked up some strawberries and Nutella and came out only to see dozens more whizzing by. Many of the drivers we wearing the classic leather goggles and helmets with matching driving gloves, piloting what look like over-sized, painted bullets. After another break, we began making our way home when yet another wave of cars rounded the corner and we found ourselves biking the wrong way up the race course.

It was one of those moments that I don't think I'll ever forget. And yet another thing that Ada can use in those silly getting-to-know-you-games like, "I Have Never."

That night there was an earthquake in Italy.

It was a 6.0 magnitude and the epicenter was about 20 miles north of Bologna. We slept right through it.

The city of Ferrara have have gotten the worst of it. The entire city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. I had been meaning to visit Ferrara ever since we arrived. Everyone who has made the short trip out of town has raved about how beautiful the city is.
Lots of people were talking about it at church the next morning. They described dishes clanging, the hanging lamps in their kitchens swinging back and forth for a good 15 seconds. I feel a little bit cheated that my tendency to sleep like a rock prevented me from have a tale to tell, even if it would have been an inconsequential one.

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