Wednesday, January 6, 2010

What I Did On My Vacation

I ended this past very intense fall semester with a long anticipated trip to Italy. Two weeks only began to scratch the surface of Venice, Florence, Siena, and Rome. The food, the art, the architecture - oh my! It will take me some time to integrate it all.

It snowed in Florence (a very rare occurrence) resulting in an eerie and magical disappearance of all motorized vehicles on the strangely quiet but beautiful white streets. This is a shot of Filippo Brunelleschi's Duomo covered in snow.

The residents of Florence are very friendly, but for the most part a rather business-like group. The adults "tolerated" this intrusion of weather. The children, as you can well imagine, went crazy! Coming from southern California, my travel group did too! It was the best.

Venice was just like I had seen in pictures -but never truly believed. Surely there must be autos on the streets just beyond the street not shown, I thought. Nope. No car to be found anywhere. Narrow streets and passageways barely wide enough for two people. I still don't understand entirely how the city functions (how do you move a grand piano? what about ambulances?). Guess I'll have to go back for more research.

This is a sketch of Siena, well known for its charm. As we were in Italy during record setting cold temperatures, sitting outside for a leisurely sketch was a rare option. We found the only cafe with outdoor heaters and a view. The view was easy to come by - everything about Siena is picturesque. Sigh.

I'm wondering what Italy's like in the summer. May just have to do some more onsite research.