Excitement is what comes to mind when I think of David. He just seemed to know what is wonderful in life. We would meet him in Rome in the summer, and invariably there was a restaurant he had just heard of, a new wine we had to try, a piece of music we had to listen to…. And then there were the stories about people he knew, foods he had tasted, places he wanted to visit. Life had to be lived with passion, big and small things had to be savored.
I don’t think it was possible to come in contact with David without being charmed. He always started his tour of Herculaneum by showing an artistic rendition of the city that had appeared in National Geographic and which he had helped to create. Then he would take the students on a long tour of the city under the hot sun, with all of them still fascinated at the end of the tour and oblivious of the fatigue they should have been feeling. In the evening, as soon as we arrived at the hotel Carola in Agropoli, he would be off to the kitchen, where the cook, a close friend of his ever since his first stay at the hotel, would dig out his freshest fish and most succulent recipes just for him. It was fun to be with David. He knew how to listen, how to make you feel special and therefore worthy of experiencing great things: he was inspiring.
Italy held a special place in his heart. He had to overcome his fear of flying in order to get there, but there was no doubt in his mind that it was worth it. I was not surprised to find that in his will he had donated a considerable amount of money for a scholarship to send students to visit Rome and Italy. It was his way to continue sharing his excitement for life and for Italy, modern and ancient, and to live forever in the memory of the people who, with his help, would experience the things he loved.