Our 2014 Italian adventure is complete, and what a trip it was. Though I started posting from “the road,” it became clear there was only enough time and energy to “live in the moment.” There WAS enough time and energy to take a ton of photos though…phew. The first half of the trip was with the lovely alumni group from Willamette University, as noted in the last post. They were intrepid, funny, nice, interesting, lively. Varied. The Alumni trip does more “cultural exploration” and less art-looking than the Hull/Birnbaum “Studies in Florence” 1979-2005, but they got to Sienna Cathedral and Museum to see Duccio’s Maesta, Simone Martini and Ambrogio Lorenzetti in the Palazzo Publico, and finally, a long and intense Hull tour through the Uffizi in Florence. Note on art photos: Italy absolutely doesn’t allow photography in museums and churches…what I took was on the sly. Interestingly our guide mentioned litigation in play now that might make it illegal to keep people from photographing.
There is no coherent way of organizing this really so just come along if you can…I’ll try for the usual text-light, image-heavy. Other people’s vacations can be pretty deadly…it’s just an archival habit I have. Once I’ve set this in motion I’ll move to just images and let you guess what we were doing. The plane left late…and flew over familiar territory…
Over the next week we visited a cheese factory where they made Pecorino Senesi…a sheep’s milk cheese milder than Pecorino Romano that we mostly get in the US. We visited the Monsanto winery where the most amazing thing was the encyclopedic cellar including a small niche for each grandchild…100 bottles put down on each child’s birthday and held until they are 21…we saw lead crystal being blown at Colle Vilca, we saw an interesting very old fresco just unearthed with people grouped around the fertility tree…don’t miss what the hanging fruit might be…here we go:
…and off go our new friends. We repack and head to Umbria.