|View of Olive Groves in Tuscany from Montepulciano|
People are people everywhere. We met individuals from around the world, each person open, friendly and ever so helpful; from the kind Asian woman who took time to help us decipher the automated train ticket machine in Florence: the New Zealand man who helped us find the correct bus, two couples who graciously shared their cab, to a young Seattle couple who journeyed with us in the dark, up ancient stone stairs and through the narrow streets of our hill town to make sure we found our hotel. Thank you!
|Rosso Fiorentino - "Descent from the Cross" in Volterra, Italy|
|Inlaid stone floor design in the Vatican, Rome Italy|
|View of Vernazza in the Cinque Terre (sadly, this beautiful town|
has been virtually destroyed by a severe flood this October)
|One of our great Italian dinners with new found friends|
The Italian passion for food and eating: The Italian way of enjoying a fine, multi-course meal with family and friends as the star event is a wonderfully fulfilling time indeed. We so enjoyed reveling in our good eats and company with no need to rush off to the next activity as us Americans are so used to doing.
Italian Ice Cream! Gelato is a very special treat and quickly became our perfect lunch in every exotic flavor!
The Caprese salad: Such a fresh and wholesome combination of flavors and my new favorite salad with sliced tomatoes, basil, fresh mozzarella and drizzled with balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Yum!
|Bicycling in Lucca, Italy|
Crossing a street in Rome is a hair-raising exercise in risk-taking and assertiveness training. Not for the faint hearted! Make eye contact with the drivers and bravely claim your right to walk across in spite of the throngs of “toy cars”, Vespas and tour buses storming your way.
|Pizza delivery in the hill towns of Italy!|
|Beautiful David! Accademia Gallery, Florence Italy|
Borrowing creative ideas from the past: I was reminded how so little of what we create in our art and design today is every truly new. Many of the designs and concepts are rehashed and renewed for a younger civilization. Etruscan earrings from 2000+ years ago were in designs similar to our modern hoop earrings. Renaissance painters explored the use of abstract shapes and bright vibrant colors in dynamic compositions filled with motion and emotion. An apparel exhibit in Florence displayed fashions through the decades with many designs in styles we might wear today.
Thank you for reading these little tidbits on my Italian experience. This, I hope, will be my lifelong journey, to always strive to learn and discover from both the ordinary at home and the more extraordinary abroad.