Sunday, March 22, 2009

Italy Under Glass

Whenever we travel, I bring home a small stack of colorful papers: postcards, museum admission stubs, used metro or trolley stubs, cards from restaurants and shops, and so on. It mostly free, it's richly evocative of the trip, but it's essentially useless. I can't part with it, so it gets packed into an envelope and stuck in a drawer with packets from earlier trips. I'm too lazy to do anything so time-consuming as paste things in an album.

But I've always loved the idea of a collage. So, a couple of years ago, at Christmas, I asked my husband to find me a glass-topped tray that I could use to create a collage of my travel ephemera. He gave me a handsome wooden one, perfect for the project I had in mind. But he went a step further and inserted a large color print of my best travel photograph under the glass. That was so thoughtful that I didn't have the heart to replace it with a collage.

Recently I caved. I'd found the envelopes from our two trips to Italy last year. Away went my lovely photo of Prague. Upside down on the glass, I began arranging Milanese restaurant cards, postcards and ticket stubs from Florentine museums, a Venetian street map and vaporetto passes, and anything else that was colorful and charming. We're both very happy with the result. It brings back lots of wonderful memories.

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