“D’you need a guide?” asks the bushy-haired middle-aged woman hanging about at the entrance to the museum. We nod and she disappears into the office. I hear a mumbled conversation, then an excited shriek: “There’s PEOPLE!” I look at Davide and start to giggle.
We’re in Caltagirone, for no better reason than the fact that he hasn’t been since he was a child, and I’ve never been. On a grey Sunday afternoon there isn’t much going on, which is why we’ve ended up in the civic museum. Trailing after our guide, we discover that it’s about as interesting as most small civic museums are. Our guide isn’t helping much. “This is a room of eighteenth century paintings.” Having made the announcement, she stands mute in the doorway, her large hooked nose twitching as she sniffs in the cold. Davide ventures a question about one of the featured artists. “Who was he?” Her jowled cheeks wobble under her liberally-applied blusher as she replies. “An artist from Caltagirone.” Davide waits for more, but it isn’t forthcoming. He and I glance at each other and I start to get the giggles again. I duck my head and scribble in my notebook.
Our guide, having decided we’ve seen enough of this room, marches ahead of us, arms wrapped tight around her body and hands tucked in under her armpits. Whether it’s a defensive pose or just for warmth I can’t work out. Either seems strange: she’s wearing a heavy parka with a fake-fur-edged hood, thick black jeans with leather flashing down the seams, and padded, zip-up boots that wouldn’t look out of place on the set of a 60s sci-fi movie, so it seems unlikely that she’s cold. On the other hand, someone who dresses like that and works as a tour guide, however inept, doesn’t seem the kind of person to have issues with insecurity. The jury remains out.
Just a short post today, for three reasons: (1) I have the day off work because it’s the last day of the Festa di Sant’Agata, which means that I can take advantage of the fact that (2) the ski slopes have finally reopened, and (3) It’s World Nutella Day! Triple woo! Don’t forget to check out my special WND recipe for almond cake with Nutella buttercream icing and toasted hazelnuts on my Quasi Siciliana blog, as well as the many others on the official website.