Vino on the Vine

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 courtyard, 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 Painting Moment

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.

From my Window

My Last Morning at San Gusme

It's Sunday 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.

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