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August 1, 2008
In Italy, the mornings belong to old men. White and silver haired, they stroll briskly under porticoes or exchange greetings at street corners, or bike thoughtfully across town. Shirts crisp and trousers pressed, they have an air of dignified urgency. Minutes later you find the same men at a cafe', nursing an espresso or a white wine, discussing Venetian history and current affairs in serious, self-satisfied tones, listening lovingly to the sound of their own voices. They are at home, and laugh and joke and encourage one another, occasionally noting a passing girl and clicking their tongues in approval.