ELAINE QUEHL, Quilt Artist, Teacher, Dyer, Designer

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Italy 2012: Views and More

Today's post includes views and vistas and a few odds and ends that don't quite fit elsewhere. 

In this photo you can see the beautiful olive groves stretching along the hills below Trevi, Umbria.  Trevi is considered the olive oil capital of Italy.

You will recall this gorgeous poppy photo, taken along the winding roads to Trevi.  I just had to include it again for emphasis!

Spoleto is also an interesting town, although IMHO not as beautiful as some others.  The most interesting landmark is this bridge, the Ponte della Torre, that spans a gorge outside the old town.  It is believed to have been built in the 1300's over an ancient Roman aquaduct.

The bridge leads from a castle to a fortification post.  Once you are on the bridge you can look over one side, but the wall on the other is far too high to see over.

The other attraction in Spoleto is the Duomo (cathedral).  It has a commanding presence and dominates the old town.

That's me in the orange robes walking toward the cathedral.  I almost feel like a Buddhist monk in that colour.  Strangely, on this rainy day I noticed my socks, moneybelt and underwear were turning orange.  Too much information?  It seems the dye in these new jeans, whose colour is actually this year's hot colour, "tangerine tango", was not colourfast.  After washing them when I returned to Ottawa, more than half the colour is gone.  I should have known better than to buy pants with the name Jessica Simpson on them, a woman famous only for being famous, not for any particular talent ;-)).

The cathedral gave me refuge from the rain.  I decided it was too much to carry an umbrella, a cane, a camera, a purse, and a bottle of water, so I sent my husband to scout out the town for "must see" places and I sat down and sketched for a while until the rain stopped.

Todi is another beautiful Umbrian hill-top village, with great views over the Umbrian countryside.

I guess you could say we love hill-top villages, which Italy is full of.  In Corciano I enjoyed this bench, and met up with a group of Americans painting plein air at the edge of the village.

The clouds and rainbow provided a little drama over Corciano.  If you click on the photo you will be able to see the rainbow easier.

The view over Caprarola, where we visited the Villa Farnese, was also a beautiful one.  More on the Villa Farnese and other gardens of Lazio tomorrow.

And finally, here is the view from our hotel room during the second week of our trip.  We stayed just outside Viterbo so we could have access to many gardens in the Lazio region.  A former convent, the Hotel Ora Domus La Quericia, has a beautiful courtyard.  It also offers rooms at reasonable prices.  They are basic, but include a generous breakfast. 

Speaking of prices, I am always amazed at how inexpensive coffee is in Italy.  Forget about Starbucks, there are none, but the coffee is far better.  I paid as little as 1 Euro for an espresso, and mostly about $1.50 for a cappucino.  I was told by a waitress that some North Americans complain about how strong the coffee is.  Well not me, I drank it happily and frequently, and prefer it to the coloured water we often drink here in North America.  Not to mention that you can get fantastic coffee (and food) in the tiniest of villages in Italy, and it is not unusual to have the coffee beans ground fresh just before your coffee is made.

Finally, I include this photo, taken in Orvieto.  You must understand that I am facinated by people who join religious orders.  My university studies were in Anthropology and Religion.

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