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1981 4 of 5

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 19. Up at 9 for ONE egg from Lydia, and chat with Marina and look out at market and talk to Edgardo's father and the blind man's "cane": Edgardo returns at 1:30, I do lightwork 12:20-1:40, join them for lunch, then he drives me in LOVELY weather to Central Station to get reservations for Milan-Rome at 7:50 am Monday, and Naples-Palermo 9:15 am Tue, no Wed reservations left. ALSO, phone Jean-Jacques and talk to Marcello and Marina hates phoning. Marina's out to shop, I get itinerary from Edgardo and he makes me pizza and I leave at 7:35 for Piccolo Scala and get LOTS, going around place to get in at 8:05 and it starts at 8:10! "Vanitas" is 53 minutes of surrealism the audience hates, then GREAT stage torn apart for 35 minutes for Varietes, till 10:50 and pitting attention to MAGIC against watching CIRCUS. Interesting. Walk back, Edgardo has to get out of bed to take HIS keys out of the door to let me in. Jerk off nicely till 12:30.

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 20. Up with them at 8:30, breakfast, and I drive to Certosa di Pavia, good monastery (I'm bored with writing). Back at 12:30 to a quick lunch of steak and finochio, sitter arrives at 2:05, drive to La Scala for "Lohengrin" 2:30-7. Almost the only elements of the set are an ENORMOUS quartet of pillars reflected off mirrors in the back, with a foil floor that reflects what little light there is. There's no swan, merely loads of people and a few men riding phony horses, and a lot of good singing by mostly everyone, and the audience goes quite mad over the whole thing. The box is terribly uncomfortable: I thought I was buying the whole box, but there's a student-type sitting in THE seat, who kindly offers to share it, so we switch, though standing in back doesn't get much of the stage. Sandra meets me out front, I buy her a martini for 2200 with me, drive to Dennis's new place where they fix bony fish on underdone spaghetti and GREAT salad and good wine and panettone cake, and they SING to click-click of Sandra making four tracks of coke on her mirror for inhaling with 10,000 note, smiling industriously and goonily to herself while Dennis and Geejo go through aria after aria with hand-waving precision. Geejo takes HALF of one and I take the half left. Sneeze, bitter taste in throat, SLIGHT high, but not much. JOY of evening, however. To second party, smoke bidi, like some of the people, get an address of a lovely guy (and girl) in Bergamo, and Sandra drives me home by 12:30. I say "Sorry I was such a lazy host in NYC." She puzzles "What you say?" I say, "I want to THANK you for a GREAT time." She quietly floors me by saying "Well, I had a good time TOO." Never THOUGHT of that! WORTHLESS is UP for me. Park and pack and sleep at 1, leaving blinds up to wake me in morning.

MONDAY, DECEMBER 21. (Written on train): From a HIGH high to a LOW low---Sunday in Milan fabulous: Certosa di Pavia, lunch of steak and Finnochio with Caverzasis , Lohengrin from 2:30-7, lovely dinner with "the best salad" with Dennis and Geejo, and then a party with people on other page, Niggeler-Marchettini/ Via Milano 14 ph (035) 237725, 24100 Bergamo, and my first cocaine. THEN Edgardo isn't up by 7:30 and I lug luggage out and there's no CABS! Finally at 7:40 one comes and turns and avoids traffic and waits for lights and pedestrians and I agitate and leap into station at 7:54! FIRST departing train marked "Rome Express 7:55," so I dash for that and places are filled and I sit outside a long line of locked second class lit and warm behind locks, and I sit dejected on jump seat in cold aisle in gray AM. Leave about 8 am. Self-service attendant mentions there's a seat, but I can't think of words to say "But I want a window seat in a non-smoking compartment facing the direction of travel (WSND)." Brood for a few more minutes, but decide to check and THERE'S a WSND!! Two Loyola girls at corridor and three Italians and MY seat WAITING! Things look up! 3250 breakfast of 800 sandwich, 650 tea, 750 yogurt, and 1050 hunk of cheese. Better! Family leaves at Bologna, girls at Florence, and I have hot car to self! BUT it's not in at 3:05 but 3:30 on track 5. Track 10 contains TOTALLY JAMMED passengers to Reggio Calabria, so though I travel LENGTH of train, there's NO place even to STAND. I decide to spoil myself but can't find "prenotatzione stand." Determine to bull way aboard, feeling DOWN! Attendant's outside with stubs, I say "Prenotatione?" he says "Si" and I say "Finestre?" and I get seat 45 at WINDOW, though probably going backward. VERY civilized crew and wedding-banded nodding paper-reader across from me vaguely cruising. So GENTEEL compared with standing jammed in an aisle for 2 hours, though at 4:03 we're not left YET. At 4:04 I move FRONTWARD! Holy SHIT! GREAT sight of modern train paralleling us in front to HUGE brick arches, about 80-100 feet high, from old aqueduct and modern apartment blocks. Fit of SNEEZING hits in train, to go along with sore throat I THOUGHT was coke but MIGHT be cold-start! At 4:40 it's REALLY getting dark---cloudy---and ROCKS begin appearing in rich black-earth-plowed fields or spring-green acres. LOTS of tunnels all day, some LOVELY hilltop towns like Crotona and Orvieto and Sezze Romana. First train was express to Florence, then maddeningly local. Also the AGONY of thinking the train LEAVING Florence was going back NORTH and not south to Rome, due to strange sign changes on side of car. But SECOND train seems not to stop as mountains close in from east and the SEA appears in the west as it gets QUITE dark, too dark to see anything but silhouettes, by 5 pm. Too EARLY! Only BARELY light at 7 am this morning, too. JUST occurs to me that THIS sunset, 12/21, is the EARLIEST one of the year! TOTALLY dark out of long tunnel at 5:20 pm. It's so BLACK outside that I get UP TO DATE (7 days gone!) by 5:40, eager to get into unseen Naples. HAVE a cold, dammit! Stop on tracks 6:05-6:15. Black. In at 6:25, lug luggage through jammed noisy streets to Palace Hotel, Pugliese and Ideal looking ratty. A single for 2400, he says, but says "Fifty" for room 104 and I try it, but NOT surprised to find 5th contains 501-515. Down to FIRST to find 104, small, comfortable, BIG bathroom for the tiny room. Get out map and restaurant list and decide on Dante and Beatrice (Note MAN first, typical of Italy?), the only one that has NEAPOLITAN specialties. Feel ill, so take a pill. Out at 7:30, hotel restaurants looks awful for 8900 fixed price, and out to streets. Flea markets just packing it in, lots of shouts and bargaining and showing of things and folds. Cluster of gypsy-like people arguing around blazing embers of a fire at the curb at their feet, keeping warm. Smell of smoke and the garbage that's EVERYWHERE. EVERYONE walks in streets, sidewalks full of shops, cars, or trash. Around Municipal Building where they're building a huge wooden stall of some sort, and Via Tribunale is a GREAT intro to Naples: narrow, crowded, lots of foot and car and motorcycle traffic, shops spilling over, many closing, everyone shouting and running and laughing. Churches mortared shut and shopkeepers dumping baskets of garbage and scraps and liquids and junk in front of them. Gated churches on "rococo tour." Clothes hanging from buildings, dogs and cats snuffling everywhere, plazas blocked by huge cement-block "piazettas" for cars and more track. Kids and old people and sexy guys all mixed in. At last to empty restaurant, good spinach-meat soup for 2000, frittura mista has a FISH and squid and shrimp, and "all wine in bottle" for 1500, not bad. Only CHOICE is "red or white" and dolce. I pay ONLY 10,000 on bill. More enter, loud talk, lots of food. Back by way of "nativity scene" sellers, very colorful. To hotel and jerk off quickly and get to bed at 9:30. MANY fragmented, rather nice, dreams, and wake at 1:40 to drink and piss, then up with a jolt at 8:15, not much time to train!

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 22. 2400 bill less 300 for having no breakfast. AGAIN there's a hassle: walk across Plaza and follow sign ALLA STAZIONE PLAZA GARIBALDI. But NO signs below! Ask someone and he says UPSTAIRS. Go up and look along tracks and binario 2 is WAY off to side and has NO announcement, while 3 and 4 have announcements for 9:30 and 10. Anger! Back to sign (now 9:06) and there's clearly marked in white 2PG. Ask a woman and she says downstairs! Down again for DIFFERENT place and there's a TINY sign for binario 1. AH! Continue along and what do I find? Binario 3 & 4. Back with INTENT! Only 1. Ask someone for binario 2, she looks uncertain, points down 1. I go down 1 and people are GOING across track to little train on binario 2. Now 9:11. Four cars to train, NO markings. Ask girls and they don't understand "A Palermo?" Ask man and wife, THEY are going. Wait. At 9:15 a four-car train pulls out and a two-car train pulls in, dark. Look at man who shrugs and says "Retardo." "Incerto" says wife, and I say "Tutto incerto." And man says something about the holidays, probably. Fuzzy announcement, wife waves hands and says "No capito." Still waiting at 9:25. Edgardo was right. I may NEVER have caught the 1400 from Rome in 12 minutes. They listen again and it's 30 minutes late. Other people run across other tracks for other trains. At another fuzzy announcement everyone moves 20 feet down platform. It arrives 9:35, everyone flocks aboard, my seat 75 is by a MILK-WHITE window, smoking section, going BACKWARD. But only 6-7 people are entire CAR, so when conductor floats past I ask if I can change and he says YES, so I move to a CLEAR window going FORWARD in NO smoking car already ALL reserved, now ALL empty! Take pictures for first time since Milan. Another VERY long tunnel before Salerno, in at 10:18, 20 minutes late. Sky cloudy but with BREAKS of bright sun and clear sky. First class last NIGHT was very nice, though all in the dark. THIS first class about as cruddy as SECOND class I enjoyed at the start of yesterday. Not many people getting on, either. LOTS of oranges on trees, lots of new greenery under plastic greenhouse tops OUTSIDE in yards, even growing FIELDS. BRIGHT sun on Salerno. Deep voiced woman rips open door with the hand that does NOT hold a -filled baby bottle and holds out hand saying "Da--babi." I say no and she flops out with a hoarse phrase. Streets in Naples were WET and the fields are muddy. Stop, not on schedule, at Battipaglia, near Paestum. Lots of surf on beaches. Many GRAPE FIELDS yesterday. Many ruined or current villas and castles on picturesque hilltops. They're harvesting cabbages. Lots of different SMALL vegetables growing: carrots, lettuce, herbs. RED-ORANGE earth shows through. Woman wearing sweaters only to keep warm. MORE tunnels. Trees LOADED with oranges, ground FULL of them. Cactus on hills! Conductor tries to get 18,000 MORE from me and I simply say NO and he jabbers on more and then leaves. I check place where it says NO extra charge. At 11:20, train is along LOVELY coast when not in tunnels. Hungry but wait for HOT lunch. We stop for a long time (11:25-11:29) in S. Mauro La Bruna and I ALMOST get another pen, but it starts writing again. Lunch 12-12:30, steak and mushrooms, beans, yogurt, beer for 6900. Nice small beach towns. SNOW-covered peaks here. Leave Paeta 20 minutes late. Lot BEING BUILT in Falerna. Gioia Tauro is 50 minutes late! Sky all gray. Bougainvilla growing in Scilla. Begin to wonder HOW we cross the channel. At 3 we stop. People get off; people stay on. Decide to change my faltering pen, since this old one is just about out. Some streets wet. I read. At LAST at 4:10 we move! Stop a minute later! Move AGAIN at 4:36, sunset lightening clouds over Sicily. All that in Villa San Giovanni. Stop at 4:40. BACKWARDS at 4:54---2 cars, ours without lights, second with, cut off from all others. No conductor to put ON lights. We're loaded in three sections aboard ferry and leave 5:10, circling around for head to head slip, and crossing to complete blackness takes till 5:40, just half an hour of some REAL waves, washing over breakfront, and watch engine pull us off into Messina station just at 6. Lights FINALLY on at 6:07, after I'm joined by someone across the way. Leave station at 6:17, DUE at 3:57, "just" 2 hours 20 minutes late! In at 9:40? Long dark trip, with lights in distance. In at 9:35 and out to gypsy cabs that start at 10,000, then THEY say 5,000, so I say 4,000 and it's a 4-minute RIDE. First to Hotel Sole, but it's ACROSS from Plaza Partenza (?), so I see Centrale and direct cab there. 19,500 for single. I look at map and NO close restaurant, so I walk up DESERTED Via Marqueda and on Via Orologia find a sign for a Ristorante Italiana and have Zuppa alla pavese (broth and bread and poached egg!) and fatty sgaloppini in wine and an apple and wine for 7500. Walk back streets to hotel, phone JJ at 11:10, and jerk off with lots of tension and fall asleep at 12:15.

