Friday, June 30, 2006
I'm standing on the subway platform waiting for the train. A voice behind me says, "Forza Italia!"
I turn around and a young man is smiling at me.
"Your soccer necklace," he says, pointing at my backpack. "You are Italian?"
"Sometimes," I say, and we both laugh.
The train rolls in, and off he goes saying, "Ciao, bella!"
And I wave at him: "Ciao, bello!"
Toronto has the largest Italian population outside of any city in Italy. I've spent a lot of time in Italy over the years: several months in Bologna; a stint in Lucca; a summer in Rimini; a cold and foggy November in Venice; trips to Rome; a honeymoon in Sant'Agnello di Sorrento. And I minored in Italian language and literature at university.
Strung up on my backpack is a necklace in the Italian colors with a little silver soccer ball made by a woman who is donating the proceeds to the Cancer Society. She makes these necklaces in all the flag colors. I was willing to buy an England necklace as a nod to by brother-in-law, but she had sold out.