Italy - 2003

Dear Reader,

My trip to the Tuscany region of Italy this year was incredible! I again went with Welcome to the Renaissance workshop tours led by Dr. Sam Hilt and Pam Mercer. They have been taking small groups to Florence and Siena for over 6 years. Check out their website, from the link at the end of this journal. Next year I'll be teaching painting for all levels as a part of one of their Siena tours from August 29 to September 4 and you'll find all the details under the heading "The Marriage of Landscape and Spirit."

Those of you who have read my previous trip journals will notice that this time I'm using a different format. Rather than a day-by-day accounting, these are personal moments snapshots of people, places, art, food, shopping, and so on. If I succeed in communicating a sense of place, and of things learned and felt in this lovely escape, my purpose will be satisfied. I hope that in the reading of these experiences, you will be reminded of journey's you've taken, or if you have not yet done so, it will encourage you to take one! Ciao, and happy reading, Carolyn

Wish you were here!

But first, a brief quote about the movement that began in Florence and that changed the world--the Renaissance."In Florence the Medici encouraged the study of antiquities and classical literature and some of the greatest poets and artists of the day belonged to their cultural circle. An innovative process, later defined as the Renaissance, had begun and, in various guises, was to continue throughout the 16th Century, gradually spreading into all European countries. Architecture, music, theatre, literature and the figurative arts all flourished."  Adrianna Silvestri from Magic Moments in Florence.

My Arrival in the Small Town of San Gusme

It is early evening as we drive south and east from the Florence airport. Just past Siena we turn off the Autostrada. The roads are narrow as we move quietly into the foothills, and suddenly we are surrounded by tilled fields and vineyards heavy with purple grapes. I am in the lovely Chianti region of Italy, and the view makes my pulse quicken. (Yes, it actually does that.) The whole landscape is warmed by a golden light; the amazing, beautiful light of Tuscany!

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