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 23. Wake at 7 and doze IN light till 7:40, at which point it's raining. Shower and get out at 8:30 to walk to station in slight rain in ten minutes. Pasticceria sells ciocolatta al latte for 700 and panini con prosciutto for 900. Not bad at all. Onto 9:08 train that leaves at 9:15, in about 12, conductor LOVING to talk about my travels while my feet freeze. Lots of clouds, Segesta temple encased in a reconstruction grid. Erice covered with clouds, and a man working on the train says he'll take me to the bus after the conductor says the funicular is broken. 12:55 bus and lots of choices back. I wander toward church, but 50 minutes isn't enough. Back to try a few trattorias, closed, and the town looks not interesting but for one pair of nice jeaned legs. Cold and windy, but sun COULD be warm if clouds LET it. Get a chopped meat sandwich for 500 and chocolate for 700 and back to bus station as Erice bus drives in at 12:50 and I get front right seat. Vietato fumare, but it smells like SOMEONE on the bus smokes CIGARS. Cloud STILL over Erice---either it'll STILL be there or it's saving its sun for me. Still there, but it comes and goes over lower countryside. Great shots---funny if this would be EITHER 1) the MOST spectacular place of the trip or 2) so totally irrelevant compared with the rest of the trip that the 17 shots are a total waste. (Actually, of course, the final result was neither of the above.) Almost everything's closed: castle, smaller castle, toretta, churches, duomo; I don't even have the patience to follow road to Porto Carmine and see more of the Muri Elemi Punichi. Clouds lighten up a bit before end, but there's still a fuzz of black over peak as I leave. See bus go up road at 3, so I finish my pictures and join it, changing film. Bus back hosts kid in GREAT jeans and TRApani is getting muggy. Bus goes down and up almost every street in town, including a corner with a tipped-over motor scooter on it. To terminal at 4, have a salami and two candy bars for 950 in all, and board single-car doodlebug for Palermo at 4:23: 32 second-class in front, 16 first-class in center, 24 second-class in back, plus crew of 3 for 75 in one car, capacity, about 20 of us as is, three in first class. Nestle's Ciokita tasty but small for 240, chocolate over rice over caramel; Motta Amigo is only 200, but only 25g. As we roar out of Trapani at 4:30, black cloud is HIGHER over Erice than before. Train travels over MUCH of the middle distance I took pictures of, sheep-side. Cliffs of Erice look MUCH LESS STEEP from below: ROSES blooming, squash drying on roofs. It's true I'm farther WEST and the sky IS clearer, but it's lighter LATER now (also 12/23, not 12/21). Segesta Temple seen for only 3-4 seconds from speeding train, AFTER station for Palermo-bound passengers. Rocky and noisy and VERY speedy-seeming. Let's see if we're in before 7! GETTING dark at 5:05. Considerably over halfway at 5:15! Alcamo, an INLAND route. Can see NOTHING of Edgardo's DOTS from the train. Silhouettes and lights only remain at 5:25. So 5:30 is STILL too late to drive! Well, he writes, petulantly, influenced by Kinbote in "Pale Fire," if it were darker IN (the train) it would be lighter OUT(side the window). I make list of Green Guide sights NOT closed on holidays: Garibaldi Gardens**, churches*, Villa d'Aumale*, Monte Pellegrine**. MY girl enters another conversation, gets wished "Auguri" by some big wheel, answers a question from someone who comes with two US $2 bills, tries to get a check-canceller fixed, and talks to two other officers. SHE waves to me by her boss. OTHERS shout "Quando" and guy behind glass shouts back he doesn't KNOW. We had to leave us out the BACK door. Dead cats on road; dog shit on pavements, some streets stink of garbage, parks PLEASANT. Plastic fragments of tail lights litter streets; cars park on sidewalks EVERYWHERE. Christmas Day---Lunch 3-3:15 of two ham and cheese toasted and beer and canoli, dinner of pizza splendor and two beers and pastry for 35,000. Room when we find it for 28,000 in Motel di Sciacca, spelt Xacca on some signs, making sense. Day of travel to Segesta, there 11-12, temple and amphitheater and GREAT books for 5000 apiece. Then VERY lost, searching for lunch in Caletafimi and Salemi, and then to Santa Ninfa with trattoria. Down to Selinunte in almost-dark, then long winding road to Sciacca, getting lost IN town, and finally find Motel, restaurant Scandalloto for pizza and wander town till bed at 11:15, after reading.

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 26. Wake with INCREDIBLE dreams of 1) visiting LUXURIOUS apartments, host of which is someone like Bob Rosinek, who's KEEPING me, 2) meeting with three women who turn out to be Jane Alexander, actress; Jane Fonda, movie star, and a BLACK Marilyn Horne, diva superba. 3) GREAT sex with Malcolm in which I come first, encourage him to "take his turn" and he gets me so excited I almost come again until I start urging HIM to come. We shower, I watch sunrise, taking pictures of sunrise, we walk to Garden Hotel for breakfast, drive through town to highway back to Selinunte, and get in at 9:45 for a guide who takes us AROUND the temples, telling of construction and roofing and perspective and history and the "selinus plant" like parsley that gave the name to the place---DRY in summer! Then drive to acropolis and wander large ruins, hunters firing, and back to car at 11:45 to drive AWFUL way again to Manfi to highway to Agrigento and pass temples to Jolly Hotel for 31,000 lunch in huge empty room. Back to ruins but we both seem TIRED. Through and to Akrobello Hotel at 5 for 60,000 pension-plan and warm with heater and take bath and I compare two books to find only THREE pictures in common. Bathe to warm and read and down to AWFUL dinner in cold (but nice) dining room---tiny pineapple on bland prosciutto, his lasagna mediocre, my chicken leg small and tasteless, his involtini terrible sausage meat. Dessert cassata filling and sweet---he says vitamin C keeps one AWAKE. Up at 9:15 after looking at stars and to room to read to 12:20 and sleep, not TOO cold after ordering two more blankets.

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 27. Dream of being in country, but it's catching on fire in various places and George Parris and I catch a cab and I think bill is 5000 LIRE and it's 500, and he pays with a bill and I return coins. We think where to go and he's still fumbling with wallet when BEARS come out of woods. I can't think of how to tell him and run, and he turns and there's a standoff as I wake at 5:20. Up again at 6:20 and finish in bathroom at 6:40 (from p. 41: Hotel San Giovanni, 21,000, no hot water nor receipt. Bellini's tomb: Ah non credea mirarti---si presto e stinto o fiore," with music.) JJ's out at 7:10 and at 7:15 restaurant's still closed. They open it, sun rises, we eat, leave for center of town for Duomo, which is closed. Down to museum for opening at 9, and there's LOTS: vases and pottery and archeological exhibits and LOVELY asses on athletes and huge Zeus metope and three remaining heads. Lots more from nearby necropoli than we'd thought. Out at 9:50 and get to highway but miss turnoff to Serradifalco and up tiny road to Santa Cataldo, in which we get lost and I start getting aggravated (again) at 1) the lack of proper signs (left arrow SOMETIMES meaning straight and SOMETIMES meaning left), 2) the INCREDIBLE drivers who take EVERY possible liberty and then look innocent when they're met with a car going the PROPER direction, someone who's angry at their stupidity, or a bus or taxi that's SUPPOSED to be in their lane, or the cyclists that take EVERY risk and expect the cars to take care for their safety---AND pedestrians who do the same. Anyway, good views back over city from hill, then almost get lost in Caltanisetta three or four times, then high road over GREAT views of fields and Etna, VERY snowy toward the west. Onto poor and winding road to Lago di Pergusa and up to Enna at 1:30 for a GREAT lunch at Centrale with FABULOUSLY seasoned roast fungi, good salad, good meat and GREAT melon. Down highway to Piazza Amerina (me driving) and it's later and darker when we get to mosaics of Casale at 3:30, taking pictures till 4:30, buy book AND slides for 6500, and taking HUGE shit, and having to drive BACK to town and south on road, almost getting lost in San Michele di Ganzaria and in Caltagirone and in Grammichele when they don't have the highway finished, and pitch black on AWFUL road until we get to southbound highway to Ragusa, and get lost on way into town, then IN town, and find that the Jonico has no HEAT and no hot water and finally find the San Giovanni after getting lost driving to IT. Then back and look in Alimentari and Gastronomici and Trattoria and Beer and Hot Dog and Tavola Calda before FINALLY finding Padroni's, GREAT sexy crowd for GOOD pizza, then back in rain to COLD room and sleep.

MONDAY, DECEMBER 28. JJ's up first and we don't shower and get out at 7:45. Have breakfast at Ragusa Duomo coffee shop and wander streets and then drive to Ibla Duomo and wander MORE streets and get lost more times and finally drive WAY around and find way out to Modica for cathedral and building facades and JJ wanders streets and then into car for long drive through deserted territory to Noto for more churches and cathedral and buildings and driving and traffic jams and ashwardens (?) in car. Finally through Avala (I'm eating chocolate bar for sustenance) and into Siracusa about 1, AWFUL busy streets and fine Jolly Hotel and take pension, putting stuff in warm room and down to dining room for lunch, good roast chicken for me but not a great meal for 30,000. Everything's closed Monday so we walk to old city and Duomo isn't open till 4 so we see Fountain of Arethusa and south to Maniace and see poor CATS on beach and around to viewpoint for surf and back to Duomo and walk back to hotel and we're TIRED at 5, so I take a good soaking bath 5:30-6:45, changing clothes first time in FOUR days, and he showers and I read red guide for NORTH Italy and we're out at 8:15 to walk PAST railroad to Jonio for GOOD vegetables, shark for me, roast cheese, HARD bread (mostaciula) and cakes dropped into sherry for dessert. Back NEW way and sleep about 11:15, EXHAUSTED.

