|Leighton Gage and Annamaria|
We talked murder at the dinner table, walking in the piazza, and sitting on the terrace. We also covered a lot of South American history and territory of which he has an encyclopedic knowledge.
On Saturday, we witnessed a parade that seemed to be the investiture of a new group of rookies for the Polizia Municipale di Firenze. It included a Renaissance Band in costume, lots of flags, and handsome modern day citizens portraying Dante and Beatrice and Savonarola (presumably at some point in his life between the Bonfire of the Vanities and point where he himself was burned at the stake in the Piazza Della Signoria).
The newly-minted cops looked great in their full dress uniforms. I dare any other municipality to show us a chicer police force.
So what of the crime rate in these parts? A brief Google search produced the following paragraphs from Wikipedia:
“At 0.013 per 1,000 people, Italy has the 47th highest murder rate in the world. This makes the murder rate in Italy less than 1/3 that of the United States. Italy is also safer than Finland, France, Iceland, Australia, Canada and the U.K. and only marginally less safe than Spain, Germany and Holland.
Italy is also a country with lower rates of rape than most other nations of the Western world. It has the 46th highest per-capita rate of rape in the world meaning that Italian women are 7 times safer than American women. Similarly, Italy has a lower per capita rate of rape than most of the advanced Western countries in the European Union.”
Do you think this gift of safety for the Italian people has anything to do with the ghost of Savonarola showing up when the municipal police recruits receive their badges?
PS: I scanned the crowd at the parade and saw no trace of Hannibal Lecter. Perhaps he was off somewhere having lunch.