Three years ago we were enjoying the beauty of the Tuscan landscape. How different our landscape is here in British Columbia but the beauty of both uplifts us all during these difficult times.
Here are a few images from our visit to Certaldo a beautiful hilltop town 35 kilometres southwest of Florence, which I posted about three years ago today on the fourth day of our memorable Italian holiday, a holiday that began on day one with an unforgettable moment in Rome:
Five years ago today I was also in a Venice frame of mind.
Studio 365: Day 142 22.5.15
Venice study I 22.5.15
Painting this watercolour and ink sketch in the studio this afternoon allowed me to re-visit our magical trip to Venice in July 1999, a visit documented in a precious journal that I kept throughout our Italian travels that year.
I posted this photograph six years ago today in response to The Weekly Photo Challenge that so many of us used to be part of. Given how we are all supporting each other in the blogosphere, the world’s safest place to practice social distancing during these challenging times, my thanks today are for all the heroes and heroines working so hard to save us all.
The photo was taken early one summer’s evening from the Youth Hostel in Cortona, Italy and shows the bells of the Chiesa del Torreone reflected in our bedroom window with Lake Trasimeno seen shimmering in the distance; a moment of pure magic.
My little watercolour shows reflections in the window of another Italian youth hostel in Finale Ligure, the magnificent Castello Vuillerman, recorded in my Journal on July 2, 1999. We’ll never forget climbing the more than three hundred steps, with packs on our backs, to the Castello where the view of the city, seen in this window reflection, was well worth the climb.
I hope this raises your spirits just a little. Be well and stay safe.
Inspired by those quarantined in their apartments in Italy who have been singing and playing instruments to each other from their balconies, and being the complete Italophile that I am, I selected some of my favorite paintings today that followed various memorable Italian holidays to share in solidarity with this inspiring Italian community musical support.
Thank you also to two great Symphony Orchestras who are broadcasting tonight and tomorrow to let their music bring us together in these difficult times. To quote first from the Seattle Symphony: “Seattle Symphony will continue to share our music through free video rebroadcasts and live-streams to help provide strength, comfort and joy to our community here in Seattle and around the world.”
And secondly from The Vancouver Symphony who will broadcast live tomorrow afternoon Beethoven’s Sixth Symphony: “Music and the arts are the heart of our community. We are facing unprecedented times and we need music now more than ever. In the last few days we have seen a global philosophical ‘coming together’ in an attempt to slow the spread of COVID-19. Ironically, it’s precisely in times of crisis that the human spirit is compelled to come together. The word Symphony in fact means coming together. As such, tomorrow afternoon Maestro Tausk and the musicians of the VSO invite you to come together with us in a virtual finale to BeethovenFest. At 2:00 pm we will livestream Beethoven’s Sixth Symphony “Pastorale” direct from the Orpheum. This is our gift of gratitude to you during this challenging time.”
Details can be found on their web pages.
I hope this will uplift your spirits as much as it has mine.
Val d’Orcia – 23.9.18
A visit to Tuscany in the studio this afternoon.
Ascending the over four hundred steps of the Torre del Mangia of the Palazzo Publico in Siena.
Visit Italy Day Five to enjoy the spectacular view from the top of the tower.
A Canal in Venice, matted and framed.
Whether in glorious colour or monochrome Tuscany takes your breath away.
The Three Graces cheekily contemplate two magnificent frescoes in the Libreria Piccolomini of Siena Cathedral. On the left Enea Silvio, bishop of Siena, presents Eleonora d’Aragona to Emperor Federico III and on the right Enea receives the cardinal’s hat
The photo was taken with an iPhone 6S during our recent visit to Siena in October.
You can find more images of both the library and of Siena by visiting Italy Day Five.