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 29. Up to shit and find it's 7:30 and breakfast comes at 7:35 and we're eating and out at 8:15 and he goes to post office and we go to bank 8:50-9:20 to give him 200,000 and me 350,000L! Oh, MUSEUM was marked closed 9-11 for "assembly" of workers deciding to strike! Go to Museo Bellomo 9:20-10:15, main Messina painting IN Messina! Some nice stuff and OLD wood panels. Drive (lost AGAIN!) to Archeological area and it opens at 11:15 and to Greek theater and ear of Dionysius and out at 11:45 and back to MUSEUM for GREAT male bodies and SO many vases and calyxes and heras and lamps and glassware and spearheads and knobs and money it's IMPOSSIBLE to comprehend. Nice lunch 1-2:30 at Minerva of vegetable soup for me and lasagna for him and pork chop for me and frito mixta for him and house wine. Out in car AGAIN through city proper, onto highway taking Etna pictures, and get into Catania at 3:30 and head (VERY indirectly: ENWSW!) for Teatro Bellini, around to side, and ask worker for "biglietti" and he says he'll show us inside for nothing! Lights lit, red plush carpets, and up to top salon for GREAT pictures and statue of Bellini. Out dazzled and happy, walk to Duomo, instrumentalists setting up and permitting us to see carved choir stalls, out to walk LOTS of streets and Via Etna and sexy people and back to car at 5:15 to get LOST AGAIN and on highway north and decide to get off at Acireale. Lost THERE, only "Ristorante Panoramica" in red Michelin showing we're NORTH of Acireale and drive THROUGH town SEVEN ways, all WRONG, and FINALLY see sign for "La Perla Ionico" and it says 1500 meters and we go so far we GIVE UP and make U-turn INTO ARROW (on the other side of the street) for La Perla! 64,000 for GOOD room but LOUD neighbors. 6:55 pm: So hard to think what to WRITE! With JJ licking stamps for his six last cards and the bed of the next room being fucked so hard that the headboard hits the wall behind our heads. I even forget to record 12/28 dream of being with---some old person I FORGOT now---and enjoying young men who liked being with him. I catch up at 8:05, ready for dinner! To restaurant (unmarked from main lobby except as "door down last long corridor") and down three flights to find bare echoing space filled with awful people. Waiter accosts us for "tickets." We say "What?" He explains we must buy chits from desk. No way! Back to car and to town and from newsstand to closed pizzeria to ONLY pasticheria to La Bella for JJ's Pizza Capriciosa (same stuff as Padrino) and my tagliatella alla Bella with wurst and ham and mushrooms and beans and artichokes and my saltimbocca alla Romana with cheese and SMALL ham and veal and salad capriciosa and we leave for 12,000 and drive back easy way and bed at 11:30, BLAZING up so that they laugh and JJ knocks ONCE and they stop and we sleep, I guess, OK.

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 30. Wake about 6 and watch room lighten and up at 6:40 to shower and out at 7:10 to photo sunrise and pack and sit on terrace in DIRTY white chair (JJ suspiciously quiet in bathroom so I'll not ask for a white towel to dirty on the chair) and look at Ionian and scattered clouds and flowers and hotel space and the lighthouse and enumerate the FLAWS of Perla: emergency cord hard to reach behind sink in bathroom, raised shower leaks and I bark knuckles turning on shower tap and what's strange CLAW in lieu of soap tray for? Look thirty seconds before finding flush UNDER railing at TOP, and later when I REACH for it I find myself trying to turn a bit of decorative edging. No place for used towels save on wall prongs, duct doesn't prevent steaming, toilet takes AGES to fill for second flushing, the CLOSET lights (always on when room lights on) is brighter to read by than dim BED lamp, and ROOM lights must be turned on from BED, WAY into room. No GOOD place for luggage: JJ's large bag on DESK, mine on TINY chest of drawers stuck in FRONT of mirror. No HANDLE for balcony door on OUTSIDE, so it must be left OPEN to grasp EDGE; rope on draperies broke so they remain open a crack and are partly pulled off hooks. Already noted that WALLS are VERY thin through connecting door. ALL doors have a "press down to open knob" device that's IMPOSSIBLE to use quietly without disturbing neighbor, let alone roommate, and door on SHOWER is hard to close (clicks twice still OPEN) and hard to OPEN because of sharp little handle. Usual sheet-towel complaint (save at JOLLY), but it's QUIET outside, anyway. Sun brightening for assault on Etna at 7:45. How'll BREAKFAST here be? OK, large room and all-French tour our companions. Off to Etna at 8:30. See ONE sign for Etna going south, but after that there's nothing at all. Almost back to Catania before we find signs and even then we get lost in one town and have to ask a woman, who points down the road that Etna looms above. FINALLY get into pattern of bright yellow signs and up winding dark-stone-lined road past chipper villages and up finally to snow in the gullies and then show in the fields, some areas denuded of vegetation, some with villas surrounded by old trees. To windswept tourist plaza with only two of ten shops open and get to entrance booth to find funicular not working because of WIND! Look at all the skiers and tourists and then drive down through lesser roads to Giarre and drive along coast to Taormina. Up crowded road through town proper and continue up to Castelmolo, road blocked by meat truck, and I find parking space and we're out to climb to very top by noon for a glorious view over whole area except cloudy coast of Italy proper. Tambourine girl leaves at last and we're alone on top, enjoying view. Down to Il Maniero for lunch of GREAT antipasto with the discovery of Pomodoro Secco, BOAR steak, and Grand Marnier with JJ's cigars on the balcony in the warm sun. Down about 3 to the Public Gardens, just west of Jolly Hotel, and I fall in LOVE with the place and its characters and flowers and views and cliffhanging houses. Woman on boat later says Dominican Hotel snobby and pricey, but PLACE is one of the best in the world. He says it's rather like Haut de Cagnes and St. Paul de Vence. To Greek theater at 4:15 to find it closed at 3:30. "Two hours before sunset, by law." I argue, but get nowhere. Back to wander more, get lost, wander down stairs past hippies and drive back to highway to take beach road through small lovely towns by dark and then on the highway to get to Messina Hotel Jolly by 6:10. As we sign in I search and search for passport, wondering if anyone in lovely Taormina could have robbed me or if I've dropped it, but then JJ remembers we didn't get them back from Perla Ionica! So by 6:20 we're on road for CENTER of Messina and enjoy sweep of lights on Taormina and fumble through area around Acireale before getting passports at 7:30. Then back on road after division of opinion about HOW to get back, and back to Messina and hotel by 8:50. To room and to restaurant for mediocre meal by AWFUL waiters. Bed about 10:30.

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 31. Wake about 8 and breakfast and walk along coast, too long, to museum which closes regular exhibits and shows ONLY Antonella de Messina works, mainly in transparencies more bright than originals. Taxi to Duomo for doors and clock, then back to hotel to GET passports and pay 81,000 and get to highway for Milazzo at 12:10, finding that next aliscafi to Vulcano is at 2:45. Eat in the one-star Il Gardino, good appetizer and odd mixed grill of guinea, chicken, and lamb. Sit in sun and read and get on back of boat for a sunny windy ride past Stromboli and Lipari to Vulcano at 3:35, and I get on rocky trail, leaving JJ behind in poor shoes, and pant and puff and enjoy view and inhale sulfur and sweat in heat and get to rim of crater at 4:10, enjoying sunlit islands, sulfur-crusted crest, and sparkling crystals at exit-vent of crater. Down in a dusty scrabble by 5, buy tickets for return 5:10-5:55 through pink-orange-yellow sunset brilliance, talking to jabbery woman from Wantagh. He drives long trafficky road through Milazzo and I take wheel at highway, which gives over to winding road 1/3 way there and only at Cefalu goes back to highway. Good views of moon. Into city and JJ takes over wheel and into hotel about 9. Drive north to park on sidewalk in front of Nuova Castelnuovo and HE enjoys the vegetable soup and I have a funny cup of shrimp and prosciutto under French dressing, and my tournedos are VERY good. Tired back to hotel by 11:40, noise of fireworks beginning, and we tour fountains and Bellini to find nothing doing, so back to room at 11:55 and are undressing at midnight when we wish each other Happy New Year and get to sleep instantly at 12:15.

FRIDAY, JANUARY 1, 1982. Up at 9 and out for Monreale, stopping on Vittorio Emmanuale (I mention it's so long, JJ responds that with the Italian LENGTHENING of dimunitives it probably becomes Vittorioiorioni Emmanujallissiminni) for coffee and cake for 2500 and on for gas, then up road to apses and around to GREAT mosaics inside, and bishop starts mass at 11 as we enter jewel-encrusted treasury---it HAD been the relics of saints and now it's the value of gemstones? Out to plaza and horse cart and postcards and book, then down to St. Laurent for "half-crescent" arches and find Oratorio closed. To Charleston at 1:10 and wait till 1:40 for small table in BUSY place, LOADED with squally kids! And EVERY table FULL for two seatings! My cepelini varsovian are underdone-tasting crepes and HEAVY sauce, and he loves his lasagna and his goat-piece. My viel Conca d'Oro is good with wine and vegetables and cheese and eggplant. Good banana tort for dessert and he likes his flat torte-apple pie. Whole cigar leaves aftertaste, but good with Grand Marnier and a carafe of ice water for a largish bill (for trip) of 40,000. Out at 3 to Capucian cemetery and mummyerie 3:30-4, then get lost trying to find road to Monte Pelligrino and miss sunset and endure STRONG cold wind for pink clouds and blue sky and down at 5:45 to Viale Liberta to park car and see park and game-playing and promenade and like Chamade Restaurant's looks and sit and return to hotel 7:30-8:30 to lie in bed and recover. Out to Bellini for poor dinner and last stroll together and he leaves 6:45 wakeup call and we get to bed 10:45, loud outside.

