June 5, 2018

Rome. October, 1980

My first visit to Italy, thanks largely to the urging of my late friend Dali. She’d lived in Rome for awhile, her marriage broke up there, she found an Italian boyfriend. In short, she was the ideal guide. Born Dorothy to an Italian mother and Irish father in a comfortable suburb of Boston, she never, as far as I could tell, followed any conventional path. An art student (hence her choice to spell “Dolly” as she did) who went from answering ZOOMmail at Boston’s public television station to producing segments for PBS’s Masterpiece Theatre and Mystery!, she was the reason I’d moved to Boston in the first place, leaving a predictable teaching job in New Jersey for “the glamour industry” of television. Dali never looked more Italian than when we were in Italy, as here in the Piazza della Rotunda just steps from the Pantheon. I often feel like she’s guiding me still.

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