Grotto

So I’m sitting a professional society board meeting, discussing potential locations for a networking event, and the kitschy Italian restaurant Buca di Beppo comes to mind. One of our group thinks they have a lot of private rooms. “Grottos”, I say. Yes! That’s exactly what they’re like. Small, cave like areas. You could probably guess that grotto comes from the Italian. But did you know it’s related by a historical accident to the word grotesque? Neither did I. It’s much too long a story to include in a bite size post. You probably get the idea though. What do you picture when you hear grotto? I’m sorry to say The Little Mermaid comes to mind for me. When I asked my husband, he said he thinks of an underground lair, and goblins. Hmm. I suppose I can see that. It fascinates me what a particular word, especially one that describes a place, means to different people. In a previous bon mot I talked about the word piazza. For my Aunt Mary that called to mind Spanish steps and walking along Via Condotti. What do you picture when you hear grotto?

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6 thoughts on “Grotto

  1. good grief – I read it thrice to be sure I saw what I saw and it is lair. I can not only not trust my memory but evidently my perceptions as well. Well, what are memories built on but perceptions. Har!

  2. Vicki – Your memory is not mistaken. I at first mistyped lair as liar. When my husband read the post he caught it and I updated it. Apologies for the confusion, and as ever, thanks for reading.

  3. Dear Sue, Thanks again for a mini mental vaction to Italy!
    Grotto instantly reminded me of riding in a small boat out to the Blue Grotto under Capri. The aged captain of that little ship steered with his bare foot! We floated past a huge yacht draped with beautiful young women wearing only gold chains around their waists. Unluckily, for Uncle Bob, I have quick reflexes and got my hand in front of his camera lens before he could snap it. Unluckily, for me, Uncle Bob is claustrophobic and so we never got to see the dazzling blue of the inside of the Grotto.
    The harbor had a huge shark on display. Local women were jockeying to buy a bloody but very fresh hunk. We rode past it in a little bus up to Ana Capri to have lunch in a beautiful hotel. It happened to be owned by an art Professor that I had studied with at Paier College of Art in Hamden CT. While strolling down from the top of the island we bought the best figs I have ever had from a chrone who was adamant that we not take her photo.
    We don’t have many photos from that trip but the memories are priceless. A. Mary

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