A FISH TALE/Helen Barolini IT WAS A LONG TIME AGO, just a few years after the end of World War II, and there I was, a bride in mist-wrapped, sodden-aired, graying and bombed-out Vicenza in the north of Italy. With my husband, Antonio, Vicenza-born of a Venetian paternal line, I was temporarily ensconced in a walkup top-floor apartment carved from an old palazzo where Antonio's family had lived and only one sister now remained. The apartment was a modest one with a front room, a kitchen, and bedrooms off a long corridor that led to the bathroom, but it harbored the remains of a better, more prosperous time when there had been a country place with handsome furnishings. We were married in early November; there was a sense of chill humidity everywhere; dresser drawers stuck with the dampness, closets smelled moldy, the antiquated bathroom with its long pull chain and unlit water heater was disheartening. And as winter approached, the Palladian charm of the town so prettily traversed by its three rivers ties in the aftermath of war. and fringed by the Berico hills was canceled out by the daily difficul- There was that damp chill everywhere despite
The Missouri Review – University of Missouri
Published: Oct 5, 1999
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