Wednesday, May 24, 2006


Joanna and I flew into Sevilla, Seville, Seviglia, whatever and when we got to the airport, the bus never came. Fifty people on the curb for an hour for a bus that never arrived. There was talk of a strike, so we caught a cab. When we tried to get downtown to the bus station, we couldn't make it because the road was blocked off. Just then we heard explosions in the distance. Then some people running with banners reading "COCO" and some distant chanting. Protest! Riots surely to follow, we decided buses weren't going to make it out of the protest gridlock, so we got on a train for Grenada. I'm with you protesters, I hope you get that Coco, but I got shit to do. Sorry Sevilla, maybe next time.

Grenada is a cool little city with a Morrocan Arabic flavor to it. It's like visiting the middle east, without actually having to go there. We visited the Alhambra, a 13th century Moorish palace that the conquering Christians had the foresight not to destroy, just expand. After the heavy deluge of Jesus inspired architcture, it was nice to look at something so different.

However, our exploration into Islamic design has come a disasterous price. The good Lord, blessed be his name, has struck Joanna with a terrible blight. In punishment for so thoroughly enjoying Muslim patterns and designs, the Lord has given Joanna the dreaded MOSQUITO STIGMATA!

It began with a bite on the hand, and then another on the palm of her other hand. Then mysteriously at night, two mosquito bites on the tops of her feet appeared. Just like the wounds of Jesus Christ, only itchier.

She is only one wound away from full Stigmata. The Vatican is monitoring the situation carefully, the Pope has been notified, and all of Chistendom is praying for her salvation. I have spoke to the Pope and offered my services.

"I sir, will give her the fifth wound," I declared.

The Pope responded with a puzzled silence.

Switching subjects entirely: Grenada is hella cool, but the place is packed with white people with dreadlocks. I can't stand that, it's like Burning Man TM out here.

Why do they do it, they look so bad on white people?¿?¿?¿ (LOok out spaÑish keys?Ç¿?) Honestly, they are more annoying then a bus full of old Germans tourists, mainly because old Germans don't hang out getting high on the corner, letting their manegy dogs crap in the middle of the sidewalk.

These people (I've had a few friends, my apologies to Kari, Tabasco, Firebone, etc.) say they're doing it to make a statement, to stand out and be proud of being an anti-social outcast, when really they just want to hang out with other people like themselves. Having dreadlocks is like a beacon to these new age hippies, (Soilies, I have heard them called but I like to call them soap-dodgers) think about it, it's much easier than taking out a personal ad.

Single White male, seeks single white female for companionship and drug use. I am into bad hygiene, awkward piercings, and fire. You- should wear baggy dirty clothes, enjoy smelling like sweat and incense, feel animosity towards capitalism, and have a vague sense of eastern mysticism. Please contact me if you would like to walk around with my dog and hang out on the corner with my other friends. P.S. I have tattos on my face.

OK that's all the blogging I can handle tonight. Next time TAPAS TOUR 2006 (tapas not included)

Monday, May 22, 2006

I got a bunch of stuff to do before I turn 30!

I should have listened to my friend Erika, she said *Go to Lake Como, it is frickin beautiful* and yesterday I finally did. It was the apotheosis of lakes, this photo barely does it justice, since you can-t see the snow topped mountains and beautiful villas that actually enhance the scenery. We hiked up and around that giant rock and I got to see my first waterfall of Europe! Hooray!

Damn I am gonna be 30 on June 5 in 2 weeks. I gotta get to Spain, like tomorrow.

I am flying to Seville, travelling to Grenada, exploring from the mountains and beaches. Then we head to Barcelona, and fly back to Milan, all before I turn 30! If you have good Spain advice, leave it the comments. Then we will have a little party on the 5th, since I nearly have 6 or so friends in Milan now, and the next day we will go to Venice!

If anyone actually calls me on my birthday, I will get you an amazing present in Italy, anything you like. It is 9 hours ahead. We will be up late. 0039 347 2401259.

Franco asked me if I want to go into business with him. I could set up a market for Fantini-Cosmi (That is the Thermostat company that they run) find them some clients, research the area, hey no problemo, right. I love the idea, and I love the life style even more, but I don-t know anything about business.

Actually as far as the soul?searching ^who loves the crazy puncuation% I am thinking about . . . Returning to theatre!!! Boring.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Quiet, clean, and orderly Rome

What!? Huh? Get the fuck out! You're joking. Sto Scherzando. Nilla please. Rome quiet? I've never heard anyone describe Rome as clean? And orderly, I thought Rome had the worst traffic in the world? WTF?!

