Thursday, November 19, 2009

A One-Name Street

While walking my dog today, I got especially curious about who lives on my street. There are many nice houses with fenced gardens. It's an Italian dog's paradise for this reason. Plus, it is within a mile of the city center.

My careful observation of the names listed on the houses' mailboxes revealed that either almost everyone comes from the same family or there are a hell of a lot of people in Padua with the last name of Schiavon. Out of 13 consecutive houses, 11 have at least one person (husband or wife) with that name. So this leads me to believe that either one or two farmers were able to sell off their copious land and house all their relatives in the area from the funds derived from that sale, the family is incredibly large and full of generations of people who have chosen lucrative jobs, or all the Schiavon's just happened to love this area and settle here. Since the people are not exceptionally friendly or talkative, I probably will never really find out the real reason. I've lived here for over 3 years and only know 2 neighbors by name. Everything is very discrete...

The same street (which I won't mention for privacy's sake) has recently become a one-way road towards the city center so that a bicycle lane could be installed, making the area safer for everyone.

This one-way street has basically one name as owner: Schiavon.


  1. Hi Irene,
    I have heard a lot of different things from people about getting to know Italian neighbors. We have a home in Calabria (follow link to our blog)
    and have been completely taken aback by the opposite effect. I left the door to my house open when we first were moving in and here came my next door neighbor with her sheets. She made our new bed (she saw it being delivered) and thought we didn't yet have sheets. It was so welcoming. Anyway, I am fascinated with all the different stories. I'm sure some folks would feel strange about having someone walk in their home, but I found it touching.

  2. Ah, the differences between north and south. Your story is a classic. I'm glad you appreciated your neighbor's gesture. I think Paduans would have been horrified. As Americans we are somewhere in between, more of the friendly side.