The Great Escape + 10 = No Place like Home

©2005 Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
©2005 Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

Sorry for going “Hollywood” with this post, but Cheri of WordPress made me do it.

As soon as she dropped the gauntlet down on the Weekly Photo Challenge: ESCAPE, all I could think of was Steve McQueen — Virgil Hilts, “The Cooler King” — trying to leap over barb-wired barriers along the German-Swiss border on the “borrowed” BMW wartime motorcycle in the 1963 classic The Great Escape. Unfortunately, he got tangled up.

Then I thought a bit more, and conjured up Dudley Moore and Judy Garland.

©1979 Warner Bros
©1979 Warner Bros

In the 1979 romantic comedy “10,” Dudley Moore  — George Webber — had a bit of a mid-life crisis, took a leave of absence (aka, ESCAPE) from work AND reality, and went in search of a woman who, in his mind, was a perfect 10 — beauty, not dress size.

Turns out, Bo Derick — Jenny Miles — was the 10 in “10,” and poor old George did everything in his power to track her down. Once found, and sorta conquered, she wasn’t at all what he expected, and Jenny quickly fell off George’s imaginary pedestal.

©1939 MGM
©1939 MGM

George should’ve simply screened the 1939 classic The Wizard of Oz before he lit out. If he had, Dorothy would’ve saved him a lot of time, energy and angst by reminding him that, “There’s no place like home.”

Whether we realize it or not, that elusive Roman numeral X could be sitting right under our noses, or staring us right in the kisser, thus negating the need to ESCAPE at all.

I’m an adventurous guy, always have been and, hopefully, always will be. But, lately, when I want to ESCAPE — change my lattitude — all I have to do is walk out my door, meld into the crowd and meander back in time along the cobblestone of my adopted hometown, Vicenza, Italy.

Street scene - Vicenza, Italy | ©Tom Palladio Images

Call me blind — legally or otherwise — but I find my neck of the “City of Palladio” a 10.

Jam-packed with history on every corner, alleyway and hilltop, whenever I get the urge to ESCAPE, all I do is just click my heels — silently if wearing sneakers — and say, “There’s no place like home.”

©The Palladian Traveler | ©Tom Palladio Images

The Palladian Traveler's Borsalino over cobblestone | ©Tom Palladio Images



  1. A friend and I went to the Upper Peninsula of MI last week-end and were talking about how much we love where we live. I am so very happy to be where I am – and when I get unhappy (usually comes with the cold) I click my heals and find myself in sub-tropical Florida. We should almost feel guilty, Tom. But guilt is a terrible waste of time if it is self-imposed.

  2. i do the same (when maddie and allie permit it) taking my motorcycle and driving on the roads out of rome…
    p.s. the Steeve McQueen’s motorcycle is a Triumph (it makes difference :)).

    1. Mauri — So che è un Triumph ben mimetizzato, perché il modo BMW storico della seconda guerra era troppo pesante e ingombrante per tentare saltare oltre il filo spinato.

    1. Emily — Not really an escape so much as it was a return. This is where it all started with the wife and me many moons ago, and when we left we always wanted to return. That happened at the end of ’06 and I’ve been “escaping” ever since.

  3. From Steve McQueen, you had me. We had a giant poster of him making the leap on his motorcycle on the back of our bathroom door in the house I grew up in. I also loved the photos of your adopted town. How long have you lived there? You must have an incredible command of Italian. Are the people friendly and accepting? (I’ve enjoyed several of Frances Mayes books, but I think I would miss Seattle too much).

    1. Naomi — People are nice and I fit in well. I speak the language, not as well as a local, probably never will, but I get by. Glad you enjoyed the post. Now, you need to go out and rent The Great Escape. 🙂

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