And so Paris, and so then Italy,
as always between wars,
her shores lapped by the gentle sea,
habitation of old gods…
so mare medius terraneum,
the sea in the middle of the world,
the cradle of man’s ambition…
Hers a quiet grace,
neither the sinuous grace of Provence
nor the assured grace of Firenze
Hers a grace that cannot be multiplied
that cannot be exploited
She can be loved only by those who love her.
Images: Before the storm by Bezalel Ben-Chaim, published under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0) license; scenic view of Rapallo, by Mark Goebel, published under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0) license.