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Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Excerpts from Our Italy Blog

As the weather turns colder here in Coastal Delaware my thoughts return to Perugia, where we lived from April to the end of November 2005. Before we headed to Sicily, it snowed. This is what I wrote then in our Italy Blog and what I was thinking about. Thought I'd share it with you.

Looking towards the Borgo Bello neighborhood - with a View towards Church of San Domenico a "Journal Painting" I did while drinking a glass of wine at "Punta da Vista"

View from "our garden" - Perugia - a page in my watercolor journal


On Wednesday morning I woke up and looked out the window to see a dusting of white on the ground. I got so excited, I hurried to throw on some clothes, waking Bob to join me to go out and play in the snow! Everyone who lives here has told us how beautiful Perugia is in the snow with the rooftops covered and I was sorry that we would be leaving too soon to see this for ourselves. But Mother Nature has been kind to us and now we feel that we have seen this beautiful city it all its seasons and can happily leave with many wonderful memories. The first place we went was down in the garden to Our View and did indeed see the rooftops dusted with a blanket of snow, transforming our view into a winter wonderland. The snow on the streets around Piazza IV Novembre were melted and wet by the time we went down there but the fountain had snow on all the steps and the tops of the buildings had snow on their upper ledges. It was so wonderful to look out over the view at the other end of Corso Vannucci and see the churches of San Domenico and San Pietro and the houses below with white roofs and the entire top of Monte Subasio above Assisi covered in snow.

"Our View" in snow

Leaving Perugia - An excerpt from blog post dated November 27, 2005

We were happy enough to have come full circle since the time we arrived and it was not yet spring. Trees were bare, the weather was cold and the flowers had not yet started to bloom. Then came the warmer weather and all the geraniums began to appear in window boxes, trees filled out with green and the grape vines woke up, sending their little shoots out from the dark branches. Summer was an explosion of color in the garden, with a succession of beautiful flowers. The santolina wore a crown of gold, lavender filled the air with its perfume, purple iris, yellow daffodils, tulips, daisies, roses, passion vines and finally, the incredible dahlias we enjoyed all through August and September. We loved watching the grapes grow over the arches in the garden, first little tiny buds and then filling out to lush bunches hanging from the vines. We felt a bit like Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, pulling plums and peaches right off the trees and eating them, fresh from the garden. I used sage and rosemary snipped from the garden and we spent many hours staring out over this wonderful view, amazed at our good fortune at having found this piece of heaven and secured it for ourselves for this moment in time.

The incredible Dahlias - Bob's photograph

Foggy Borgo Bello

Fontana Maggiore, Perugia in fog

Autumn brought the changing leaves. The chestnut trees turned rusty brown with spiky balls of chartruesse green that dropped to the ground. The maple trees shed enormous red and yellow leaves and everywhere the colors were golden with shades of crimson here and there. The grounds of the garden were covered with crunchy acorns and we expected to be hit on the head one day but never were. Even the grape vines joined in and we saw rolling hillsides in autumn colors. The colder days brought fog and mist that was mysterious and marvelous to see and we had a blast walking around in the clouds. I loved the way the air felt on my face and the way the city looked like a photograph that has been ghosted back, its buildings and fountains like silhouettes through the fog.

Snowy Borgo Bello

And now the snow. The finishing touch. It didn't last for more than that day but the weather has definitely turned cold. We go outside now bundled up in scarves and sweaters and coats. We found these nifty mitten/gloves that are like gloves with the fingers cut off but with a mitten-like flap you can pull off and on if you need to use your fingers without taking off the gloves. My black wool coat with the hood tops it all off. They say snow in November is unusual. Everyone said it doesn't usually snow until January or February. And we are packing to go.

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