So here I am in Nuoro,
this untidy mess of a town
which is nonetheless endearing.
"Il comune non fa niente!"*
is what I keep on hearing.
Sun scorched scruffy weeds
and dirt and litter adorn
the uneven pavement
while some have sought
to see to feline needs
with a plate or two of fish-heads
left out for the strays;
the buildings blighted by graffiti,
beautiful and ugly in equal measure
and cars parked curiously
at strange angles from the kerb.
And then the gems, the treasure:
the stunning vista of the mountains
from Via Aspromonte
and the valley between Mt Ortobene
and the edge of town;
how Via Corso Garibaldi
comes to life on summer evenings,
the bars packed and thriving,
the Nuorese of every generation
walking up and down
with youth, beautiful and tanned,
showing its propensity
for elegance and style;
the museums displaying
the cultural heritage of a town
that gave us Nobel Prize winning writer
Grazia Deledda and poet Sebastiano Satta
and artists and sculptors
whose charming works beguile.
Nuoro is like a woman
whose potential beauty sometimes delights,
occasionally astounds and also frustrates
wrapped up in the frumpy clothing
of habit and convenience
that draw attention to
the lines upon her face
but seldom have I known
people of such warmth and generosity
inhabit any other place.
Geoff Davis © 2010
* The council do nothing!
View from Via Aspromonte