by Lorenzo Piccoli

1. In the night I always park my Vespa in front of the house where I live next to a few other scooters. After two years of habit I have slowly become acquainted with most of these vehicles. There is a big powerful motorbike courtesy of a famous Japanese company; another Vespa that is almost the same as mine, just older and darker; a functional scooter with the sticker of purple lily on it, the symbol of Florence; and a old scrumble with another, less gentle sticker on it: ‘Ossarotte Firenze‘. I sometimes fantasize about their owners: exuberant architects, discreet latin lovers, leggy blondes, pimpled teenagers. The other day I was parking my Vespa at sunset, slightly earlier than I usually do. It was then that an old guy with long white hair and a kind smile made his way driving on the wrong side of the street on a very loud scooter. He parked it next to mine and as I politely smiled back at him I barely managed to hide my surprise in recognizing the ‘Ossarotte Firenze‘ sticker on his vehicle.

2. I was walking around Palazzo Pitti when I heard the music. It came from a small boutique that seemed to be completely oblivious of the outside world. There was a elderly couple inside, presumably the owners of the place: they were dancing a walzer. I was tempted to stay and pretend I was looking at the merchandise outside while discretely glancing at them. But I did not. That passing imagine of the elderly couple dancing is still stuck in my mind.

3. They were a group of scholars who came at the Institute for a conference. I was asked to show them around, but I could not tell them much about the history of the place. It was, therefore, very fortunate to find Peter, the old librarian, sitting in the cloister. He kindly volunteered to explain a bit of history of the buildings. And so he went on with marvelous stories on the connections between the place and the Medici family, Leonardo da Vinci, Boccaccio… The guests were amazed. You could tell from the gaze in their eyes they could truly appreciate the magic of the place where they were. As we slowly walked away I stopped behind the group to thank Peter. He blinked at me and whispered ‘I just made everything up, man‘.