Bespoke Traveler

risotto-veggiesIt was raining in Verona. The thick drops pinged on the top of my head in steady rhythm. They streaked down the stone walls in inky rivulets. There were no open restaurants or coffee shops to duck into. The houses rested in silence behind shuttered green windows, so I hid under the meager cover of a lintel. The dark effigies from the family grave across the alley offered no comfort. They didn’t care, they could not feel the chill of the rain. An enticing aroma emanated from the door behind me, the only indication of life I detected. Delicious dishes were being prepared somewhere within, the cold drops dribbled down the back of my neck and an intense longing to have a hot bowl of risotto hit me. As I stood sniffing the door, it opened from within and a shriveled woman wearing an overflowing flour-dusted apron appeared…

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