Saturday, March 7, 2009

Ciao Italia

I've been to Italy once. I'm not sure how many days it was because it went by in a blur. About a week during which we flashed through all the usual tourist highlights - Florence (Michaelangelo), Cremona (violins), Pisa (the crooked architecture), Lucca (a medieval wall), Venice (Bridge of Sighs, beautiful glass, rissoto), Rome (colesium, columns, lasagna). And everywhere sculptures and paintings and marble- Oh, my! Enough to make me want to go back and experience it at a slower, more savory pace.

I picked up a book at the library, Dreaming of Tuscany, just for a winter afternoon's read. I don't often indulge in such sedentary occupations but today it was snowing and there were no children home. I can't even remember the last time the house was so quiet. Such a struggle to know what to do in an empty house on a Saturday. All alone. It never happens to me. I have to make the very best of it. Laundry? Vacuuming? Bake? Clean a closet? That list has no bottom. I had intended to spend the free Saturday in my studio throwing pots but did I say it was snowing? Also blowing which means the drafty studio feels like Fairbanks and the work is more like sculpting ice then forming clay. And things take forever to dry.

Do I dare do nothing? Listen to the sound of quiet? Read a book when it's still daylight? What if someone found out? What would happen to my reputation? What about the To Do list?

I decided to risk it all and give in. To make some tea and sink into a chair with the book and reminisce about the warm Mediterranean while it snows out the window behind me. Such indulgence. (And after a few pictures of vineyards and ciabbatta, the tea turned into wine...)

Dreaming of Tuscany is full of luscious photographs of markets and farmhouses, loaves of bread and garden sculptures. Since I dare not scan any of the photos in the book for this page, I'll use a few of my own badly lit, poorly composed photos from my one trip just to give you a little feel of Italia. Sognare! (Dream)

"Italy is a dream that keeps returning for the rest of your life." -Anna Akhmatova

So true!

"The Tuscans have the faculty of making much of common things and converting small occasions into great pleasures." -Henry James

"It is not insulting to bread to call it stale, because freshness is merely the first of its many lives." Marcella Hazan (cookbook author)

"Not everyone in Italy may know how to cook, but nearly everyone knows how to eat." -Marcella Hazan

"Why would you be anywhere else when you can be in Italy?" -Edith Wharton

I really was there. It wasn't just a dream...


  1. In your last picture, it looks like you are standing in front of a painting. I hope to one day visit Italy.

  2. Yea, I was afraid it looked like I just photo-shopped myself into Venice.

    But not!

  3. You mean you didn't just photoshop that?

    *ahem*... we believe you were there, ma, sure...


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