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September 13, 2013     Post-Gazette
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September 13, 2013

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Page 6 POST-GAZETTE, SEPTEMBER 13, 2013 Boston Revisited by Bennett Molinari Friends of ours, whom had not been in Boston for de- cades, visited us over this past weekend. Bob and Tina have been living in upper state New York for well over thirty years, we have been in touch by phone and e-marl and have often met up with them in New York City, but now they were coming to Bos- ton for a four day visit and were anxious to see how the City has changed over the years. On Wednesday, we drove to Logan Airport to pick up our friends then gave them a short tour of Boston needless to say they were amazed over the changes that have taken place in the city in the thirty years, since they were last here. We then dropped them off at their hotel and agreed to meet in the lobby in two hours for lunch then we would be off on the grand tour of the city they once called home. Bob and Tina both expressed a keen interest in seeing the new American wing of the Museum of Fine Arts, predictably they loved everything about the wing and when we had dinner in The American Cafe they were completely captivated by the Chihuly Glass Sculp- and Richard Molinari ture that beautifully graces the restaurant. On Thursday we walked The Rose Kennedy Green- way, then took a ride on the new carousel, admired the plantings along the path- ways and marveled at the fact that so much beauty has replaced the blighted area that once existed under the overhead expressway that mercifully is now gone. We had lunch in Chinatown then returned to the North End by way of the Harbor Walk, visited the burgeoning Seaport Area and the sights along the way ending up in Charlestown where we had an early dinner. The follow- ing days were a blur of activity, a visit to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum to see the new wing and visit the old palace filled with wonderful art ob- jects, late lunch in Harvard Square, then a walk around the MIT Campus to visit a personal favorite, the MIT Chapel by Eero Saarinen and the new incredible Stata Center. We promised our friends a visit to Cape Cod which we did on Saturday with a quick detour to the Plymouth Art Society to drop off a recent painting by Ben for the up- coming Juried Art Exhibit which we are happy to say he was chosen to be in then a slow ride down Route 6 ending up in Chatham where we had a very late lunch of fried clams and lob- ster rolls on the beach. Bob then confided that he had been, desiring, a good clam roll for weeks ever since they decided to come to Bos- ton, he was not disappointed. Sunday arrived much too soon we drove our friends to Logan for their return flight to Buffalo and prom- ised to get together in New York City before Christmas. If their visit to Boston was a revelation to them, it was also to us, for we saw the City through their eyes and came to fully appreciate more of the wonderful city of Boston we call home. 00/,,00_PINELLIS UNCTION FACILITY" Specializing in the art of celebration Wedding, Anniversary, Quinceaera, Reunion, Birtluiay, Social and Corporate Events. Convenient location and valet parking makes Spinelli's East Boston the perfect location. We are dedicated to the highest level of service and professionalism to ensure the success of your special occasion. 280 Bennington Street, East Boston, MA Please Call 617-567-4499 DRESSING ITALIAN "La Bella Figura" On a past trip to Italy my wife, Jean, commented on how well dressed the women were. We noticed how easily you could tell the visitors from the locals by the way they were dressed. Not many locals were wear- ing sneakers and jeans. In Italy all the women seem to take pride in their dress- ing and are up on the lat- est styles and fashion. It has been a long, one might say, tradition or just a way of Italian life that Italian women, young and old have continually favored dressing smartly. The term that is used to identify stylish dressing is called the "Bella Figura" or possessing of a beautiful figure or style. Beppe Severgnini in his book, "La Bella Figura -- a field guide to the Italian mind," outlines pretty much how this comes about in Ital- ian culture. During our travels our first stop was in Florence. Here in this beautiful Tuscan city one can see how fash- ion has permeated the cul- ture. Women can be seen in fine dresses and coats with fur collars and scarves about their necks. Many in great looking leather coats and jackets, Shoes of many vari- ations and styles grace their feet and the ease in which they can walk around the cobbled streets leaves one to wonder how they manage to stay erect and not twist an ankle. As enchanting as Florence is the women of Florence are more enchant- ing. Of course the shops of Gucci, Armani, Dolce and Gabbana, and others provide a large choice of quality merchandise for them to make their selections. Men seem to have fallen in right behind women as far as fashion goes. They can be seen wearing a fine cut of slacks with an open striped white or colored shirt which may be covered with a cash- mere sweater over the shoulders and tied at the chest with a single knot. Some men have a suit jacket over their shoulders, not buttoned and their arms by James DiPrima The Duomo, Florence, Italy not in the sleeves, a very casual look not unlike an Armani model one can see in magazines. In the smaller towns of Tuscany the women, young and older, do not take a back seat to their city sisters. As we ventured around the town of Chiansano, a town in Umbria, south of Florence, and known for its mineral baths and water, we became well aware of the women in the town dressed in some fine looking attire. We did wonder how they were able to maintain their Bella Figura after we sampled a "Chiansano Torta" with an almond flavoring that was so delicious. Unfortunately these two Italians from the states were not watching their Bella Figura. Our trlp also took us north to the Republic of San Marino and then on to Verona. We came into this town at the conclusion of students gradu- ating from the University of Verona, the second largest university in Italy. They have an unusual custom for students upon graduating. Family and friends place a wreath around the neck of the student, graduating as a doctor or other degrees, and sing to him/her a song with some pretty risqud lyrics. As they gather outside on the piazza friends provide the student with a bottle of wine, and in many cases it is duct taped to their hand and pro- ceed to dress him/her in an outlandish costume repre- sentative of his/her chosen field of work. Here again the Bella Figura was visible. Students in their best dress and mothers, fathers and other members of the fam- ily dressed very stylish. Venturing north we ar- rived at the town of Abano. This town is very popular and is known for the sulfur baths and spas. The many hotels in the town, we heard there are 500, provide ample rooms for the many visitors from all parts of Italy and Europe coming here to par- take of the baths. A delight was a walk through the large open expanse of the piazza that is lined with hotels, trees, flowers and fountains that add to the beauty of the place. During the evening "passigiata" (evening walk) seems to be the time for all to show their best finery. Elegance was not called for but certainly fashionable clothing was the choice of many locals and visitors. Our last overnight stop was in Como. This is a beautiful city, located on the shores of Lake Como in northern Italy. Arriving late we set out to see as much as we could in the short time we had before sunset. Sad to say the Bella Figura was not present. The town was packed with tourist and hardly a local resident was in sight, but we knew some- where in Como, George Clooney was setting an ex- ample for the American Male Bella Figura. MixFest 2013 This Saturday at the Hatch Shell MIX 104. l's annual MIXFest concert returns to Boston on September 14 th with an all-star line-up of artists. Indic rockers Of Monsters and Men will be headlining MIXFest 2013. MIXFest 2013 also stars Backstreet Boys, the leg- endary pop boy-band, as well as Berklee alumni, Gavin DeGraw. In addition to this year's impressive roster of acts, the event will feature a spe- cial performance by the win- ner of MIX 104.1's 15 Sec- onds of Fame contest. The lucky local act was selected out of a pool of ap- plicants who have submitted videos of their performances on MIX 104.1's 15 Seconds of Fame contest page for the coveted chance to take the stage at this year's big show. Now in its 20 th year, MIX 104.1 and CBS Boston will once again treat the Boston community to a FREE show at the DCR Memorial Hatch Shell along the Charles River. The fun-filled night will kick off at 4:00 pm, rain or shine and in addition to the live music performances, feature a kids-area.