chocolate is a verb

colors, flavors, whims and other growing things


scarf shopThe day was colder than we had anticipated, a sharp bite to the breeze that pushed down the cobbled alleyways. We fortified ourselves with bright shots of espresso and gazed at the lavish displays of cheeses, prosciutto and salami, postcards and purses, multi-hued pasta, majolica tiles and the 12th-century frescoes covering the walls and vaulted ceiling of a small church.

We were cold. The shop promised warmth. It was tiny — the size of a bathroom — its walls a dense tapestry of color. Scarves and shawls were stacked on shelves, draped over rods, dangling from the ceiling. They fluttered and billowed where they were clipped to the open doors, a vivid enticement. Paisleys and plaids, prints and brocades, solids and stripes, luxurious fringes.

We touched the fabrics, unfurled shawls, held them up in front of the tiny mirror. The shopkeeper, a man perhaps in his 40s, pulled more scarves from the shelves. This one, he would say, draping a gaudy brocade around his own shoulders. No, no, I would say, searching for a way to explain simple, no pattern, in my tourist Italian. Reaching behind him, he found another, an impossible raspberry color, and looped it around his neck. I shook my head, smiled.

One after the next, he wrapped himself in shawls, turning to show the back, running his fingers through the fringe. He seemed to want nothing more than this, happy to have a small audience. When at last I had found and paid for my green striped scarf and he had settled it around my neck and we turned at the doorway to say grazie, he was grinning broadly, still mantled in layers of lush color.
scarf shop photo

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