Our taxi driver Enzo turned to me flashed a brilliant smile and says:
“There is an old saying in Italy, it goes Quando la pecora muore, i cani selvaggi sono fortunati. It means when sheep die, the wild dogs are lucky”.
He then proceeds to throw his back and laugh wildly while nearly swerving down the side of the mountain.
Enzo is truly the wild dog today (hopefully we are not the sheep) and like a faithful old friend he escorts us for our fourth trip of the day to the train station to catch the train to Florence.
Our misfortune today is indeed his luck.
Yet as we watch another train depart from the station platform, I ponder that perhaps we are the lucky ones. That this misadventure is reminding us to be flexible spontaneous and embrace adventure. This departure from our plan is maybe the universe reminding us to slow down, relax and savour what we are surrounded by and to not just focus on the end destination.
Perhaps there is a reason we have missed three trains, the first because we discovered no buses run to the train station on a Sunday, the second left before the scheduled time and the third…..cancelled…. Perhaps however we are lucky to have hailed our new friend Enzo who just jovially shrugs with a “what can you do” smile as we watch each train leave on its way to Florence.
Perhaps the cancelled train, which has left us with either a 2 hour wait at the station or to call our taxi man Enzo, has allowed us to embark on a metaphorical journey where we learn that Italy is a different place on Sundays and we get to philosophize about life with our new friend. Perhaps it is indeed the universe reminding us to go with the flow.
Enzo happily returned us to Cortona, explaining in Italy on Sundays, timetables are a loose guide and everything runs to its own timeframe. He mentions the town market is on so we decide to return to Piazza Signorelli and check it out.
The train delays turn out to be our luck indeed. It has allowed us to wander through Cortona’s Sunday Antiques market. It is only held on the fourth Sunday of each month and is a market full of tables laden with beautiful artefacts, furniture, chandeliers, statues, artworks, vases, bric-a-brac and jewellery. Visiting markets is one of my all time favourite things and this one was a lot of fun. The only problem was that everything I loved was too big for my backpack.
After a couple of very pleasant hours, we call Enzo for hopefully the last return trip to sleepy Camucia (the small town at the bottom of the hill in Cortona) to catch the train. Camucia has definitely embraced our new found slow down movement…. the shops and windows are shuttered and the streets are deserted, nobody is working on this Sunday.
This time the train arrives on time as we walk onto the platform and we warmly wave Enzo and promise to call on our return.
He throws his head back again and laughs as he says ” the wild dogs must be full, see you later” and as the train doors close I swear I hear the howl of distant wolf.