Forget Prince Charming. Edward, come and rescue me!"It is also, as one young man on the tour said, the
sort of love that we all want"Maybe many of us do long for the sort of passion Edward and Bella have, but such an all-consuming love, the sort that makes you leave your family and friends behind, to drop all interest in the world outside the couple, would be considered psychotic and even dangerous by most of us. Still, an all-consuming passion is an ideal, something like Heaven, to be held out to us ordinary lovers as something to imagine and desire. Finally, there are themes of "immortality" that play into an increasingly powerful fear of aging. The same cultures that tell us to Botox at twenty so we never develop a wrinkle are, not surprisingly, the same cultures most likely to be moved by Twilight where Bella stresses about her 19th birthday marking her as "too old." But I think what is really going on in Volterra is the strange marriage of capitalism and romance. Romance as an ideal type always leaves us longing for something more or something different than what we have. And capitalism is there to offer us a path of consumption to fill that aching, empty place of need and desire that are left when everyday experience cannot match the beauty and passion that is Edward and Bella. Romance tourism, alabaster apples, Edward and Bella tee shirts. The marriage of capitalism and romance is why love bites in Volterra, Italy and Forks, WA and around the world, especially today.