This week I almost got thrown out of the country! Unfortunately I wasn’t tear gassed or handcuffed or anything – I missed a youth riot in Rome by three hours and still cry about it when I’m alone in my apartment – but it could definitely be considered a rather risky ruffling of the feathers of the authorities. (Just threw an alliteration/metaphor combo at you. Shout out to my seventh grade English teacher Mrs. Matlaw! I loved your rhinestone glasses!)
I had an important drawing assignment due on Tuesday, which involved drawing a Renaissance painting with mind blowing accuracy. So on Monday afternoon I figured I should head over to Palazzo Pitti, a classic go-to for Jesus paintings (which describes 106% of Renaissance paintings – sometimes he’s in there two or three times. There’s no such thing as too much Jesus here in Italy. Now disregard the fact that this entire city is a classic go-to for Jesus paintings so I can continue my story about the Pity Palace. Yes, I meant to spell it that way, because that’s what we call it. Why, you ask? I don’t know, stop asking me questions seriously it’s getting annoying.)
Anyway, I picked up a free ticket with my nifty student museum pass for what I assumed was access to the entire palace; though I now understand that the ticket woman must have been saying in fast-forwarded Italian that it could only be used for the Boboli Gardens and that weird costume exhibit. Despite the fact that nearly the entire palace was closed, I somehow managed to make it up to the Renaissance art galleries without being blocked or redirected, passing only one other stray visitor looking confused on the stairs. When I got to the second floor, I noticed that half of the galleries were locked and closed off with a big dark curtain; the other half, however, was only guarded by a pathetic little rope, and the glass doors were slightly open. Due to mental images of my drawing professor burning me at the stake if I didn’t get this drawing done, I tentatively took this as a kind of half-invitation to duck under the rope and enter.
I walked down the endless corridors of paintings rather nonchalantly considering I was breaking and entering – not a guard or soul in sight. When I got to the end, shocked that I’d made it that far uninterrupted, I turned left and found myself in the middle of the restoration room, where I was definitely absolutely one hundred percent not supposed to be. Whoever was clearly working intricately on a painting on top of a huge mahogany table had temporarily abandoned it. It was at this moment that I decided I would write an art history thriller novel, or maybe just team up with Dan Brown and have him write me in as the main character. It was also at this moment that a middle-aged man in a suit came charging towards me at full speed.
I wanted to quickly snap a pic of this exciting discovery in front of me, but the next thing I knew this man was preggo-ing me back through the hallway.
Preggo (v.) : to usher someone, in an urgent and/or forceful manner, by walking briskly while turning every third or fourth step to bark “preggo” at the follower. Usually accompanied by a brisk hand gesture waving and pointing vaguely towards the preggo-er’s destination.
If that hallway seemed long before, it now stretched into infinity. I must have heard 10-12 preggo’s before he simply pointed to the exit stairs with one final preggo and stormed off. I thought he was going to preggo me down to a secret underground level and rough me up with a lot of chunky gold rings on. Haven’t you seen the movie 21? That actually happens.
List of Meanings Associated with ‘Preggo’ As Observed Thus Far:
1. “you’re welcome”
2. “here you go”
3. “look at this useless unidentifiable gadget that I want you to buy”
5. “follow me this way right now or suffer a cruel and unusual death”
6. “I’m going to charge you with trespassing and get you deported”
Note to the Pitiless Palace: if you want to keep students out, lock the doors. Thanks for the memories.
As I (sadly) finish up my final days in Florence, I’ve been reflecting on the lessons I’ve learned and the memories I’ve