SATURDAY, JANUARY 2. I wake at 3:30 with strange memory of dream of Japanese female tourists (city FULL of them) pressing themselves against me and me trying to feel through their hard crotches if they're male or female. We're watching a theatrical show and moving from seat to seat, like on a plane, for best view and most privacy. Then wake at 6 and call JJ at 6:45, two minutes before phone rings. We bid farewell stiffly, saying we enjoyed trip, he saying he has YET to return to United States; I'm welcome to Paris if I get tired of Italy, and he leaves at 7:15. I shit and look through green guide to find I have a LOT of two-star stuff to see in Palermo, and finish this up to date (cursing pigeons cooing like MAD and flapping away outside) at 8:10. Read some, breakfast in same place, to Palazzo Normanii and the Palatine Chapel is EXACTLY (to SAME Adam and Eve figures) same as Monreale, but 1/4 size. Great carved Easter candleholder 15' high! Second floor closed. Search for Villa Aumale and stumble on St. John the Hermit, VERY faint fresco inside, a jumble of gardens, pristine Norman arches and vaults. Across to D'Aumale and it's got BIRDS and deer and a formal garden and a ficus and statuary. Wander through old section and buy belt 130-140 cm, started at 8000, I say 4000, he says 5000, I GIVE him 4500. Colorful meats and vegetables and clothes markets, well lit and NO smell. To Archeological Museum and find a few good crotches, some interesting Etruscan interments, but Siracusa has it ALL over this EXCEPT for Selinunte ruins and LOTS of statues from Malosporus cemetery. Through quickly, mad at guard smoking in no-smoking rooms, lots of LARGE projects rather boring: Medusa from Solunto, lions from somewhere in wall border. Out and wander side streets to National Museum, Messinas IN Messina and LOADS of SAME Madonna del Latte (tits in kids' lips), Coronation of the Virgin and lots of Polytychs from Piazza Armerina by the Master of the Polytych from Piazza Armerina! Nice to see lots UNDER glass in NO frame, but most are in DARK room and VERY stilted; only as time gets more RECENT are figures good, and masterpiece is Jan Gossaert Van Mabuse (1478-1533) (Legato Malvagno), Madonna col Bambino tra SS. Caterina I Dorothea, and LOVELY Adam and Eve on BACK. I wonder how many of the "anonymous" paintings on dark walls would be MUCH more respected if they were said to be by "Master X". Out about 1 and find Orte Botanica is open sabado only 9-11. That does Palermo! No restaurants along way appeal. Look and find Reggio di Calabria museum open 9-1 Sunday and CLOSED on Monday! (Stop in Termini Imerese 2:49-2:53 ONLY. 3:13-3:16 Cefalu.) So I go to Calabria today! To station and THEY say 3 pm and I find 2:20, going MOST of way in daytime. To hotel at 1:35 and ask for bill, pack and find belt is BIT too small for bag, but it works with new hole. Down to pay 66,000 bill and wait for cab till 2, then take bus, can't figure how to pay, so I get off at station and DON'T. In and buy mineral water for 300 for thirst and panini con prosciutto for 900 for train. On at 2:10 and it's crowded (though not JAMMED) and I STAND in hall. Everyone smokes, so I keep window open. Babies shout as we stop in tunnel and someone has a RADIO yet. Everyone chats and I just FUME. One hour gone, but trip across will be a MESS again. But passing beach and mountain countryside is pleasant in bright sunlight and white clouds. Radio louder at Pollini stop at 3:34. Let's GO! Feet sore, tops of toes hurt from braking my way down from Vulcano day before yesterday, and I feel achy all over from standing. Sea gets higher and Mario-Lanza-type gets louder at 4:55 when we stop at San. Giorgio Anira in Messina at 6:22, half-hour late. Maybe I'll miss the NEXT train to Reggio? Bump about a bit at 7:17. Actually MOVE at 7:41; RAIN wetting tracks! ONTO ferry at 8 and at 8:05 I'm into cafe for two beers and two panini and we're sailing toward what SEEMS to be Reggio di Calabria! First train pulled off at 8:40, the time I finished "Pale Fire," the first book read, standing with suitcase ready to GET OFF---WHEREVER we are! Off ferry 8:45. Into Villa San Giovanni (damn!) at 9 pm. AND, as I hoped, at 9:02 the 8:55 to Reggio Calabria had NOT YET left from track 2, coming in on track 1 at 9:05! Two-car train starts south at 9:15, goes through blackness, NO tickets collected, into RC Centrale at 9:40. Sign says San Giorgio is 200 meters. I walk and there it IS, III class for 10,000 for 1! I WILL have enough money. Get map by 10:03! Establish 10-place itinerary (for COMPLETED viewing by 12) by 10:30. By then it's VERY cold and by 10:45 I'm in a decently comfortable bed.

SUNDAY, JANUARY 3. Wake at 7 and out of bed at 7:30 to see that the sky is bright and the air is "brisk." Slow to get out---repacking, getting new maps, book, notepad, film out, looking at train schedule AGAIN and finally decide AGAINST Catanzaro and the Sila Massif in favor of ANOTHER time when I'll be with a friend (maybe JJ again) with a CAR and share expenses and experiences, rather than the EXPENSE of renting a car and the possible DISASTER of traveling ALONE (car breakdown, accident, theft). AND to spend more time in TOURIST cities that people will KNOW. Out at 8:15 and get TOTALLY lost on SIMPLE STREETS. Miss Asciuti Hotel, cross river, wander back roads, cross bridge, find Duomo, new and awful and full of Mass. Down to Theatro Cilea: look RIGHT, a gate and SORT of plaza. Look LEFT: concrete balustrades looking like tail bumpers. Turn right: fenced-in trash. Turn left, it's another BUILDING. Around to "front" and there's no entrance. Can't even find a place when it's THERE! Have coffee and roll for 1100 and find a LINE for the museum at 9. Join it and finish by 9:06. To see hot (START OF BOOK 2) red colors still adhering to well-formed buttocks in a terracotta relief (pressed from FEW molds?) is a KICK---or seeing blue between horses' legs or DOTS of pattern on a skirt. Nice details, and a fragment of a YOUNG satyr with cock rampant. Crowd passes by 9:30. RED hair---could they COMBINE finds and come up with a "perfect" reproduction? BROWN boots and PINK skin and BLUE sky and REDDISH fur in one "fresh" fragment. How GREAT to see 6-8 fragment sets giving an idea of a THEME. Themes and characters REALLY in fixed positions: a LOVELY body with no title is LATER seen in JUST that stance (3x) labeled "Zeus Saettanti" (lightning). So nice to see a culture that so obviously ENJOYED male BODIES and COCKS. At 10, to the STATUES. About seven feet tall, of GRAND bulk, when someone says "They're almost alive" I think people would gasp, if the statues moved, not so much from the MOVEMENT as from the PLAY of muscles and BULK of the person IN PROPORTION to their size. The EXTRAORDINARY refinement of the "simplest" line seems proved in that the RIGHT calf, reconstructed---well, no, but maybe DENTED in, has not QUITE the satisfyingly FULL line of the LEFT calf. Incredibly, there are TEETH, clearly separated, and the lower lip is ROUGED, coupled with the WHITES of the eye to give a BREATHTAKING beauty. I think of our "new age consciousness" making it POSSIBLE to find more and more beautiful statues from the Greek era now that we can APPRECIATE them, and I think of a story, UNLIKE Ballard's "Drowned Giant," when a COLORED MARBLE statue of Praxiteles is discovered and everyone who SEES the man FALLS IN LOVE DESPERATELY with it. Sadly, seen RAISED four feet above the floor so that the head is 11 feet up, it looks SMALL in proportion to the heroic body. Statue B is disturbing in that the white AND iris of his right eye exist opposed to the bare SOCKET of his left. Coupled with a HELMET that holds down the ruff of HEAD hair, and much flattened EARS---in fact the head's been DISTORTED, the "rear cap-cut" being much TOO deep for merely hair, bronze, being detached and lost. WITHOUT the hair frame, the head looks ODD and the eye makes it even ODDER. However, his RIGHT leg is FAR more satisfying than Statue A's. Crowd really BUILDS by 10:30. Even in PROFILE his right eye bulges glaringly. Genital hair of B not so finely wrought as A. Mouth slightly open but even with binox I can't see IF there are teeth in the mouth or NOT. A's right arm thrown BACK is more pleasant on the chest than B, and his cockhead is better defined and cock is LONGER. Feet and toes seem better formed than fingers and fingernails. Reconstruction photos make it look like ORIGINAL eye was either recessed more or surrounded by more "flesh" or "lashes," REMOVED in restoration TOO STRONGLY, letting the eye seem to PROTRUDE in the final. Also, the fact of the SMALLNESS of the pupil makes the eye look SERPENT-LIKE, rather than "large and loving." In all, A seems YOUNGER, STRONGER, and more VIRILE than B. Out at 10:40 to buy book. As I EAT, train for 12:58 SHOWS UP AT 12:08! Buy slides and posters too! $9 for two statues! Ask at station, No reservations for 1 pm train. Dither and miss 11:25 local. Check Asciuto for NO restaurant, give 10,000 for San Giorgio and pack and get to station at 12. Eat a beer and pizza piccola for 1400, taking pills on minimal protein. Got on train at 12:15 and an Italian explains in FRENCH that it's not PRENOTATO (reserved) but PRENOTABILE (reservable) to various places, the FARTHEST being Maratea, at 4:30 (or 5 or 6 if it runs the USUAL hour late), so I have GREAT seat till THEN, at LEAST. Also FOLLOWED by lots of people at 12:40 who squabble over seats. I "roll" up (between panes) both window blinds and SHUT no-smoking door and HOPE. VERY comfortable FOR THE MOMENT. Well, it's SUPPOSED to have a RESTAURANT car so maybe I can EAT after dark into Naples! 25,000 left, enough till I get to bank tomorrow. It leaves at 12:59 and views are idyllic. Into Villa San Giovanni 17 minutes early! Leaves at 1:28 when SCHEDULED to leave 1:40!? But, sadly, Miss Greasyfingers takes over my car and leaves her smudgy fingerprints on all the windows, jabbering and joking. Then we're BACK in Villa SG, everyone GOES and I shut DOOR again, and 1:40 train leaves "on schedule" at 1:48. Stromboli VERY vaguely visible from Bagnora. Oh, mustn't forget the preserved GENITALS and one THIGH from a THIRD bronze from that wreck! Gioia Tauro promises two across from me and Maratea the other three. But I MISREAD: each 6 is NOT one compartment but three in one and three in the NEXT, and girl ousts me in Gioia Tauro! OUTRAGEOUS sunset colors at 4:35: intense purple-blue of distant cliffs etched sharp against dark blue above and orange-blue below, all over a LIGHT (amazing) blue sea, almost blue-white, and neon sharp shapes of gray rock and black shore edged with white foam. I'm sandwiched away from window by two pairs of sleeping female legs. Sun gone at 4:40. Dark comes quicker in tunnels. Is fellow across from me gay? Pregnant woman at window with husband insisted I have some bitter chinotto crudo. Quinine indeed! Angry couple on one seat in aisle cursed our precedence. I write in tunnels, of tunnels. Extraordinary sunset: light blue above to gray to tan to flesh-pink through the litmus shades to blue and beyond to purple, stopping at a sea that met it with an almost EMERALD green a few minutes ago. Rainbow coast indeed! Black hills with trees, poles, houses, curves and edges, become perfectly-cut silhouettes against the light-blue-by-contrast sky at 5:25. All light gone by 5:35 and now they're smoking IN the compartment. Salerno at 6:03, EVERYONE wearying, RIGHT on time! Into Naples at 7, lug bag---strap falls off TWICE and FINALLY makes its hole, and I get room 207 at Palace, with BALCONY overlooking Garibaldi, and turn on radio to find Le Roi de Lahore by Massenet, five acts conducted by Richard Bonynge with Sutherland as Sita, Sherrill Milnes, someone as Indra, and Huguette Tourangeau and Nikolai Ghariuov in the cast. GOOD chorus ends act IV, very French and GRAND. Wash SIX pairs of socks and find I've worn FIVE sets of underwear for 20 days, REALLY gross! Jerk off VERY well, starting with I bronzi di Riace beside mirror, and get to restaurant at 9:55 when they close at 10. They HATE me! Antipasto not bad and steak pretty good and wine Errico actually GOOD. Out at 10:20 and back to room to put things away and read the booklet on Italy and there are FREE TICKETS! Bed 11:10.