It's true people. After travelling first to Naples, and then to Palermo, Rome seems tame. The scooters and motorbikes and cars in Naples were non stop, you could hardly cross the street, or walk down one without getting run down. Palermo had trash all over the place. When the wind blew in Palermo you had to sheild your eyes or else be blinding by flying debris. Naples and Palermo had honking scooter assholes driving down the middle of busy markets packed with slimy people. (Did I mention that my family came from Sicily and Palermo, says a lot) The streets were wet with fish juice.

Then I took an overnight train to Rome. Ah Roma . . . Even though there is no bridge from Sicily to the mainland, there is a train, and there is no tunnel. You take a TRAIN-BOAT. I had hoped to tell people more about this amazing TRAIN-BOAT on this blog, but in truth it still remains a mystery. Their are no pictures of this alledged train boat on Google, and I couldn't see a damn thing in the dark from my sleeper car. This is truelly amazing because once you've taken any kind of boat or ferry in Europe, you will see that they are kinda haphazard about docking. They just pull up to a port, back it up a bit and let down the hatch. Their are no rigorous docking procedures, or carefully placed barriers to ease you into the perfect position for docking. In Europe, its more like a van pulling up to the curb to drop of a stack of papers. So, how the hell do they line up a boat with the tracks of a train?! I had hoped to know. It is like a puzzle wrapped in a enigma tortilla, deep fried in olive oil, stuffed with ricotta, and baked in a duct-taped sealed pan. And how do they have a ferry long enough to hold a 12 compartment long train? I heard the clanging, banging, and grind of great macinations at work; I felt the sea as our train swayed back and forth. Still, I didn't see a thing, and I don't know how they did it. It's like a puzzle, stuffed in a tortellini, swimming in tomato enigma . . . Their is only one reasonable explanation: The Germans built it.

Rome was fantastic. I spent four days their, and I would need at least 4 more monthes to see everything. I saw the Sistine Chapel, the Vatican, The Forum, the Colesseum, dozens of huge obelisks, scores of beautiful piazzas, some the greatest fountains ever constructed, 3,600 different depictions of Jesus Christ, but my favorite was Raphael's School of Athens. I didn't know I was going to encounter it in the Vatican Museum and I had always thought it was a painting. The School of Athens is a two story Fresco that is tremendous to behold. I had studied that painting in school and I love how Raphael used his famous Renaissance artist friends to pose as the great philosophers of ancient Greece.

(Movie announcer voice) This summer, from the people who brought you CHRIST!, the Vatican presents SCHOOL OF ATHENS! Starring, Leonardo Da Vinci as Socrates, Donatello (?) as Plato, Raphael as Aristotle, and Michalangelo as some brooding gay guy on the steps.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

I am not trying to get myself killed!

I'm simply drawn to danger.

What is it about Palermo that makes me want to smash someone's face in? My rage is building and I need to find an appropriate outlet before I take out some rude honking scooter punk with my umbrella and end up in jail. Oh Palermo, I'll get to you yet!

The past week and a half since Napoli I have been trying to get myself killed. Joanna and I set sail for the Aolian Islands after wandering the streets of Naples with a full back pack and a map out in the middle of the night, walking down dark alleys, just like the books said not to do. I got to see the great Vesuvius, and I wondered why no one learned their lesson from Pompeii, when that sucker goes off again, Naples will be fucked!

The Aolian Islands is a chain of freakishly beautiful volcanos that lie just north of mailand Sicily. Joanna and i spent the first week camping on the isle of Salina. They used to make salt, now they make sweet wine that is just a bit too strong. Even though this is a typically very quiet little place (except July and august) we were there during the "Festiva della Birra" (Festival of Beer!) In Naples I had purchased a bottle of Absinthe (it had a gorgeous art nuevou label) because I wanted to try it since it is illegal back home. Damn! It tastes like a strong spicy Jaggermiester, and hits you pretty quick. Joanna and I had a few sips and we started trippin immediately, everything around us took on an eerie and particularly facinating presence. Maybe we were just psyching ourselves out or it was a particularily creepy night, but we headed back to the festival with more than Birra. To our delight it was KARAOKE night! Joanna immediately took to the mike and wowwed the crowd, they actually applauded her between verses. The girl can sing yo! She has mastered the Flashdance theme on Swidler's playstation game. I unfortuately went back to the Absinthe and hit it hard. Memory fails me at this point, but we were not lynched by the hundreds mobbed in the tiny square. Somehow I convinced Joanna that together we should sing the theme to FAME. Needless to say Fame was Lame. My absinsthe induced opening sank the ship before Joanna could take the helm, and at that point the crowd had turned, and the good will that she had accumilated in her first song was gone. I don't even remember how it ended, we just needed to get out of there quickly.

