History denied me: Old stuff I can’t figure out.

Exploring Sorrento on foot, Vern and I followed a road that crossed a deep ravine. Looking down, among the thick undergrowth, I saw a ruin, a former mill or factory, it appeared, covered in creepers and moss.

That kind of thing just gets my head spinning. What was it? When was it built? Who worked there? Why was it abandoned? I’m sure that some research could turn up the answers to these questions, but I had higher priorities at the time. Still, that picture catches in my imagination now and then.

The trouble with Italy (and of course there are other places) is that it is filled with these bits of time gone by, wherever you go. Bits of ancient columns built in a new(er) stone wall. Arched “doorways” forty feet above the beach on a cliff face. Roman mosaic fragments dug up during remodeling.

Sometimes when I see such things, a story simply comes to me, and I wonder how close to the truth it might be.


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