» » Seven Seasons in Siena: My Quixotic Quest for Acceptance Among Tuscany's Proudest People

Free eBook Seven Seasons in Siena: My Quixotic Quest for Acceptance Among Tuscany's Proudest People download

by Robert Rodi

Free eBook Seven Seasons in Siena: My Quixotic Quest for Acceptance Among Tuscany's Proudest People download ISBN: 0345521056
Author: Robert Rodi
Publisher: Ballantine Books; 1st edition (June 21, 2011)
Language: English
Pages: 272
Category: Traveling
Subcategory: Europe
Size MP3: 1474 mb
Size FLAC: 1844 mb
Rating: 4.6
Format: doc lrf docx mobi


Robert Rodi was born in Chicago. Only Jeffrey and I remain in place, the mass of humanity diverting around us as though we're an outcropping of rock in a river.

Robert Rodi was born in Chicago. After publishing seven novels, he published his first nonfiction book, Dogged Pursuit: My Year of Competing Dusty, the World’s Least Likely Agility Dog. He is also the creator of several comic-book series, including 4 Horsemen, Codename: Knockout, and The Crossovers. Rodi lives in Chicago with his partner, Jeffrey Smith, and a constantly shifting number of dogs. There's no particular reason for us to stay rooted to our seats; but neither is there any enticement to get up.

Rodi, Robert - Homes and haunts - Italy - Siena, Americans - Italy - Siena - Biography, Acculturation - Italy - Siena, Siena (Italy) - Social life and customs, Siena (Italy) - Description and travel, Siena (Italy) - Biography, Siena (Italy) - Ethnic relations. New York : Ballantine Books. inlibrary; printdisabled;. Books for People with Print Disabilities. Internet Archive Books. Uploaded by station02. cebu on November 18, 2019. SIMILAR ITEMS (based on metadata).

Seven Seasons in Siena book. Seven Seasons in Siena is the story of Rodi’s love affair with the people of Siena-and of his awkward, heartfelt, intermittently successful, occasionally disastrous attempts to become a naturalized member of the Noble Contrada of the Caterpillar. As one of the locals points out, someone who’s American, gay, and a writer is the equivalent of a triple unicorn in this corner of Tuscany.

Seven Seasons in Siena is the story of Rodi’s love affair with the people of Siena-and of his awkward, heartfelt, intermittently successful, occasionally disastrous attempts to become a naturalized member of the Noble Contrada of the Caterpillar. But like a jockey in the Palio outlasting the competition in the home stretch, Rodi is determined to wear down all resistance.

Seven Seasons in Siena My Quixotic Quest for Acceptance Among Tuscany's Proudest People.

Into this strange, closed world steps Robert Rodi. A Chicago writer with few friends in town and a shaky command of conversational Italian, he couldn’t be more out of place

Read unlimited books and audiobooks on the web, iPad, iPhone and Android. Into this strange, closed world steps Robert Rodi. A Chicago writer with few friends in town and a shaky command of conversational Italian, he couldn’t be more out of place. Yet something about the sense of belonging radiating from the ritual-obsessed Sienese excites him, and draws him back to witness firsthand how their passionate brand of community extends beyond the Palio into the entire calendar year.

Into this strange, closed world steps Robert Rodi Rodi writes of his experiences in seven trips to Siena over several years. Through a friend he is introduced to the Noble Contrada of the Caterpillar

Into this strange, closed world steps Robert Rodi. An Chicago writer with few friends in town and a shaky command of conversational Italian, he couldn't be more out of place. Rodi writes of his experiences in seven trips to Siena over several years. Through a friend he is introduced to the Noble Contrada of the Caterpillar. He gains entry into the contrada and gives the reader a unique view of the Palio.

By turns hilarious and heartwarming, and redolent with the flavor of the Tuscan countryside, "Seven Seasons in Siena" opens a window on daily life in one of the most magical regions in all of Italy.

