I cannot believe it has been so long since I posted here....life has had me running full speed since my return from Italy. Last night, I was able to take some time to sit again, and thumb through images, and get lost in those beautiful feelings Italy birthed!! Hello San Fedele and the Chianti Hills The drive to San Fedele was beautiful, just as one would imagine.....rolling hills sprinkled with vineyards and villas with red tile roofs. There were also many very very old estates in ruins along the way. Supposedly, the Chianti region is the most expensive real estate in the world. You CANNOT build anything new there.
You must purchase something someone else is selling, or buy one of the old estates "in ruins" and refurbish it. And...there are all kinds of laws about how you must refurbish....keeping to the original designs and materials. This is why Chianti is sooooo beautiful!!!!!
And not very populated!! San Fedele is a Monastary on a hill built in the 1200's.
It took seven years and over 1000 workers to complete the renovation, after the current owners Nicolo and Renada purchased it. The renovation was truly a labor of love for them. They said the renovations took twice as long as they had estimated and cost three times as much as they estimated. This is a very special place and their mission is that it is used to bering like minded people together to experience beauty renewal, personal growth and healing. They host families, and special groups of artists , writers, musicians,etc, they are NOT a hotel. They are very choosy what they host, which makes it all the more special.
San Fedele from the road.
The front of San Fedele, and to the left ( not in this photo)
is the building of rooms where the monks ( and then us) stayed:)
See the image below.
My room to the left.... #2:)
The view from my doors, across the courtyard.
Beyond these trees is rolling countryside.
Ot was the most beautiful view, and the weather was perfect, so we left our double doors open most of the day to allow fresh air and sunshine.
The rooms were very large and beautifully decorated.
I still get choked up when I look at my photos from this wonderful trip. I am determined to savor it for as long as I can and keep the memories fresh and yet, I find I am already forgetting details that I desperately want to remember. Next trip, I will journal on my phone many times throughout the day, because by the time I fell into bed some nights, I was too tired to journal...and so overwhelmed with the emotion of the experience...
So my writing was sporadic, and now details are running together....
My Recent trip to Italy.... Goodbye to Cortona The morning we were to lave Cortona, I ran back up the street to get a photo of my favorite art gallery there. La "Galleria Nazionale" I purchased two paintings from this gallery. One was a 5x7 impasto oil painting by Antonio Sbrana, a well know artist from Tuscany born in 1934. According to the gallery owner, Antonio is currently going blind, but refuses to give up is brushes.....
I saw this little landscape in the window our very first night in Cortona and knew I had to bring it home, so my first priority the next day was to buy it!! It now hangs in my dining room.
So....while the gallery owner was wrapping up this beautiful little gem, I wandered into the second room of the gallery and stumbled onto the piece below by Albert Aprilia, an artist from Rome that is famous for his paintings of beautiful women in cafes and piazzas .
This painting measure 30"x30" and now........also hangs in my dining room!!!:):):):)
The rest of my house is very old world tuscan, but last year we changed the dining room from an ornate room with heavy ornate furniture and dark red walls to a soft , clean French look...now it holds my beautiful paintings from Cortona and my pottery from studio Rampini outside of Radda , so I guess now it's a French/Italian dining room!!
DAY 3 IN CORTONA, ITALY PART 2..... Thank you for allowing me to share my trip SLOWLY....and savor every image as I share it....I just don't want it to be over.......!!!!! I left off last time with Day three in Cortona...Part 1.... It had rained , which created a totally different experience and was marvelous It was to be out last day in Cortona.....so I went back out later in the day to capture more images to hold in my heart until next time...
We did not see too many pets...a couple of dogs, and a few cats that kept turning up all over town, this is one of them:) He was darling and I am not even a cat person!!
The gallery of a local artist...two floors jam packed...the work was childlike , bright, and colorful...very happy work!!
Our Last Dinner in Cortona....
Every single course at every restaurant was a work of art!
And THAT my friend is the conclusion of day 3 in Cortona!!
Check back for GOODBYE CORTONA, HELLO "SAN FEDELE"
Day 3 in Cortona.......Part 1, My recent trip to Italy with Kimberly Conrad
Day 3 in Cortona.......Part 1 Day 3 was just as marvelous. We had a demo on the terrace of the hotel by Joan Fullerton, then split up to "paint the town". Judith Babcock and I headed out together just as it started to rain. We didn't mind it a bit, as it gave us a different experience then the two days before.
The lovely Judith Babcock...just walkin' in the rain!
The rain even SMELLS lovlier in Cortona!! We ducked into a little cafe for a bowl of bean soup...it was amazing....but of course:)
We visited the only book store in town, which is also home to the only art supplies in town....
Books and Art Supplies
Directly across the little street from the bookstore is that little real estate listing place in the movie.....where Frances sees the listing for Bramasole.
I watched the movie again the other night, and when she's standing there looking at this...you see the bookstore behind her....and my heart leapt and shouted "I was there just a few weeks ago....shopping for art supplies"...I know, I know, I have the worst case ever of "I LOVE Italy"!!!!
Judy and I headed back to our rooms for a bit as the rain continued...she painted from
her balcony, and I watched the sky from my balcony and took pictures.
My oh My those Clouds!!
We headed back out ( raining again) but it was our last day in Cortona and could not be wasted...
More photos of the rainy streets and lovely shops
I love how the flags line the streets
Blogger will not allow me to upload any more images for this post....so I will,call this Day 3 in Cortona Part 1 and share part 2 next time!!