MONDAY, JANUARY 4. Wake at 2:15 from some sort of dream of a Greek ritual: carrying a woman (or statue) forward on a cart until she LIGHTS UP in some electric blue-white way! Wake again with vague sex dreams and out of bed at 8:10, late. Shower wonderfully and spit on right little toe where I pulled out an irritating nail splinter at 2:15 and again pad my middle top-toe with toilet tissue. Laundry out at 9 and she says it'll be THREE days! Black neighbors (again!) VERY loud. It's COLD but sunny out as I leave at 9:15 to search for freebies. NO "mobile" in FRONT of station and ENIT Tourismo is closed IN station. Hm. Guy says "the boss" went to get sandwiches. So I have AWFUL prosciutto crudo (cotto better) for 1000 (800 better). Back and he's THERE at 9:55. Question and there's NO "bargain book" now, Pompeii and Herculaneum CLOSED today, Capodimonte OPEN. Wait for 110 or 127 from 10:40 and see one ACROSS the WAY. On at 10:50---is NOTHING where it LOOKS to be? Off at 11:20 after talking to Avilinoian who lived in Boston and is looking for work. Museum of Capodimonte closed Monday. I shout to keeper to phone Central Station. He gives phone to me, fag at station insists on talking to guy. Well, St. Martino is open today, till 1. Bus takes too long, with transfer. They call taxi, "Service completo." Taxi comes, takes Autostrada across "lid" of Naples, much traffic, out at 12:10 for 7500! In for one room of glass, two rooms of Presepe, cloister-rooms 14 and 15 closed "por terremoto" and church "aperta domani." AGH! But I laugh, too, or try to. At 12:45 sky VERY cloudy as I take pictures from peak. Crostate di Fettucini fabulous at Belvedere Restaurant, then veal and cognac, white wine WHOLE bottle for 3500, for total bill of 12,750, a bit MORE than I'd planned. Ask WAITER for directions, but all he knows is that ALL funiculars are chiuso. Out at 2:40 and ask cop, who directs me to ATAN. Ask for bus 27 and find I'm reading 42 upside DOWN. Driver of V3 takes me to Plaza Immaculata where I find V7 takes me to Piazza Municipio. Get hours for San Carlo tickets and go to Plaza Plebiscito for 150 bus, REGARDLESS of fact I have only 2000 (can't find a bank or CAMBIO at 3:30!). Zoo at 4:30 (to 5, sans ticket); hippo, rhino, elephant trio; cat roaming FREE; lotsa birds, hyena, wolf, ocelot, jaguar, black panther, leopard; coati CUTE, lynx---doesn't WANT chicken fat, skunk, FOX runs in; vulture tower, lion laying AFTER roar---tacky zoo!---HUGE tigers in TINY cages! Really LOVELY cats in SHIT quarters. LOVELY guy sympathetic? Wolves cringe under lion's HUGE roar. Goat is NOT a dromedary! Two LOVELY cubs and mother lion and two OLDER cubs next to second lioness. Great MALE! Kangaroo hops over; guinea pigs CUTE. Axis and cuvero porcines are DEER! UPPER level for horses and asses, and zebra and guanaco and nilgai (NOT llamas, as I'd predicted), oryx; ostriches picking at fence tops, gnu, giraffe born in zoo 5/12/80 and LOTS of Shetland ponies. Mountain goats and bears. MORE birds and kangaroos and vultures and night screamers; parrots, colored New Guinea brilliants, water birds of all kinds. Black swan really HONKS LOW, like a FOG HORN blare. Out at 5:05 after being DISPLAYED to by a LOVELY black swan showing white under-feathers and snaking long neck back to VERY tail in ballerina-like grace. Got by without entrance fee, too, saving money for Edenlandia, how clever! Mont Blanc (wild mouse) 1000; train 500; Chinese dragon (slow alpine spin) 500; popcorn 500; cars through Old America 500, two fun houses 500, flume 1000, Ferris wheel 500, flying Jumbos 500, flying cups 500, space ships 500; Pirates Castle funhouse 1000, 500 for GREAT babyscafi in REAL water---NICE park, with Alpenblitz 1000 as NEW: dodgem 500, Soyouz (roundup) 500, Festival Biffi funhouse 500, Pirate ship 1000 (like Great Adventure), caterpillar (covered) 500. Even smallest merry-go-round is 500, and PISSING is 100! Walk-through funhouse: false elevator to say "going down," stepping stones over colored water, mirrors for size, sliding forward and back, sideways, circles, and up and down floors, barrel-roll and final air-jet. Not bad, not great. One left, the ride-through funhouse. Ride is FAST and fairly good, nothing new. Leave at 7, cross the street to wait for the 152. At 7:10 the 102 comes; another 102 comes at 7:20, and the OTHER (F7?) comes at the same time. It's COLD! People wait and rush for the SEPSA busses at the next stop. I get colder and sadder and sorer. Curse myself for not taking ANOTHER bus. Just as I decide to take ANYTHING, a 102 PASSES. At LAST, at 8:15, a 102 stops and I take it to Piazza del Plebiscito by 8:35. Across street for four busses to pass and at LAST a "special" for Ferrovia, which I establish as "Stazione Centrale," comes at 8:45. Off at CORNER of hotel at 9:05 GREATLY relieved. Restaurant gives me GOOD cheese omelet for 2200, green salad for 1500, wine for 3500, and cake for 1500 for 8700 + 18% or 10,266. To room to phone Marcello, who says "This is not a good time, for today, my father died." I stagger through, he asks how Sicily was and what I intend to see tomorrow, saying I'm lucky the National Museum only opened two weeks ago after the earthquake! He wants to show me Castel Sant'Elmo and what SOUNDS like Castel del'Ovo on St. Lucia! I'm to phone him about 9:30 on Wednesday pm! Gasp! Catch up with this by 10:05. Jerk off more quickly, but still nicely, and bed by 11:10.

TUESDAY, JANUARY 5. Up at 7:35 and shower and transfer stuff to COAT pockets from BAG for Naples. Tell desk clerk I don't have breakfast. Out to Banco di Napoli and they say go to "Municipio." He says a minute, I say half-hour. He points across Piazza Garibaldi. I say "Then you DON'T mean Piazza Municipio!" There at 8:50 and man says "Ten." I look aghast and he writhes with his fingers, saying I can see and come back. I hit his cage with my fist and shout, "Diese! Museum chiuso lunedi, aperto solomente a UNA, il dice diese!" He raises his eyebrows and finds a paper that tells me the conversion is 1187, so $300 = 356,100, and he takes NO charge! I THANK him and get to San Lorenzo Maggiore for life-size Presepe with GOOD faces, spotlit in side. UP ALTAR STEPS is a small rank of pews, mass with priest's BACK to rows, in elaborate chapel: old-style in a PIECE of old church! Polygonal apse IS very fresh, but all bolstered with terremoto bracing inside and out. Lots of nicely carved medieval tombs. Four people at Mass at S. Maria in Purgatorio. It starts to rain at 9:10. Stops at 9:20. Next cupola-church built in 1904, being redone in lovely yellow now. "Leggi Bric-A-Brac" on one of the concrete "junk walls" on Via Tribunale. (Later I read in New Yorker that these BLOCK traffic from roads too close to buildings that might collapse from traffic vibrations!). Caffe latte and two LOVELY rolls for 1300 + 50 tip. MUCH better than 5000 hotel junk rolls. Special Sannina exhibit, coins of Iserna, LOTS of food, clothes, buttons, plaques, frescos from Pompeii ABOVE first floor, KNOCKOUT statues, but rooms closed "for lack of people" (this is the Archeological Museum, which I found after looking for luggage strap and finally finding one he wants 8000 for, then he says 5000, so I say 4000, he refuses, and I push 4500 into his hand and jam the strap into my pocket) and Antinuous "chiuoso." Out at 12:30, after asking if the Pergamon and Callpygean Venus rooms could be open, but they're closed for 2-3 years after earthquake) and then take bus for Capodimonte Museum, getting in at 1 and sorry to be so late (see Green guide) because some of the pictures are LOVELY and I could have taken a few---no GUIDEBOOK in these places (because it's changed after the earthquake?). A HUGE art book somewhere? (DO get one for this museum in BOOKSHOP for 3000.) Out at 2 and wait for bus 22 back to Plebiscito, but then see Restaurant Donna Maria and have two beers and "ministrina in brodo" (soup in broth?) with noodles and steaming broth (that's OK, my PISS steams outside TOO) and mozzarella in carozza and insalate capriciosa for 7900. Out at 3:15 to wait for bus AGAIN! 22 seems to come every 40 minutes, next is 3:57? Hotel lineup: Excelsior, Santa Lucia, Vesuvio, Continental a-building, Royal. Then 106 comes and I see P. MUNICIPIO on sign (board says P. Dante) so I JUMP aboard as it moves off. Conductor bitches at me and I out-Italian him, saying I waited 40 minutes for the "every 10 minutes 22" and why doesn't BOARD say P. Municipio if this GOES there. So he STOPS at P. Dante! I holler again, then get on NEXT bus FUMING, NOT about to pay. Get to San Carlo at 4:30. Everything closed. Ask at side office and he points at front. I shout "chiuso" and he comes out to point to man getting out of his car: He's selling. So I'm first (and only) in line and get row 2, seat 1, for 15,000 for Giselle. Let's HOPE there's no conductor! BUT "Cenerentola" tickets don't sell till "after tomorrow!" DAMN! Walk out Molescolo, ruddy sunset, MAYBE clearing, then along Santa Lucia, restaurants and clubs BELOW street, then Parthenope, and walk out to Castel del'Ovo and walk THOSE streets, jokers on motor scooter making me JUMP aside. (Practicing for robbery?) At 6 wait for 150, 152, F7, 402, 403, and guy from Herkimer NY tells me 106 goes too, and I get 106 and go! To hotel at 6:30 and jerk off FRANTICALLY, just to come, and rest AWFUL ache back of neck. Out at 8:45 to NOT like Brigantini and end up at Pizzeria Pazzo for unpleasant pizza Capricioso for 2500, beer for 1400 (large), macedonia for 1200 and cover for 300 for 5400+600 tip for 6000. Back to hotel 9:30, raining slightly, and brush teeth and get to bed at 10:20---OUT tomorrow?

