Sunday, August 15, 2010

Remberance of Italy 1999

I've been doing some painting these last couple weeks. Going back in time to 1999 the first time I went to Italy.

I joined a group of women painters in a little country town in Tuscany, about 45 miles from Florence. We stayed in a beautiful villa that sat on top a hill overlooking a valley filled with grapes and olive trees and farm houses. We could see two other hill towns from where were on Saturday evenings they had fiestas with fireworks, first the one to our left, then the next Saturday, the one on our Right. Every evening as we had our dinner, cooked by Elizabetha our cook, we watched the sun set and drank their wonderful Italian wine.

What a wonderful two weeks I had. From the moment I got there I felt at home, like I had seen these vistas before, it felt like coming home again.

I would get up very early, the rooster at an adjoining villa would wake me. I loved starting my day this way. I would make a strong cup of coffee in a little espresso pot and go outside to greet the day. It was always fresh and cool in the mornings, but later in the day it would get very warm. I was always the first one up and loved being alone at that time.

Later after everyone was up and we had our breakfast of Nutella and Italian bread, with coffee or tea, we would all gather our supplies together and make sure we had our hats and off we went to find the perfect spot to paint. The first morning we mostly explored our surroundings and walked the road (dirt) down the hill to see what we might have missed on the way up in the car. I remembered a little church that we passed and decided to
paint there. It was a beautiful place and I did a couple of nice watercolor
sketches, which I have since given away.
It would get very hot around noon and we would all make our way back up the hill to the villa where Elizabetha was busy preparing our lunch. We would freshen up, get the sweat out of our eyes and gather under the shelter in the yard. We share our mornings work and talked of our experience and then Elizabetha would bring out large platter of pasta, salad, fresh Italian bread, fruit and wine. After lunch it was time for a hot to go out and paint... then about 4PM we would go out
again to paint. Dinner was around 7:30 or 8:00. It was truly La Dolce Vita.

The first below is Villa Parcheggio, the neighboring villa to Aglitoni where we stayed. The second is Aglitoni.

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