Sorry I’m late today. I had to walk around the corner and queue (there was one person in front of me) to stock up on ‘socialised medicine’.
I needed new supplies of three different medications out of the five that I have to take every day.
Plus blood tests (Italians call them ‘esami’, which is confusing), so as to make sure everything’s as it should be.
And a prescription so I can book the annual ‘visita’ to the cardiologist.
The ‘esami’ and ‘visita’ are always a waste of time. But they reassure my wife, at least.
That’s partly because it’s paid for from general taxation, and partly because, in Italy, chronic conditions are exempt. Which is some compensation, at least, for life’s misfortunes.
Later in the day I’ll walk around the corner again, collect a sheaf of pink and white forms that the doctor’s receptionist has printed for me, and cross the street to the ‘farmacia’.
There, a nice lady will shove a dozen or so boxes of pills over the counter at me and, if I’m lucky, one of those new biodegradable not-plastic bags to carry them in.
“Niente da pagare. Buon fine settimana!”
“Mille grazie. Altrettanto.”
Booking the blood tests and the specialist can, in theory, be done online. But I prefer to take another break from the computer and walk to our local C.U.P. (centro unificato di prenotazione) to do it in person.
That does usually mean a wait, but it’s a chance to catch up on the news. And there’s no fee for that either.
I’ll stop off for the blood tests on my way to work one morning, and the results will be emailed to me automatically, the very same day.
The cardiological checkup won’t be for months in all likelihood, but is also on my way to work and is a good excuse to go in late.
So, besides the sermon on the benefits of living in a city in Europe, what else do I have for you today?
Ah yes! Some Dante, and the usual reminders.
We’re getting towards the end of Inferno, now. Today there are two extracts from the thirtieth canto. Out of thirty-four.
Can’t wait to see how it ends!
No, not really.
The fact that Dante did sequels, describing his ascension through purgatory and subsequent trip around heaven, does rather give away the ending of ‘Inferno’.
Still, it’s good stuff anyway. And it will be pleasing to reach the end of ‘Inferno’, even having read only the extracts, not the whole thing.
So let’s get on! Here’s the link: Canto XXX
(The previous twenty-nine are on our Literature page.)
The usual reminders
Don’t forget to read/listen to Thursday’s bulletin of ‘easy’ Italian news, will you?
And if you haven’t already done so, to subscribe (which is absolutely free.)
That way you won’t miss Saturday’s or Tuesday’s.
The -25% offer on our new ebook, Anselmo e l’omicidio di Giovanni Borgia, ends on Sunday night.
Get your copy while it’s on offer to save £2 compared to the usual easy reader ebook price of £7.99.
If all goes to plan, the second in the trilogy will be published on Monday.
There are easier materials to choose from in the online Catalog, where everything is organised by type and level, and with links to the free sample chapters so you can quickly and easily take a look before deciding to buy.
- .pdf e-book (+ audio available free online)
- .mobi (Kindle-compatible) and .epub (other ebook readers) available on request at no extra charge – just add a note to the order form or email us
- 8 chapters to read and listen to
- Comprehension questions to check your understanding
- Italian/English glossary of ‘difficult’ terms for the level
- Suitable for students at intermediate or advanced levels
- Download your Free Sample Chapter (.pdf)
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