Seven seasons in siena. My Quixotic Quest for Acceptance Among Tuscany's Proudest People

Seven seasons in siena. My Quixotic Quest for Acceptance Among Tuscany's Proudest People. Several of his trips occurred during the Palio, the colorful civic competition among contrade held twice each summer and featuring a horse race around the Piazza del Campo in the city’s center. Rodi views this celebration and game as central to the life of Siena, renewing its people’s hope and making them the happiest and most self-reliant people he’s ever met. Usually, he was accompanied and guided by Dario, a genial entrepreneur who gave him entry into the society to which he longed to belong.

My Quixotic Quest for Acceptance Among Tuscany’s Proudest People. Category: Travel: Europe Biography & Memoir.

Siena seems at first glance a typical Italian city: within its venerable medieval walls the citizens sport designer clothes, wield digital phones, and prize their dazzling local cuisine. But unlike neighboring Florence, Siena is still deeply rooted in ancient traditions—chiefly the spectacular Palio, in which seventeen independent societies known as contrade vie for bragging rights in an annual bareback horse race around the central piazza.Into this strange, closed world steps Robert Rodi. A Chicago writer with few friends in town and a shaky command of conversational Italian, he couldn’t be more out of place. Yet something about the sense of belonging radiating from the ritual-obsessed Sienese excites him, and draws him back to witness firsthand how their passionate brand of community extends beyond the Palio into the entire calendar year. Smitten, Rodi undertakes a plan to insinuate himself into this body politic, learn their ways, and win their acceptance.Seven Seasons in Siena is the story of Rodi’s love affair with the people of Siena—and of his awkward, heartfelt, intermittently successful, occasionally disastrous attempts to become a naturalized member of the Noble Contrada of the Caterpillar. It won’t be easy. As one of the locals points out, someone who’s American, gay, and a writer is the equivalent of a triple unicorn in this corner of Tuscany. But like a jockey in the Palio outlasting the competition in the home stretch, Rodi is determined to wear down all resistance. By immersing himself in the life of the contrada over seven visits at different times of the year—working in their kitchens, competing in their athletic events, and mastering the tangled politics of their various feuds and alliances—the ultimate outsider slowly begins to find his way into the hearts of this proud and remarkable people.By turns hilarious and heartwarming, and redolent with the flavor of the Tuscan countryside, Seven Seasons in Siena opens a window on daily life in one of the most magical regions in all of Italy—revealing the joys to be found when we stop being spectators and start taking an active part in life’s rich pageant.
User reviews
Zahisan
Silly me. I assumed this book was written by someone who actually spent seven seasons in Siena. Not by someone who travelled there seven times during different seasons over several years for unspecified periods of time. Fairly short periods of time I think.

Robert Rodi who is from Chicago wanted to be accepted by the many members of the Caterpillar Bruca which is one of the ancient organizations or sort of clubs in Siena that you are 99% of the time born into. He became very frustrated in his quest which to me seemed about as possible as a Caucasian American being accepted as Japanese after a few months in Japan--or even a lifetime. He certainly tried hard and it helped that he spoke decent Italian although the Sienese dialect often confounded him. I wasn't convinced that his real purpose was becoming a member--I thought his real purpose might have been to gather material for a book.

Mr. Rodi does write well and despite the whining and self deprecation I enjoyed some of the book. Every once in awhile I found him to be very funny. There was something about pus near the end of the book that was pretty gross, but made me laugh.

I can't love a book that disappoints me. I did find Robert Rodi likeable which combined with his writing skill made the book a tolerable read.
Clodebd
I had great hopes for an experienced author to share real insights into a community he wished to join. Unfortunately the author did not share his journey of self-assessment. The only real comment on how others viewed the author was made by his local host Dario Castagno. He continually whined about how hard he was working to win over the contrada members, yet he did not seem to be willing to see himself through their eyes. He wrote of no understanding of their religion ( the Virgin Mary as Mary Poppins?) Nor that his presence as a gay man in this culture is certainly an extreme otherness. It would have been very interesting to see how he addressed this since the entire exercise is how people of different backgrounds interact.
Opimath
From the outside, one quickly grasps that there is more to this horse race than a three hour pageant and a 90 seconds gallop around the Campo. As you look into it, you learn that residents are loyal for life to their Contrada (neighborhood),17 districts with medieval lineage and distinct traditions and lore, enemies and alliances that go back hundreds of years. Only a few "stranieri" (foreigners) have the patience, temerity and passion to attempt becoming a member of one of these very territorial fraternities. In a very personal, idiosyncratic, vulnerable and ultimately successful way, Rodi embarks and completes a two year apprenticeship in the Bruco (Caterpillar) Contrada. There were no guarantees, no straightforward directions or steps to his prize. With exceptional focus, desire and some chutzpah, Rodi slowly wins over many members of an insular society. He is willing to take on manual labor, fulfill sacrificial vows and become immersed in the past glories and setbacks of the clan. This includes studyig the Tuscan dialect as well as polishing his Italian. Along the way, he shares some of the mystique and spirit that infuse Siena's very distinctive way of life. A city that is content to look inward most of the time, it has some lessons to teach us about loyalty, community and joy.

