Friday, 19 July 2013

San Pellegrino label

We returned from a 17-day trip to Italy last on July 12 and I’ll be posting various items about that in the next few days or weeks. It always takes a while to digest the Venice Biennale; I always wonder how art critics can produce their reviews virtually the same day they see the exhibitions.
We drink aqua minerale con gas with most meals. San Pellegrino is sometimes the mineral water and this year I was puzzled that the bottle label had conjoined Italian and American flags on it. I know Italy and the US are friendly, but I couldn’t figure out why the mineral water bottles would privilege the American flag above others. Underneath was the inscription in Italian, “The year of Italian culture.” No one could explain it to me, although some of the waiters had good ideas, for example “Americans really like San Pellegrino, and they buy a lot of it.” It was only when I returned and was reading other arts blogs  that I learned that this is the year of Italian culture in the United States, not in Italy.  It doesn’t seem to have been very widely publicized here and from what I’m reading in web articles, it’s an idea that comes from Italy, not here. Well, it’s July and I’m finally tuned into it. Now I'll be seeing evidence of this celebration everywhere, as I did this week when I saw the ancient red marble statue of a faun, the Fauno Rosso that the Italians have lent to the Nelson-Atkins Museum in Kansas City.

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