When she turned up via dei Gondi, Nettuno himself came into view. It was her favorite angle on the monstrous marble, from the rear, where she could take in what was almost certainly one of the hardest asses in all of Italian sculpture. She tipped her small umbrella to the wind. Boots had been the right thing for the weather that day, but they were wet now and she wished she had taken a taxi to Massimo.

She saw him as she came around Neptune, standing in front of the fountain under his own umbrella, better sized for the earnest rain. He didn’t spot her until she stepped up to him, and as he turned to her she felt that very particular pleasure in seeing a lover’s face again, a kind of lightening or brightening of heart–it couldn’t be held in memory, a dear face in all its life.

The Italian Novel

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