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 6. 4:50 am: Odd series of dreams on "The Searching Wind," a weapon that "analyzes" the components of a target and then sends back rays to annihilate the target VERY SELECTIVELY, so that HIDDEN things, or things NEXT, may be saved. STARTS with Robert Heistina (?) destroying a building but BADLY CHARRING buildings next to it, and he says he can PRINT as quickly as he can WRITE. Scene ends with a strange dream image of my going to Capri today, connected with snobbiest valets and luggage handlers. Tired at 7:30, so doze till 8:30. Out and it's too foggy to leave town ANYWAY. To Vicario Vecchio and ANOTHER church being redone, and into San Domenico Maggiore, poor candelabra compared with Monreale, and FIRST tomb in sacristy is "Richard Luke Concanen, O.P. First Bishop of New York 1747-1810"! Under faded red velvet covers of 35 or 47 caskets in gallery above! "Consecrated Bishop in Rome April 27, 1808, Enroute to New York, died in Naples June 19, 1810." Church of Gesu Nova HIGHLY decorated; St. Chiara cloisters rather ragged, all side frescos rotting---such QUANTITIES of LABOR represented! ---and church PAINFULLY plain but for tomb of St. Roger, behind FUNERAL mass! At chapel (amid MOST pornographic drawings of Matta in the Palazzo Reale) guard says the rest of the rooms HAD to be closed "to stabilize the frescos and paintings after the earthquake." Leave at 11:40. Lots of painting in chapel from GEROLIMINI collection, also closed. And always GREAT faces and legs of guys in jeans---though not really many CROTCHES. Walk LONG way (up a dead end street) for Funicolare di Chaia, and JUST miss one at 12:42 because the asshole makes me buy a ticket. CROWD comes down from the top and everyone sits IN FRONT, uphill, rather than at bottom. Shorter climb, I suppose. But they leave every 10 minutes, they say. Still pissed at the asshole, however. So hard to keep my "this is an adventure in the unknown and charming (like the huge eyes of the guy with his girl in the exhibit of seven photographers in a huge Palazzo Reale room), and I should take it as it comes, using the 'faults' of the system as new ways of discovering the special magic of Naples (like the huge shouting throng of men and one woman at Donna Maria at lunch yesterday)." But WHETHER I have an energy limit of less than three orgasms in three days, OR the noise and impossible traffic and manifold frustrations and cold and damp (and sometimes VERY slippery stone floors like at the wedding in the domed-Pantheon church in the middle of Piazza del Plebiscito colonnade) are just taking a HUGE toll of energy (and tension on the hump between my shoulders). But I'm perverse, too, NOT taking the January 1982 guide and hoping by my 1972 green guide that the Villa Floridiana (Flori + diana?) IS open till 3 pm. Buzzer buzzes and last people flock onto funicular, and it does leave at 12:52. To Villa Floridiana at 1 and sure enough, park closes at 2! But it's SMALLER than it looks on map and 750 permits ONE room of four cases and a chalice of ivory and enamel from 1200 Limoges, and TWO rooms of majolica and two small SIDE rooms with cabinets and other pieces. Nice oneks, twoks, threeks, and forks in sets. Out at 1:20 to park. No views FROM Villa OR to EAST from Villa TERRACE! Not that GREAT, even in SUMMER with Ischia bright in Bay. Villa Lucia, right next door, is private "Vietato Ingresso." Workmen there TOO. See only Uscita for funicular and NO signs that it's WAY around the corner. Typical pain. Woman next volunteers her seat but her friend is "Encore friska." Wonder about openness of Villa Pignatelli, but I'm ready for a urinal and lunch and aquarium. Il Draga Restaurant for 11,000 from 2-3, GREATLY drunk on wine, good antipasto mixta, 3/4 liter wine, and scaloppini dell'Dragon, good veal, but sadly NO profiteroles. Aquarium has PHALLUSIA MAMMILLATA, titted phalli. Best of BOTH worlds! Out at 4:35, still swimming from wine and go ALL along the wharf, seeing that the LONG moles have GUARDS, seeing that beyond the boat club the waterfront is only INDUSTRIAL. But drunk the walking goes fast. Inland at point where guy I ask says Via Duomo is PAST and Corso Garibaldi is to COME. Through Piazza Mercato and it's closing up but the NEXT street is a DREAM of a night market with fresh fruit and vegetables and produce and hardware, but BEST are the shellfish: live clams spitting, live mussels showing red insides. live SNAILS catapulting themselves about making the waters SEETHE. Fabulous under BRIGHT lights. Look up and THERE'S the Banco de Lavoro of the hotel. Sail into room at 5:55 and there's laundry, but with my blue undershirt missing. Jerk off AGAIN, this time NICE and hard and teasing for 10 minutes. Then read mosaics book and down at 8:30 to find I have to talk to fellow TOMORROW about undershirt. Out to Mimi's and they have NO liver and NO mixed grill so I end with ham omelet, good, and GREAT mixed salad and two beers and good soused baba au rhum, all for 9500 and I tip him 500 for butter and he EVEN comes out of his surly to say "Buona sera!" To hotel and call Marcello and get his BROTHER, who takes my number at hotel and I say I'm staying four more days. Let's HOPE. Bed at 10:15 after writing this.

THURSDAY, JANUARY 7. Wake at 7:05 and it looks pretty good out---blue sky above, gray clouds on horizon. At 7:30 there are more clouds, but I dress and get out at 8:30 and over to Circumvesuviana and buy 1400 return ticket and find there's Pompeii SCAVI and Pompeii stations, and then after breakfast and I'm awaiting the 8:55 Sarno train, I decide to look at SORRENTO schedule and it stops at Pompeii Villa of Mysteries! So I dash down track 3 at 8:53 for the 8:49 train and it pulls in in a minute. Off after normal ride---Vesuvius under clouds, at 9:15 and in to find museum closed (they SAY stuff is in Naples) and guy sells me a guide for 3000. Follow pretty well except about HALF is CLOSED. Follow around, few tourists at START, and then groups grow, and my flash comes in VERY handy. Sneak a few shots from North Tower until guard calls me down, saying it's periculoso. Down back roads and into lots of dead ends, ignoring lunch, and finally cover it all by 2:30 and find that Mysteries closes at 4. Dash back by 3 and in to find it LAST, take pictures, and out at 3:35 STARVED. Pass nice restaurant and she just falls over me (and overcharges, too!). I even give 500 tip for 10,000 overall, but they DID stay open for me and it WAS good salad and omelet and wine. To station at 4:05 and on at 4:25 and in at 4:55 and decent sunset. Capri tomorrow? My shirt is in the room and I flop into bed until 7, when I write this. Think about rest of trip, actually the six days still unplanned between Naples and Milan, and I'll probably go ALL the way to the Dolomites just to bat about my train ticket. LATER for a CAR with SOMEONE. Finish "Nabokov's Dozen" by 10:25. What now? Try to sleep but start thinking of EARTHQUAKES at 10:35 and actually think I FEEL one small one so that my HEART TAKES OVER MY BODY with such pounding that it's the center of my being---is THAT what an emotion is?? At last it dies down and I sleep by 11.

FRIDAY, JANUARY 8. Wake at 5:50 and doze till 6:40, at which time I'm up and taking a good shower. At 7:10 I look out: still DARK, with CLOUDS, but it's not TERRIBLY cold (no sign of my breath when thermometer shows 9 C (48 F) at 7:50 at seashore) and it IS red in the east (red sky at dawning, sailor take warning?). So I'm out at 7:30 and there's a stop right in front of hotel with lots of P. Municipio and one comes and I stand next to a LOVELY guy with HUGE eyes (like the Riace statue B in size, in fact, with the eyelashes of A) that ANOTHER guy who's maybe gay keeps LOOKING at. Off at 7:50 a stop beyond, but get to Aliscafi to find they're on STRIKE on return, THEIR regular boat leaves at 4 pm and gets back at 5:20, but at last it dawns on me that I could take any OTHER regular boat back at ANY time in PM in time to return to hotel to change for ballet. Though, actually, I think I'll ASK if I can enter with jeans when I get back from island to save myself hassle of hotel-return. No boat IN (Procida and Ischia leave at 7:45 and 8, as planned), so I get coffee and roll for 900 at pier. Out to yowling cat in box and boat arrives FULL (of some LOVELY legs) and I board at 8:08, cheered by clearer skies in SOUTH and WEST than in Naples. Catch up with this by 8:17, feet chilly already. If I knew it was going to be COLD on Capri I WOULD have worn jacket and flannel trousers under coat, but at Pompeii YESTERDAY they would really have been too HOT, so I hope Capri is AT LEAST as warm and sunny. Horn blows last people on and we rev up and leave pier at 8:19 (8:15 by harbor clock), gas smell strong in cabin air, left window on top level nice. Factory yesterday AND today (and ALWAYS?) still spewing smoke into air, today toward SEA, yesterday over Barra. Pity it's cloudy: Vesuvius is THERE, but gray; Monte Fialto has a cloud around its top; distant hills BETWEEN those two may have snow on top, but it's hard to be sure; Ischia only the vaguest SHADE to west; wave spray wets my window about 18 feet above sea. Naples very MISTY toward back, but there IS sun and flecks of BLUE SKY in front! Dock 9 am. OTHER hydrofoil IS working, leaving at 1:20 and 3:20! Ask her, after cruising docks and finding NOTHING, if going to Grotta Azzura today. No, too much swell, maybe tomorrow. Decide to take bus, not funicular (which isn't running) to Capri. Board 9:25. Off at 9:40, CROWDED. To Capri Information for map, she'll call for Blue Grotto. Off at 10 for Villa Jovis, one hour, she says, and have a GLORIOUS day: Villa Jovis at 11, pictures, climb "closed" wall for some "side" shots, then BACK along the road to see the Natural Arch, pictures too close, along fabulous stairs to Punta Masulla, with a HOUSE, and by the Faraglioni and incredibly beautiful Scalinatelle Hotel, to Information booth at 12:30, where she says the sea is STILL too rough for Grotto. So I get 100 roundtrip to Anacapri on a GREAT road, and get out to find THAT chairlift under repair, an hour up. Take a shortcut at 1 and at 1:25 get to side-top over ALL of east Capri, then up moist-earth path to top of Monte Solaro at 2, trying to bring a cat back, and panting down the hard regular road to Anacapri at 2:30, with all the school kids that "complete" a bus. Have a panini con proscuitto and cheese and a GOOD beer for 2000 while waiting, and jam last few bites in pocket when THIRD bus comes, getting me to Capri by 2:55 and buy ticket for the "death seat" of a bus to Marina Grande, taking three great shots on the way down, and buy my 5000 ticket for the 3:20 aliscafi at 3, so I have a square pizza (mediocre) and another beer for 1500, finally taking pills and feeling fed, and SNAV Aliscafi Frescia dell' Isole (SAME as for Aeolian Islands) comes in at 3:08 and I'm on FIRST for ONLY front-facing single right seat at 3:10 and catch up to date by 3:22 by my watch, satisfactorily full in stomach, drunk in head, traveled on foot, warm in body, and looking forward to Naples and ballet on TIME. Funny priest makes jokes and rides up with Captain. Everyone on boat either businesslike or tourists. Met SAME Italian couple at Jovis AND arch, and here's the couple I saw at the ARCH (he HUMPY) on the boat. We pull free by 3:24 by my watch, a minute EARLY? Mustn't forget CAPRI was almost without cars, while Anacapri suffered MANY of them with MANY car-adapted streets! Area quite hazy, so I'm content to sit below and see MUCH less of shore than in AM. Into Naples 4:05 but at the Laura dock, almost to Possolipo, so I wait for a bus on the street till no bus comes (think about it!) and then go two blocks and get off at San Carlo. Buy 25,000 ticket for Cenerentola and he says my dress is "normale" for performances. So I look for nice coffee shop and find none, bookshop and find secondhand one, then new one for a 3000 guide to the Archeological Museum (in French) and another new one that has nothing. Wander shopping streets and get to opera at 5:30 and buy program for only 2000 and read it before and during intermission. Audience of kids in most boxes is AWFUL with shs and hisses and audience joins in with SH and actual shouts that bring scattered applause. A real zoo, partly because, music recorded, there's no orchestra or conductor to watch. 6:05-7 and 7:30-8:30 and I STILL use binox from SECOND row! Terabust makes an ideal Giselle: wide-eyed, sad-mouthed, precise, filled with balance and real DRIVE when she needs it. Schaufuss is not really turned on, does only "adequate star quality" work. Music is erratically loud and soft, few times the tape is stretched. Crowded beautiful hall, on 7 levels, VERY small slits for people in top ranks. Adequate sets, nice silky white pants for everyone but Hilarion, in brown. Myrta good and cold. Walk back looking for market but all streets are black and empty. Continue past Mimi's to Da Giovanni di Ferrovia and have "Italian antipasto" which is prosciutto and that mediocre canned marinated stuff, with good FRESH stuff going to waste at the serving table. Two others finishing. Waiter insists on soup and spaghetti, has no liver, and I have fried brains and mozzarella, disappointingly SEPARATE, would be interesting interlapped. Awful fat cashier stares down from his balcony at me so I have no dessert, but meal still runs 8000. Guy at hotel hands me 185,000 bill, insisting 25,160 for room rate and I say it was less before. "No," he says, sounding like ME. I go up and FIND old bill, jerk off fairly quickly to Farnese Hercules, read book, and get to bed at 11:10, Indians STOPPING their party, thank God.

