While on a late afternoon saunter around the tiny, well-preserved village of Spadola, in the mountains of Calabria, I experienced one of those strange moments where I knew what I was seeing, have seen it before, but just could not believe my eyes. There was a giraffe. It was standing in an open field along the creek all by itself. I stared. Was I really seeing a giraffe. My reason for being here is my friend on my next tour, whom I will meet at the Naples airport on Sunday, asked to come here. Her father, Dominico Tucci, immigrated from this village that time forgot, in 1913. The village has not ever been painted or gussied up for tourists. It is spotless. I saw a very old women dressed in traditional black, as opposed to chic black, picking up bits of trash as she crept along the street.
As I stared, assuring myself it was truly a giraffe, I noticed a few small trucks and some people surrounding the area. Then I recalled posters advertising a traveling circus. Here they were, camped out for the afternoon. The giraffe looked quite content, staring across the creek at me. Who knows what it was thinking!