Maybe I’m writing this post prematurely as I will one day soon be rewarding myself with Monocle’s latest Issue 71: The Italian Special, for all my domestic hardships incurred during this past week’s reorganization of my closet and spring cleaning – both of which I have yet to complete – and thus, have yet to sink my proverbial teeth into the magazine.
What I can say is that I’ve been to Italy in the 1980s (I was 4 years old) but can remember what is now being called an idyllic time capsule; a very apt description by photographer Charles Traub, whose latest coffee table book Dolce Vita: Italy in the 1980s, speaks to me in ways that only Lucio Battisti and a Swatch watch can.
Italy is actually making a comeback if we count Monocle and the myriad of articles (including this one) commenting on the work of Charles Traub. Earlier this month, Business of Fashion published an noteworthy article on Italy’s creative and cultural continuum. Again, one cannot simply historicize Italy’s ingenuity without recalling the glory days of Marcello Mastroianni, the Vespa and L’estate.
The only word that comes to mind is romantic. Italy is romance. Romance is nostalgia; a good book; a beach at sunset; the Amalfi coast. It’s the first bite of a margherita pizza; the smell of coffee in my nonna’s kitchen and the music of a Vespa ripping through the streets. Every time I go to Italy I remember it like the magical place I visited when I was a child. And it was everything that Charles Traub’s photographs capture. And it was also more.