SATURDAY, JANUARY 9. Wake at 2 and then at 6:20, and up to shower and dress and at 7:10 the street is GRAY with smoke and fumes. Mr. Romero is only in at 8. Tough. Bus to boat, same 4900 for Aliscafi, same notice of no boats back in afternoon. Onto boat WITHOUT breakfast (suspect I'll have more time on Ischia, only hope there's SOME transportation AROUND the island), at 7:45, just as it comes in and top fills up quickly and people have to sit below, but it seems there are few (foreign, anyway) tourists. Again I'm left with only 23,000 for a weekend, so I'll probably have to stay in Naples till MONDAY for BANK. Still hoping for Marcello to call so we can do SOMETHING Sunday, but as I "found" Ischia for today, I'll surely find something for tomorrow---if only TRAIN-ride east and back for a day's circle---if not. Newspaper reviews Marlene Dietrich's "Morocco" on TV. I have NO idea of ANY news so far on the trip. Sun STILL hasn't appeared by 8 am, clouds in the north appearing DARK and THICK, but I've had luck SO far in Naples (not in Milan) so let's hope it holds true more days. Only 100 written pages for 26 days, less than 4 per day, maybe less than two TYPED. Well, OK. Pull away at 8:05 by my watch exactly, in right window for coast again. But we coast through harbor, leaving only at 8:15, arriving Ischia (after passing LOTS of rocks and islands, not ONLY Procida) at 8:45 and actually DOCKING at 8:50. VERY gray and clouded sky, clouds over Ischia's peaks. Wait for tourist office to open 9-9:30 and he tells me of BUS around island. Great! No NEED to rent a car. Lots of GERMAN on signs. Onto bus #1 at 9:45, just leaving, and get to Capo Grande at 10:30. Walk down to tiny village and climb around San Angelo rock, but not REALLY into seeing if I can get to the top---clouds still cover mountaintops---so I check schedule and figure I'll leisurely catch the 11:40, surely WILL have time to see part of the Presepe Vivente (Jan 6-10) at Casamicciale at 3:30 for Three Kings and maybe 5 for "birth" in six parts. Looks like jeans to San Carlo again! Back up road to bus---surf, for the sea, is really STRONG, spray reaching up about 20 feet into the restraint wall that better be protected with rocks in front or it won't last long---at 10:25, 20 minutes from bus #2. #1 comes in and the two men chat. Dog barks. Tide booms in undermined sandstone caves---restaurant and garages carved out of soft stone. Few people wander past. Can't identify any TOURISTS at all. I'm hungry. And thankful that today the top of right middle toe is strongly scabbed enough not to wear toilet paper around it. AND that anal suppository antibacterial agent works on athlete's foot, since it hurt two days ago and now feels OK. Back to "normal." Defiant, machismo red-faced kid guns red motor scooter full-gear past drivers, glaring at them. #1 leaves at 11:37. There better BE a #2! Smoke rises from various burnings on hill. In "village" most men play cards, some tend to fishing nets. A few cars buzz past. Odd contrast of SEA-worn HORIZONTAL erosion of sandstone and RAIN-worn VERTICAL pinnacles of erosion. #2 arrives at 11:40; driver eats, conductor smokes and chats. I board, another 500, and sun shines in small bright spots on sea. VERY lazy day! Patches of blue almost gone, clouds really too THICK to just "go away." So no attempt to climb the mountain, either. Leave 11:46. Was DECIDED to RETURN to Capri; can't imagine EVER returning to Ischia, though the THERMAL nature of the waters of the island (eight springs in San Angelo, Vesuvius the hottest at 42 C, 108 F. Off bus 12:30, to walk to Castle. Sun almost bright. Castle IS private, quite a place. Sun actually OUT at 1. Wander back main street, VERY dead; beach, only four people playing tennis; back to street, all VERY closed. Finally, at port, the Papillon Restaurant is positively TEEMING; it must be the ONLY place open. Sit relieved at 1:30, but at 1:45 they have NO soup, only various kinds of spaghetti, so I fall back on mixed salad, their scallopine Papillon, and 40 cl. beer for 1500! BUT the only thing left is to buy my ticket back and get to the living crèche. Eleven tables full in all, and English sounds distasteful, but not as GRATING as GERMAN. Out at 2:30 for 7000, semi-black cruising rather nicely. Buy 2200 (THAT'S why people take it) ticket 5:25-7 to Naples, stopping in Procida, and take 3 pm bus to Casamicciola by 3:10. Wander pier for fish and jellyfish. (Read opera-lobby posters and see that Rudy Bryans is dynamite as Apollo with Terabust in Berlin. Wander halls and find that the top is a CLUB---the first ring is the bar.) (Nice trip back, walk to Harry's for dinner, GREAT Cenerentola, WALK to hotel.) To put things backward (at 12:50 am): a baby running upstairs screaming with laughter as her 5-year-old sister chases and looks back anxiously at 2-3 older women sleeping in chairs in the second floor lobby (though later I read about all the unhappy earthquake people still stuck in hotels and these are probably THEM!) the doorman and deskman sharing a quart of mineral water with two whores from the street; a twelve-year-old accosting me loudly for a light; a car I think followed me 2-3 turns as I frantically left Vecchio Vicario and tried to find hotel; total madness of gangs of boys playing volleyball and shouting at 12:30; a boy somewhere singing and slapping his hands as loud as he can; obviously the busses have stopped; it's a wonder dozens aren't killed in the people and car and traffic crush as San Carlo lets out at JUST midnight. Also: the waiter meticulously 1) salting the dish, 2) adding vinegar and dissolving the salt with a fork, 3) adding the oil and mixing them both VERY thoroughly. MOST expensive meal at Harry's: 1000 cover, 3000 Tagliatelle Harry's, 6000 scallopine funghi, 2000 salad, 7000 wine, 2500 milk-mozzarella = 21,500 + 15% (3000) = 24,500 + 1500 surtip = 26,000 or about $22. Finally to bed at 1:30 am.

SUNDAY, JANUARY 10. Wake at 9:30 to shouts from Indians next door. I'm LEAVING. Shower and get 56,000 for $50 and pay 36,400 for the room---they finally get their sign up and only AS I was leaving did he think of 2400 tax to add to the strange 25,160 per day bill. Pack EVERYTHING in suitcase and get out 11:15, later than I'd hoped. ONLY 11:30 train north is to MILAN. Oh, well, try to board "reserved" car and turned back, lug two cars more and find cabin with seat free only till ROME. Steward comes with table reservations for primo or secondo and I take primo then have to chase him to ask WHEN (12:15) and WHERE (back). Then look at schedule and see this IS the 11:30-13:30 Naples-Rome train, but I have to CHANGE for 13.45 for Verona! Oh! Out of city JUST on time to BIG patches of blue, family of three eating pizza, and lots of fields of grapevines are espaliered on wires on maybe 6-7 levels between trees clipped back to maybe seven meters tall. Makes an interesting and characteristic picture. Smell myself in wet shirt from lugging suitcase. On TRAINS, must travel LIGHTER. Weight is OK only for CAR and TWO bags, one for night, one for permanent trunk. Clouds up more toward noon, but HAZE is gone. Seeing a BLACK pigeon cruising a white one in a field reminded me of pigeon-cotes cut into sandstone cliffs on Ischia, next to very old caves used for storage of wines. Trains could make GREAT time if they didn't slow to walking speed for 5-10 minutes every 20-30 minutes! Kid makes a pain of himself by joking and wanting things when he should just be taking a NAP. So many houses seem half-BUILT (family living below while FINISHING second floor) or falling apart (lower or upper floors ruined, only shades on ONE floor). Lunch (no price listed, but it's 17,600 and 1400 for beer and 1800 for Service for a staggering 19,800 bill!) in the restaurant car with two non-speaking Italian men. Leaves me only 5000 for dinner! Manza is OX and it's LIKE a small pig with no meat. Finish just before arriving late in Rome at 13:40. Off and hustle around looking for 13:45 train and there's ONLY the one I got OFF. Ask someone and he says it IS the train to Florence and Bologna. Well! Get on it in a seat good from ROME (SAME middle position going forward) and find (as schedule DOES say, with code "e,") that I change in BOLOGNA. Write this sitting in station at 1:55. Woman goes to restaurant at 2 and I enjoy her window seat till 3:15. Then ride into darkness, reading, and into Bologna at 6:15. Hustle suitcase out and downstairs and up to track 6 and first onto Verona train, which leaves at 6:59. Finish "Transparent Things" at 7:45, SHOULD be arriving! Florence was VERY damp and foggy at 5, so no real temptation to stay. Bologna was very COLD, and at least now I can see it's quite CLEAR out. My silent young friend in the car gets up to leave here too. Stopping just on time. Station seems in the middle of NOWHERE. Bus? Taxi? Where TO? Wander to center of station and see sign for Hotel Rossi, a LONG 200m. GREAT room, but it's 30,000! Down to station to price two toasts and beer for 3100, but casse says "Take a table" and I get the same thing for 4500! Good it wasn't more than the 5400 I HAD. Filling enough. Back to room and get to bed about 11.

