Not long ago there was a story in the news about a woman in Oklahoma named Shireen Nalley who allegedly attempted to kill a young woman, Sammay Blackwell, because she looked like Casey Anthony. It was irrational behavior. I would come to find there are irrational types in Italy, too.
By chance, a fellow customer at the knife store had spotted Keith, who, in this young man’s mind, bore a striking resemblance to Lorenzo de Medici. As history tells us, Lorenzo took the reins from his father in 1469, when he was barely twenty years old. A patron of art (even commissioning Botticelli’s masterpiece, The Birth of Venus), science, and philosophy, Lorenzo created an academy to support those interests, in addition to his duties as head of his family’s immense banking operation. Unfortunately, a rival banking family, da Pazzi, was jealous of the de Medici power and influence. How to solve the problem? On Easter Sunday 1478, Francesco da Pazzi was the lead conspirator of an assassination plot against Lorenzo and Giuliani de Medici. Although his brother died, Lorenzo escaped to become the statesman known as “Lorenzo the Magnificent”.
Having tailed us to Il Poggio, the young man (whose name, by no coincidence, the police later discovered to be Frank Pazzi) kept tabs on us until we were in the Palace. Ironically, he held us at bay with a knife almost identical to the ones we had purchased for presents. But the tables turned. As the perpetrator of our kidnapping is in custody, I am not at
liberty to discuss the details of our escape. But I will say that Carson has a lifetime
of gourmet treats coming to him, and wears a shining medal on his harness.
Relieved to finally arrive in Pisa, we found a place for a bite of pizza and bottle of beer before moving on to the Leaning Tower. Carson was still in protection mode; I had to tell him to stand down.
Our relief was not long-lived. We expected it to be hot and the tourist attraction to be crowded, but did not anticipate the tawdry carnival atmosphere. Even the parking lot many blocks away was replete with vendors hawking their wares, and I don’t mean plastic mini-Pisas. It was exactly like being on some streets of New York. Maybe worse.
Keith started the engine and we escaped to the open road. We wouldn’t be stopping any
(Pizzeria al Solito Posto, Via Piave 28, Pisa, Italy)