The Law in Orvieto

by Dakota Smith

At first glance, you notice his collared pressed shirt perfectly tucked into his dark long pants, and his kind wrinkled eyes which tell the story of a man who works hard for a living. His soft smile is inviting to each client who enters his office in Orvieto, Italy, with his desk filled with piles of papers and folders in front of which clients sit awaiting his guidance. Time passes by and the clients

exit his office, often with a look of uncertainty as they walk pass the endless bookcase and proceed to the door; Emilio watches with that same soft smile.

Growing up Emilio Festa yearned to be a doctor. It wasn’t until he was 18 he decided to pursue being a lawyer. After getting his degree from university, he headed back home to Siena with his wife, Daniella, to start working. It was not long until he was given the opportunity to work in Orvieto. So, he moved and began working for himself. After years of working on his own, he became successful. He left his tiny cluttered studio for a grand open space with decorative walls and an office to call his own. As the clients began to flock in, Emilio began to gain recognition throughout Orvieto. “I did not expect to be this successful, but I am happy and enjoy what I do; I would have it no other way”, he says, looking at the lines of books on the wall and art dotting the space.

Day after day, Emilio wakes up at 9 and heads off to work. His first stop of the day is court, where he sits and listens as the judge reads aloud the clients’ fate. This is Emilio’s favorite part of his job. He enjoys attending the criminal trials and participating in the hearings, before the case is heard by the “Tribunale alle Corti”, Court of Courts. The rest of the day, he meets with clients and constantly answers the phone.

When the day is done, Emilio hikes up the 62 marble steps leading to his home. He is greeted by a jumpy cocker spaniel, Evo, who has been waiting for his arrival. He navigates his way to the family room where he is greeted by his beautiful wife, who has been preparing the family meal in the kitchen all afternoon, an important part in the fabric of Italian culture. After saying, “Ciao” he strolls over to the couch and plops down to relax after a longs day’s work. He opens the crisply folded newspaper, which holds the stories of politicians and local happenings, where he looks for clues to his upcoming job possibilities. His day concludes at the dinner table with his family. Emilio says, “My day is over when I am eating and chatting with my family. Food is what brings us together, so I cherish this time.”