As we gain
a rise, Sam points toward another hilltop and with a voice bordering
on reverence, says "there is our village, San Gusme." In 5 minutes
we arrive and park outside the walled medieval town. As we make
our way up the narrow cobblestone streets, everyone we pass exchange
greetings with us. "Buena Serra," and then they chat in their beautiful
language. No one is in a hurry. I am enchanted.
a doorway, some stairs, and we emerge into the apartment and a warm
welcome. This is followed by a delicious dinner created by Pam in
her tiny kitchen starting with an antipasto of prociutto and melon,
then pasta, salad and roasted chicken. Oh! and did I forget to mention?
some aromatic, warm the tummy Chianti. Later we put on sweaters
and go out for a walk and an ice cream treat. It seems that the
whole town is out visiting, playing, having an espresso. As I later
learn, there is a name for this sharing of an evening outside passeggiata.
My first morning...
and a singular opportunity. Right now is the only time I'll have
to paint this whole trip. And from my third floor bedroom window
I find a scene fit for a painting so I unearth my small watercolor
kit from amongst the clothes and other travel necessities. First
the sketch, followed by a moment to meditate on the colors red tile
rooftops worn to pink. The gray top of the high wall that has surrounded
this village since the 1300's, and near the wall, a healthy dark
green Pine tree. Across the road lie soft green fields and trees,
and beyond are the lavendar hills and dark purple mountains. Resting
lightly over it all is the misty blue and pink of a morning sky.
My paints and I are inadequate to the task, but we try anyway. And
gain pleasure in the doing.
Last Morning at San Gusme
morning. I wake early and go out by myself, down the stairs, around
a comer and into the bar for a morning coffee. The bars are actually
coffee house, restaurant, bar, and in some, such as this one, they
bake their own pastries. Mmmmmm.