La Strada
La Strada
©1985 by Ami Simms
"29 x 26"

This mythical Italian city was my first pictorial quilt. Working from pictures and memory — I lived in Italy for about four years at various times when I was a kid — I stitched the typical Italian city of my youth. I included famous landmarks like Florence’s Duomo and not so famous places like my favorite restaurant in Perugia where I studied Italian at the Univertsita per Stranieri.

There are also plenty of quirky images that just remind me of living in Italy: the banks are always closed when you have to exchange money, nobody can seems want to share TV antennae and so each family puts up their own. Cars routinely drive the wrong way down one-way streets, and laundry flapping in the wind can be found almost anywhere, except on main streets.

My favorite place on La Strada is the Hotel Albergo. We were always helping tourists find their hotels and so often they thought the name of the place they were staying was the Hotel Albergo. We’d have to break the sad news that they were really lost because “albergo” is the Italian word for, you guessed it, HOTEL!

Technical difficulties determined the size of this quilt and some of its other features. While I could appliqué house numbers (never in order) on little marble signs ¼-inch square, I don’t do faces which is why the flower seller is reading a newspaper. (She’s also reading the Communist newspaper because the Socialist/Democratic newspaper had too many letters!)

Since I have nobody eating spaghetti on the quilt, it looks like I’ll have to go back to Italy for more research!