There’s an elegantly dressed woman who has a wine shop around the corner from me. Most people simply know her as Svetlana. I have no idea what her last name is and probably wouldn’t know how to pronounce it, for she is originally Serbian. According to Google Svetlana is a common Orthodox Slavic feminine name, meaning light or pure. I suppose the Italian equivalent might be Luce. And in English would be Lucy. Somehow like the Italian version best. I’ll have to do another post on names and last names. After leaving home when she was eighteen, she had gone to Istanbul, spent time in London and Rome before ending up in Orvieto. When I asked her how come, she said, well, it was not too far from Rome, or Florence, and she liked Umbria. Her father was in the armed forces, and she remembers seeing Gaddafi when she was still a small child.  She is about the most enterprising woman I have known, and this included managing a gas station and promoting Italian cooking and products.

She knows all about wines and is also a good cook to judge from the spicy cabbage and sausage dish she once made me. She will talk with anyone willing to engage in conversation. The Orvietani, she says, the Orvietani don’t realize what they have. They should interact more with others and I suppose that’s true. I’m different, she tells me, because I’m American (of course I’ve been here over sixty years now but that still makes me American I guess).  And I’ve always been rather reserved, not wanting to intrude in what I consider private lives. Always was that way. Even when I was in high school I was considered a loner.

I have a special wine, she tells me, that I’ve labeled “Dialogo”. Nice idea for wine can tend to break down barriers and lead to dialogues. So, let’s promote her “Dialogo”, and not just among the many foreigners who stop at the bar just up the street for a glass of wine.

4 thoughts on “Dialogues

  1. Her shop front looks impeccably clean and magically inviting. I should think she must have been successful at everything she has taken on – starting with her bold departure from Serbia. It occurs to me how that is something you have in common Erika (and of course you have introduced her to us as Serbian even though she has lived in several countries and has settled in Orvieto). Makes me feel a true stuck-in-the-mud, living only some fifteen kilometres from where I grew up!


  2. I always enjoy visiting Svetlana’s shop. Thank you for providing her fascinating background. I look forward to popping in soon!


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