Rome, the pines on the Palatine Hill
Now, with Thanksgiving behind us we move forward into the dark and cold part of the year. Although I must say that the temperature outside today is in the 50's, unseasonably mild and welcoming. With the darkness setting in early by late afternoon the light in the studio becomes too dim to paint. It is then that I work on travel plans for the spring trip to Italy. Later in the evening James will often light a fire and we dine in front of the fireplace. These are two remedies we have found to brighten this time of year.
I began this blog, At Home and Away, prior a trip to Rome when James was a Visiting Artist at The American Academy in Rome in spring of 2010. So in part the blog became our travel journal. This time the blog will again serve as our travel journal beginning with the planning and preparations for our trip.
Thoughts and suggestions are most welcomed.
When we travel it is to Italy. James and I go to look at art and gardens. We find the Italian people really lovely and kind. We love eating, cooking and certainly drinking Italian wine. The landscape of Tuscany and Umbria is breathtaking and Rome is an incredible city.
So, where do we begin? Where do we go this time that we have not gone in the past?
One change, on this trip our daughter and her husband will be with us for about two weeks.
James and I generally rent an apartment in Panicale, Umbria as a home base. Renting an apartment works well for us due to the fact that it is economical and we can cook. We are renting again, but the Panicale apartment is not available for our entire stay this year, so we have to consider other options for the remainder of our time there.
There are places we love that we want to share with them, Rome, Siena, Florence, maybe Lucca. There are small villages and hill towns to explore with medieval alleys to walk. There are cathedrals and abbeys of remarkable architecture filled with art. Palazzos with loggias and courtyard gardens. Gardens both hidden and small as well as the grand gardens to visit. Art, there is art in museums, but for us the best place to see art in the place it was meant to be, the place where it was created; a fresco on the ceiling of a Baroque Basilica or Renaissance fresco on refectory wall of an abbey. There are trattorias that cannot be missed. Always, always new places to find.
So, it is now the planning begins. The apartment in Panicale is rented, for at least a portion of our visit.
I am reading Rome, by Robert Hughes. I just completed a book on
the design genius of both Bernini and Borromini.
My notebooks and sketchbooks from past trips sit on my desk, pages open. Travel guides line the bookshelf for reference. My mind is filled with Italy...Rome, Tuscany & Umbria.
I will keep you posted.
Ideas to share? Know a great place to stay, a delicious trattoria, a place to see a remarkable painting, a quiet and hidden garden. Something not to be missed, let me know!