Coming to Sicily to See Grandchildren

Author: A. Stepanov

Coming to Sicily to See Grandchildren 147

Coming to Sicily to See Grandchildren

A. Stepanov

IN AUGUST 1998, this journal published a photograph that portrayed the wedding of the daughter of the Russian ambassador to Switzerland, A.I. Stepanov, and a young Italian signor, Matteo, the son of the Italian ambassador to Moscow Emanuele Scammacca del Murgo, as set inside the wonderful Moscow mansion housing the Italian embassy. The headline read: "Moscow, the Bells Are Ringing." The editors proclaimed Elena and Matteo International Affairs laureates as the architects of an important event in the Moscow diplomatic life. It's years since that date. The young family, now living in Catania, Sicily, not far from the never quiet Mount Etna, gave birth to twins: a girl, Maria-Emanuela, and a boy, Andrea.

It was high time to see the grandchildren.

***

MANY PEOPLE, no matter where they live, will associate Sicily with the stupendous southern nature, an abundance of fruit that the locals seem not to know what to do with, and the thrilling image of the volcano. And, naturally enough, with the Mafia, which, as the saying goes, is immortal.

Measuring over 25,000 kilometers, Sicily is the biggest island in the Mediterranean. Its population is 5 million people (almost 9% of the Italian total) and it enjoys an autonomous status within the Italian Republic. Different races, religions, and languages used to converge on the island in peace or hostility, leaving to posterity some distinct signs of their cultures. The Sicilians are concerned with the fates of the world and mankind only to an extent, provided, of course, that the events do not happen at their doorstep. One is in contact with the tradition of being immersed in one's inner self, which, to live on, does not require a good education, book reading, or attendance of theatricals and musical concerts. The less information and emotions, the ...

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