The I Love You wall was the perfect spot to have our picture taken. After all, we had just celebrated 30 years of marriage a few months earlier. That's a whole lot of years saying 'I love you' to each other. So, hand the camera to another tour member, up against the wall, SMILE, and we were off to see more sights.
Several weeks later I was looking through our photos and began wondering about the lettering above our heads. I knew it translated to 'I love you' but I wondered what language it was in.
I went to the computer and Googled 'Ti Voglio bene'. The language that came up was Italian. Hmmm. I always thought 'Ti Amo' was the Italian for 'I love you'. After further research, this is what I discovered.
'Ti Amo' is used to express romantic love. If I wanted to say 'I love you' to Mike in Italian I would say 'Ti Amo'. 'Ti Voglio bene' is used for friends or family. So, if my father wanted to tell me he loved me he would say 'Ti Voglio bene'. Directly translated this means 'I want you to be well'. My Dad always did know just what to say to make me feel better.
Taking the Long Way Home
Mike and I got a little overconfident of our subway navigational skills and ended up going the wrong way on one which resulted in a 10 minute trip taking nearly 45 minutes. While we sat, swaying along with the motion of the rails, we heard a haunting voice singing in the distance. It came closer and closer while we tried to figure out what we were hearing. At last the woman who was singing shuffled into the car we rode in. Crippled and blind, she was working her way from one end of the train to the next, begging for spare change, singing in a voice so pure and beautiful it brought tears to my eyes. I don't know what language she sang in, I don't know what song she was singing, but I caught one single phrase: mi familia. I will never forget the sound of her voice.