We both saw it at the same time—a squalo, shark swimming across the late summer turquoise sky. I’m serious. Now, don’t tell me you’ve never seen such an outlandish thing. It happens all the time. In the summer when the air is warm, sometimes they come out for a dip. They love to glide through the calm sea of the sky. In fact, there are all kinds of things swimming around up there!

Squalo del cielo - the terrifying sky shark
Squalo del cielo – the terrifying sky shark

At first we noticed that the evening sky glowed with a pinkish cast from the low setting sun. The color caught our attention as we gazed out over the somber, darkening valley. Then suddenly, the sky opened up, just as a big coral colored shark splashed in, swimming at breakneck speed with its tail swishing side to side. We laughed about both spotting it at the same time . . . but it also made us pause. Why, you might ask? Because such terrifying things are really not a laughing matter.

Squalo della Terra – The Fierce Land Shark

“A picture! We must take a picture!” I exclaimed, and Em jumped up to run into the house for the camera. He snapped a few pics from the upstairs window and a few more on his way back, hoping to catch it before it swam away. He was moderately successful. When he returned, I had moved to the stone walk—something else had caught my eye. As Em approached, I pointed down to the grass and with my most serious voice called to him, “Look! A land shark!” Swimming across the lawn, racing out to sea was another creature of dusk, a lumacone, slug. Or so it appeared. But we both suspected it was actually a shark of another kind, so we kept our distance.

Squalo della Strada – The Dreaded Road Shark

The next morning we went into Fiesole to pick up a few things. To our utter amazement and horror, there in Piazza Garibaldi, was the most unlikely sight. No more than 3 meters away, mouth wide open, ready to chomp down on our little car with us in it, was a vicious road shark. The enormous white denti di squalo, shark’s teeth were glistening in the morning sunlight. Swerving to the left, we narrowly pulled away from it without getting drawn violently down into the asphalt currents.


What a curious string of shark encounters! Yet we escaped all three without a scratch. We imagine ourselves lucky as we recount our near misses—proving once again that the imagination is a powerful thing, even more powerful than the most vicious shark in the sea, the sky, the grass or the road.

Note: You may also be interested in another siting made by Em’s mother in a story called “Seeing Stars.”


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