Rodi shares plenty of his foibles, uncertainties and sacrifices along the way. An achievement is all the more satisfying when it is earned.
VAZGINO
I like to think of myself as a traveler rather than a tourist. When I visit a place, I spend as much time as I can exploring how people live rather than just “seeing the sights.” So, when Seven Seasons in Siena by Robert Rodi crossed my Kindle, I was really interested.

Siena is one of my favorite places. It is a medieval Tuscan city, complete with winding streets that travel up and down the hills of the town. The absence of cars allows visitors to imagine how things might have been throughout its history. It has a long history of democratic government and has avoided both external pressures from nearby kingdoms, and major internal conflicts.

Siena is probably best known for Il Palio- a horserace held twice a year, in July and August. But this is no ordinary horserace. The race takes place around the edge of the Piazza del Campo, Siena’s main square, which is shaped kind of as a clam shell, with one side higher than the other. For visitors, the Palio is a celebration of medieval spectacle, complete with costumed flag jugglers. Then there is the excitement of the race; three laps around the dirt covered course, jockeys riding bareback, navigating two 90 degree turns on each lap. But for Senese, the significance of the race is much deeper. And that is what Mr. Rodi explores in this wonderful book.

Robert Rodi first visits Siena during the Palio, and immediately falls in love with the city, as do many. But he has a local friend to guide him – Dario. Through Dario’s eyes and invitation Mr. Rodi gets a glimpse at what the Palio means to the residents of Siena. That is because Dario is from the Caterpillar contrade, or section of town, and it is Caterpillar’s horse that has just won the race. So, Robert Rodi is invited to celebration organized by the residents of the contrade that few visitors get to experience. This gives him the impetus and desire to explore the cultural significance of the Palio and its role in the history of Siena.

Robert returns to Siena six times, both during future Palios and at times, when the city is considerably calmer. He spends time in the Caterpillar contrade, getting to know the people who live there, and volunteering with the groups that run events before and after the race, keeping traditions alive. While Dario introduces Robert to life in the contrade, it is Robert’s sincerity and perseverance that gains him the respect of the locals and also gives him an insight to their history and cultural life.

Robert explores the role of the Palio in keeping peace in Siena. For centuries the race has provided an acceptable outlet for internecine rivalries. It provides a competition with rules, both official and sub-rosa, and an outlet for passions. The race and the seventeen contradi of the city also provide a sense of identity and belonging for residents of all ages, allowing connections that go back centuries. These ties play a role in making Siena one of Italy’s longest running democratic governments.

This book touched my heart. On my first trip to Italy, 20 years ago, we visited Siena during the week following the August Palio. We were sitting at a café in the Piazza del Campo when a parade came by. It was a post-race celebration by the winning contrade. No corporate sponsors, just people who had put together costumes and floats celebrating their horse and jockey, and poking fun at their losing rivals. They distributed wine and panetone to those watching from the sidelines.

Robert’s experiences also reflect how I try to explore when I visit places. Looking to go beyond the tourist experiences, I try to see how people live. What is important to them? What ties them together? I aspire to do what Robert Rodi has succeeded at in the book, and I am both appreciative and jealous of his experiences. Mostly, I am happy that he has shared his time in Siena, and has done so with such fine writing.