MONDAY JANUARY 11. Wake at 6:30 and up at 7:20 to shower and it's SNOWING out. Pack in small bag and get passport at 8:45 and get 115,500 for $100 at STATION, so decide to leave at 10:12 to Brenner, when 15-20 minutes at ALL the schedules is just DIZZYING, some places taking 3-4 trains just to GET to. At hotel, guy says, "It NEVER snows in Verona, yesterday was cold, tomorrow cold be much BETTER," so I'm glad to be leaving, get small bag and have a BURST of delight on way back to station. Surely a revelation here: impatient and sore lugging around my PAST (books and slides and souvenirs), but I leave it (for later though!) with a MUCH lighter heart, step, and back. Get good hot chocolate and bun for 1100 and get SOME help with a WINTER schedule for Verona, but it does NOT give, for example, the 13:15 local from Bolzen to Brenner. Seems it'll be MUCH more "where is the next train going?" sort of trip, which CAN be fun since I have LIGHT bag and MONEY. Sit in unheated (except by bodies and cigarette smoke) kiosk waiting for Brenner 10:12 train to arrive---and it's 10:02 NOW. Does come at 10:06, half of one car first class, each with 1-2 people. I join dark car with reader. I think I sit forward, train reverses. How does one know? Leave at 10:20, snowy and cloudy, but snow's like powdered sugar over everything. Watch hills grow and grow, and get into Bolzano at 12:15. Check that local DOES leave at 13:15, leave and take quick tour: altar in Duomo is lit for photographer but church is VERY plain, even one-story carved pulpit. Around corner to Dominican church, but frescos are VERY fragmentary. To Via Portici and market is VERY picturesque, but it's all more AUSTRIAN or GERMAN than Italian. Finish Bolzen (but there's LOTS of CULTURE (in Kultur Haus Walther von der Vogelweide): opera recital at 8:30 tonight, Goethe on Thursday, others) at 12:55 and get two salamis and a big beer for 170 + 1400 and drink beer fast and eat salami waiting for train that leaves 13:20. Crowded few first-class cars, I get backward seat hogged by guy ACROSS who SLEEPS. At 2 in Bressanone I make a mistake and leave HIM for a front-riding seat in a SMOKING car and get joined RIGHT away with four smoking card players who use fifth seat for card table. Damn! But vistas are lovely and clouds stay BEYOND hilltops. Must be employees because conductor doesn't even CHECK their tickets. Lots of tour busses on road: seems high NEW road for trucks and older-lower road for cars? VERY Germanic sights outside. Many FROZEN waterfalls and edge-frozen rivers. Dramatic. But at Fortezza at 2:20 EVERYONE leaves and I get solo front-facing seat in NO-smoking car. FAST without SUITCASE! Finish salami with card players. FEW tunnels so far. Lots of cute military (FEATHERS in caps!) get off at Fortezza. ONLY, sadly, THIS window's dirtier! At Vipiteno, at 2:45, there's a glimpse of sun-white peaks WAY to north! ALL signs in German since BEFORE Bolzen. SUN on HIGH alps at 2:55. Off in Brenner at 3:10 and find that the ONLY connection to Merano is through Bolzen! Train leaves 3:30, back same way, and finally I find that there's a 17:16 train to Brunico from Fortezza, so I can go THERE, stay overnight, and continue to the END and double back to Merano TOMORROW (I hope). Let's hope I can get a BETTER MAP, too! Off at Fortezza at 4:20, have a beer, watch people, look at electronic game playing with itself, depressed on how FAST it gets DARK, quite dark by 17:18 when the train gets in and I find that "Autowagon" is NOT a train of flatcars for automobiles, like the one that passed as I READ about "Autowagen" for all my trips, but a self-propelled car, THIS one three cars long. Watch sweep of snow mottled by skiers and walkers and get into Brunico at 6:02, and it's quite dark. Ask a woman about hotels and she says "Chiuso." Oh. Walk toward lights and find Hotel Poste, MY double for 47,000 given at "Mindestpreis" of 22,000, a REAL bargain for entry, bath, eating area, and two lovely quilted beds and one cot. Out to river, but promenade dark and slippery, and walk to castle STEEP and slippery. But rest of town is bustling and charming, again more GERMAN than Italy, so I stop in busiest pizzeria after walking ALL around town and finding it's rather PLUSH and expensive---obviously everyone arrives by CAR, not the dinky train. Have kassler rippen and sauerkraut and dried potatoes and a large and a small beer for 7800, quite a gastronomical change. Take noon pills and wander some more, but crowd is young and shouting and German, so I get back to room at 8 to experiment with triple mirrors a LOT (chair, table, luggage stand, floor, bed, table), before coming, and get to sleep about 9---OH, also took a nice hot BATH with Jolly fluid, bubbly.

TUESDAY, JANUARY 12. Wake at 1, 3, and 5, odd dream about someone needing TWO pieces of paper and can find only ONE, and I THINK I know where second one is, but I'm not sure. Up at 6:15 and wash and brush teeth and pack and down at 6:45 to pay a German busboy my 22,000, which he receipts in a very proper way. Walk dark slippery way to station at 6:55, get some new schedule information from the helpful map of Italian rails, and sit and write, inside and out, until bell rings and guy announces 7:20 train at 7:19. Horizons JUST beginning to come to a bluish light over black tops, with visible white swatches of snow. EARLIER than 7:15 (and later than 5:15) there's just NOTHING to see but LIGHTS. About twenty people on platform as train draws in at 7:22. Monguelfo/Welsburg typical of Italian/German stations. These are not THE greatest mountains, but ANY landscape in snow is dramatic at first light: night lights still ON for contrast against the gray-pink houses, black pines, and white snows and ices. To San Candido just at 8:10 and there are a FEW Dolomite spires poking through (actually UNDER) clouds being drawn east toward the sun. For a while it looks like the sun might APPEAR, but the far hills remain somber and the peaks remain unpink, so the valley has little chance of direct rays. Have coffee and roll for 1200, then out to look at scene, and skier goes by on far left, where chairlift takes up a body about every four cars. Action! So Cortina (to south where Dolomites were) must be nice and trains DON'T go there! Board train at 8:45, feet quite cold, and shoes not very good on hard ice, slid a few teetery times, but hope not to fall. Give aching neck-shoulder-back muscle some energies and get FURIOUS response from its ego. Think again of my propensity for going to the EDGES---"Edge City" seemed so attractive. Pull out at 8:53 to the clatter of ski poles as 4-5 ITALIAN skiers board and SHOUT. Actually, I like QUIET Germans better than LOUD Italians! Great glimpse of Italian army on maneuvers: ten men, ten feathered caps, eight rifles, and four mules! A distant ice rink and close IGLOOS show SOME interest other than skiing. So many huge WOODPILES and so many LUMBER yards---how do the forests survive at ALL? From factory smoke and morning hazes, countryside is actually LESS clear at 9:15 than at 7:45. Lots of unshoveled and SHOVELED ice ponds for skating, too. Everyone seems so HEALTHY and strong, making a cripple waving to the train (30ish man) seem even more PATHETIC. VERY few of the trees way up here show the red or yellow new-twig color. All cut wood and machinery yellow, road and river and tree black, and snow white (and seven dwarfs). At Brennero we actually RODE NORTH of (unphotogenic) customs booths and border stations of Switzerland. At San Candido there was a train IN from Austria: police checking passports at the single open door at the FRONT of the train that was mostly OUT of the station to the Austrian-east. VERY many trips in one, and I again congratulate myself on how I seem to be TEMPERING seeing "just new" with half of "re-seeing favorites," as transition to old age where it'll be ALL "re-seeing." Into Brunico on time at 9:32, some clouds VAGUELY pinkish, the little private castle neat on its small hill, taller than the church spires. Strikes me that I've seen no GLACIERS here so far; makes for FAR more drama. Into Fortezza at 10:10, walking to bridge across river and enjoying feeling of SUN, talking to Australian who slept through his train-change for Venice and ended in Tolback! He thought I might be Canadian. "Good" hills around Fortezza have now become "mediocre" and I sit in cabin at 10:37 waiting for 10:37 train that comes in at 10:38. MAYBE the sky's clearing? So far three of six trains today OK. Incredibly, my eyes won't adjust to the SUN, first time in ages, that shines brightly from 10:40, on. But there's an awful pink HAZE in the air that makes almost ANY photos seem SILLY. Is this only in wood-burning WINTER or all industrial year round? Stupe opposite goes out, leaves door open, and opens aisle window, then looks at me when I shut cabin door to keep in what little heat there is. Southern Italian? Can't recall WHAT I did with sunglasses and chapstick (later find them both in black shoulder bag). Chapdick? Into Bolzano about 11:35, and since I've SEEN it already, I go to restaurant to eat (after checking where the hell track 1A is, way at the end of the platform) and there's nothing hot, only two salami panini like before, and beer, for which suddenly she wants more than 4000. Finally she figures she's charged me for THREE salamis. So it's 3200. Eat amid a repertory of Italian character gesticulations and shoutings. Into train at 12:13 after my third or fourth piss of the day. Schedule EVEN says this connects with Merano Malls at 13:35! GREAT if you really READ them. Sun still shining merrily as car begins to fill toward half full! Feel FULL but not really FED. Added an awful strudel for 600. Recall that Pepsi-Cola plant façade north of Bolzano was artfully triangularly angles and mirrored: from front and from TOP. Somehow I suspect they don't speak ITALIAN so far into GERMANY. Was this formerly a PART of Germany ceded to Italy after some war, as the Ruhr and Saar was to France? Leave at 12:28. Mountains larger, and some spectacularly sited houses on tops. But Merano is SUNK in a deep pink haze, with mountains rising all around in white, particularly FAR to north. In at 1:10 and would like to take pictures, but everyone's piling onto Malles train, so I get on for good seat, THEN go out for photos, and take great (though somewhat hazy) shot from station garden. I'm sure the German women I asked to watch my bag (and place) thought I went to the john. Back QUICKLY, just to be SURE! TWO little cars this time, just like from San Candida. Neither Malles nor Nalles in dictionary. Since this is day 29 of trip, I AM over 4 pages/day now (on page 118). Nothing like long station stops to pad the page. GREAT ride and GREAT pictures. St. Martin has a funivia I wish I could stop for. All Bolzen license plates have BZ; I feel at home. Usually 4-5 C in end-spots. Into Malles at 3:18; I'm beginning to get a bit ROAD-sick! Today is a "long" day, but only 7:17-17:16, or 10 hours minus a little over THREE hours in stops, so really only SEVEN hours, though much more than THAT is in jostling train "getting ready to leave." Malles is not much, but the WALLED TOWN below it looks like a kick. In some parts of the valley---MANY parts---the sun has ALREADY set at 3:15, and I'm not JUST speaking of north-facing slopes, either. Clouds much thicker in west, but then we may just be lots higher. Much of day around 1000 meters high. Merano is a BIG town, so if lots of funiculars are running, I may be there till NOON. Maybe tomorrow night in Belluno. Have to remember to get train schedule for Trent, Castelfranco, and Belluno at station tonight. All the steam I wiped so MUCH off the windows goes QUICKLY when one window is just LEFT OPEN for the time of the stop. "Finish" numbering pages through 150, just over 4/day. South mountaintops still JUST sunlit as we leave, late as usual, at 15:45. Pass Schluderns Glurns/Sluderno Gloreza (G/I)---WHAT? Drop camera taking #20. Floor VAGUELY rubberized, hope all is OK. Huge blocks of MARBLE at Lass/Laas. With some juggling I manage to keep TWO window going-front seats, which means I hog EIGHT! Laces/Latsch?? Always a LONG stop, many times waiting for a train to PASS. Old men wearing blue aprons. Close-up "ice hulk" was obviously a poor TREE watered by a HOSE and frozen, maybe hose running overnight, from size of icicles. Sun ALL gone WAY before 4:30. Sky PINK in west, on clouds, till 4:55. Drink Steinhager---Doornkat later, only alcohol? Into station at 5:15 and it's dark. Get schedule into Belluno at 18:32, late. Pass Grand Hotel EMMA (closed) past the hockey game. Croso Liberta is all closed ALSO, GREAT old hotels and homes. Down Corse and try Via Portici for hotels. Lots of SIGNS but when I enter TWO of them they're closed! Rathaushotel black. Hm. To Cathedral and wander dark passage on Via Leonardo da Vinci (looking very much like da Vino on sign). Then make a BIGGER circle but they're ALL closed. Lots of PEOPLE but no place to STAY! WAY out to Desiree and Bel Site, but THEY'RE closed. Ask, and woman says "Center." Try albergo on Corse and he says a LOT are open, even Europa at the corner. TO corner and it IS open, even though for 27,500. I say it's expensive, she says that's it. Up to room 8 and it's nice (HIGH soap dish, not low one that FILLS, like Brunico; shower CURTAINS so I don't wet everything and make it perilously wet and slippery, like Brunico). Out and look for restaurant and for 10,500 have GOOD liver (at LAST) and herbed potatoes, nice as I mash in good salty gravy, and half-liter of local Auslese red, good and NOT dry, and Doornkat for drink. Wander more streets but it's COLD, so bed at 9:15.