by Giovanni Galavotti, translated into English by Ruth Stephens
Chapter 1 – A New City
Marianna is 22 years old. She comes from Siracusa in Sicily, but now lives in Bologna, where she has started studying for a Masters degree in the history of art.
She chose to study in Bologna because its university is the oldest in the western world and many famous people have studied there in the past.
Early October in Bologna is still warm, so after her lessons Marianna likes to walk through the historic medieval centre – one of the biggest of its kind in the world. She strolls under the porticoes which are characteristic of the city, and across Piazza Maggiore, its beautiful central square. She loves looking in the shop windows, and sometimes stops for a coffee in one of the many bars she passes.
On one such evening, Marianna takes the bus home. The long, orange bus is full of people, all squashed tightly together.
But when she arrives home Marianna discovers that her purse is missing from her bag!
She searches frantically but it’s not there. Fortunately she never carries much money, and her documents can be replaced…
But what about her old photograph? It’s very precious to her. She’d be so sad to lose it!
What can she do?
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