May 1999. A rich financier, Mr. Adams, put a strange advertisement on the Bay Guardian: he’s looking for a “friendly girl” who speaks Italian and who would agree to spend a summer in Italy with him. $500.000 is the astonishing amount of the remuneration. He has to go in Italy to look for her daughter, who has been missed.  There, many years earlier, he met his wife  in Venice for the International Exhibition of Cinema. He married her mother in the 70s and she followed him in the United States. When she got pregnant of Giovanna she was an exchange student in LA. In 1990, when Gio’ was 16 years old, her parents separated and she moved with her mother in Venice. The next year, Gio’ lost her mother because of an accident on the Milan-Venice highway.  She lived in Mestre with her grandmother until she got the General Certificate of Education, then she moved to LA by her father’s place until the day he died. It was in the summer of 1998: a ponce stabbed him while he was defending a young prostitute who, got in the bus, was caught up to be thumped. Giovanna, Gio’, moved to San Francisco in the January of 1999, at the age of 25, 23rd Street in Mission District.  She’s been in San Francisco for four months, working as home keeper by a rich family daily and  in a take-away pizzeria nightly. She answers to Mr. Adams’ ad.  The advertisement is ambiguous, but she doesn’t have nothing to loose. She’s just in equilibrium between jobs to survive. She was thinking to follow her friend Jimmy in cocaine pushing when she has finds the ad and decides to beside Mr. Adams in a summer in Italy. He’s a good-looking 50 years old man. He doesn’t tell her he has cancer, neither the true purpose of the journey. They will be looking for his daughter: that’s all she knows. They fly to Rome and then get all around Italy: Catania, Napoli, Roma, Firenze, Genova, Milano, Padova, Venezia, Bologna, Rimini, Arezzo, Pescara, Lecce. In Venice, while reading a newspaper, Gio’ finds a news about a drowned unidentified young woman. She does some researches by her own, without saying anything to Mr. Adams: she’s afraid to make him worried on the basis of just her suspicious. In Mestre, where they stay by her grandmother’s place, he finds out those newspaper cuttings Gio’ did. It’s september and in Venice there’s the International Exhibition of Cinema. That night he asks Gio’ to leave. She accepts the ticket to go back and the check she left San Francisco for. The morning after, she takes the train to Milan to get to the airport. Leaving Venice, she’s sad. She feels like she would give that check away to keep on standing by him. Mr. Adams catches her up while a storm is blocking all the flights. He’s going to tell her the truth. He never had a daughter. Once he knew of his cancer, he  wanted to go back where he fell in love with his wife but couldn’t go alone. He was looking for somebody who could look like the daughter she never had before dying, somebody who was going to remember him once dead.  The storm is over and sun is rising. The airplane takes off without her. She will go back in San Francisco later to write a novel: “Sunrise”.

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