Salina was a particularly lush island with two volcanos and some great cliffy coastline (its featured in Il Postino, but I can hardly remember that film. We spent one afternoon on a beach below a spectacularly steep cliff with a little island in front of it. Another acient crater that reminded me of the pics I've seen of the hawaiian coast. It was rocky, but hey what do you expect, then we realized that the rocks we actually falling on us. Just little pebbles at first, no big deal. Then one hit my shoulder. Then my leg. Then a large boulder crashed a couple meters behing us. We'll be OK, what are the odds. "Ouhh" Joanna cried as a medium size boulder bounced off her boob. WHY ARE WE THE ONLY ONES ON THIS BEACH? We quickly scurried away, I don't remember any landslides in il Postino.

Before leaving Salina, we climbed the taller of the two to get some great views of the whole Goomba archipaeglio. We could see Stromboli smoldering off the distance, beckoning us (you love magma!) I suggested we head down the other side of the mountain so I could go to a cash machine. We kept trying to take shortcuts that nearly ended our lives on numerous occasions. Cliffs look scalable from a distance, but the footing was pebbly, my mom would have freaked, we nearly ended up in a ravine.

Then to Stromboli! We took a guided hike to the top. Easily the toughest hike I've ever done, the wind nearly blew us off the top of the mountain, we had to rent boots and helmets and flashlights for the dark walk home. Our tour guide had awesome english. "Witha no-a Sciarra" (Sciarra is the place where the lave flows down to the water) "Da persone of dee-a village-a woulda be-a die"

We actually climbed above the crater where the explosions were taking place. I thought we would have to watch it from a great distance, but no, lets get in for a closer look on the side of this windswept little ledge. At this point, if I were to die, i wouldn't want people to feel sorry for me, just shake your head and say. What a moron. I asked for it, like people who like in Florida each year with their hurricanes, or the people of coastal Bangladesh with their monsoon flooding, or the people of Pompeii, they should know better.

The lava really was amazing. So many explosions, and magma shooting high into the air, its red spew smoldering on the black mountainside. It was without a doubt- the coolest thing I've ever seen. Joanna and I hiked halfway up the Sciarra the next night to watch the evening pyrotecnics and it was even better. The clouds lit red with lava bursts. it looked like Mordor for you dorks out there, I'm not kiddin.

Then we sailed to Vulcano. It stank! Sulfur mud pools are the big attraction here. I went in it and it was nasty, my clothes still reek. Then Joanna and I climbed up to the big crater. it was one smelly bitch. Toxic sulpheric fumes pluming right out of our pathway, my throat still feels weird, but it was something to behold. If you enjoy beholding yellowcaked green stanky sulpher spewing craters.

Finally we sailed and trained to Palermo, with a quick stop in the picturesque Cefalu. Oh Palermo! Damn you for bringing me here. My name sake SIANO is from
Palermo, and let me tell you one thing, I know why my great grandfather got the hell out of Palermo. This city makes Naples look romantic. I should have gone to the eastern Ionian coast of sicily with Syracuse and Taormina and Mt Etna and amazing ancient Greek amphitheathers on cliffs above the Mediterrean.

But no, I need to know where my family came from. WHATEVER! This place is a hellhole with some nice Cathedrals and good night life. Last night I watched the cops chase some guys in suits, run right in front of me. Tires screeching, people yellin, it was cool, but damn, Mafioso stereotypes may never die here.

Anyways that's it for now, I gotta go pay too much for dinner and get nearly run down by a dozen scooters. Oh and the hostel here charges 30 Euro a night for a dorm bed, what the fuck! I pee on your "youth hostel" with great force and I hope the powers of erosion find you quickly, I'm going to stay at the dirty loud Hotel regina, cause I like springs in my back! Oh Sianos, rejoice that Palermo is no longer your home.

Stomboli- sweet Magma honey