Thursday, October 31, 2013

Along the Arno with Mark Twain / " It would be a very plausible river if they would pump some water into it"

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"We went to the Church of Santa Croce, from time to time, in Florence, to weep over the tombs of Michael Angelo, Raphael and Machiavelli, (I suppose they are buried there, but it may be that they reside elsewhere and rent their tombs to other parties--such being the fashion in Italy,) and between times we used to go and stand on the bridges and admire the Arno. It is popular to admire the Arno. It is a great historical creek with four feet in the channel and some scows floating around. It would be a very plausible river if they would pump some water into it. They all call it a river, and they honestly think it is a river, do these dark and bloody Florentines. They even help out the delusion by building bridges over it. I do not see why they are too good to wade." - Mark Twain, The Innocents Abroad (1869)

Well now, I think the Arno is a pretty passable river, especially by my West Coast (USA) standards. The Arno is no Mississippi of course, but seeing as the damage it's caused with it's floods over the centuries, I think that it's worthy of admiration ... and I'm sure this river otter I saw the other day would agree!

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