Anne's Blog

The Island of Ventotene: Cartoons for an “Explosive” Birthday

Date: October 3, 2016 - categories: , , - Leave your thoughts

August 24, 2016 will be a birthday to remember, in many ways. Although we did not feel it there on the island of Ventotene, an earthquake rocked central Italy at the start of the day, 3 34 a.m., devastating hill towns in four regions of central Italy, Latium, Abruzzo, Marche and Umbria.

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On August 24th, no sense of an earthquake on wondrous Venotene

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August 24, 2016: an earthquake devastates areas of central Italy

While sipping morning espresso, we watched the news coverage on T.V. in our favorite haunt on the island, Bar/Ristorante Da Verde. This would be the last day of our 12-day vacation there: we’d celebrate my birthday on Ventotene, leaving the day after. Yes, it was an “eruptive” birthday, alas…..but for us, a quiet. serene day of sun, sea….and island connections.

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Every day, morning espresso – or late – morning pizza! – at Bar/Ristorante Da Verde

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A birthday dessert surprise from Cecilia and Daniele

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….and on the eve of August 24th, a birthday surprise from all at Bar/Ristorante Da Verde…..

We shared morning espresso with noted Italian cartoonist, Marco Scalia whose book on the local ventotenesi had been presented days before at the island bookshop. Marco had signed our copy for us. A treasured possession.

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Enjoying a morning chat with Marco Scalia

An autographed copy of Marco’s book on the ventotenesi is a treasured memento of a beloved island

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The bookshop, Libreria Ultima Spiaggia, where Marco’s book had been presented

We chatted with Marco about the recent island of Ventotene conference with three European leaders, Italy’s Prime Minister Renzi, Germany’s Angela Merkel, and François Hollande (France). He showed us his latest – and irreverant – cartoon on the event – and when he heard it was my birthday, he slid if over to me with a smiling “Buon compleanno Anna!”

What a birthday gift from Marco Scalia!

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It’s framed now and hangs in our house. A reminder of August 24, 2016 on the island of Ventotene. A moment of joy on the day of an “explosive” birthday.

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Marco Scalia’s cartoon now hangs in our house: a treasured memory of a not-to-forget birthday

(Postscript: August 24th has been an “explosive” day more than once. Vesuvius erupted on August 24th ….in 79 A.D.)

See the work of Marco Scalia here
Read about the meeting of Europe’s leaders on Ventotene
Read more here on Ristorante Da Verde
Read about – and see! – pizza goodness (and not only) on Ventotene
See the magical colors of Ventotene
Read more on Santo Stefano and on Ventotene and why we love it
Click here for more on Fabio’s bookstore
Read about another favorite Ventotene eating spot
Read about the island bakery
Read why Ventotene captivates
Read why a return to Venotene is like “coming home”
Read about Ventotene’s many enticements
See the kaleidoscopic colors of Ventotene
Read about Ventotene’s bakery
Read about the European summit on the island of Ventotene, Aug. 22, 2016
Read about good eating at the “scooter truck”
Read about “poetry for the palate” on Ventotene

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