Posts Tagged ‘travel’

More Italian Countryside

Posted on: May 22nd, 2012 by jmbroekman 1 Comment

Probably our last real road trip this time around took us to the Marche region to visit friends in Urbino (above left); then on to San Marino (technically not even Italy – above right). On the road between the two we went through an amazing valley, which it turns out is a hunting preserve (below, top). The weather was less than ideal, but the views are magnificent none-the-less. Below, on the bottom, is a view looking out from along the Urbino walls. A week from now we’ll be looking at a very different landscape.


The Italian Countryside

Posted on: May 18th, 2012 by jmbroekman 3 Comments

A beautiful hike in Umbria

Yesterday we hiked from Spello, along the old Roman aqueduct, to Collepino – a tiny little medieval “borgo” on the side of Mt. Subasio, completely surrounded by il parco regionale del monte Subasio. It was perfect hiking weather – bright and sunny, clear blue skies, with a nice cool breeze up in the hills. The great thing about hiking in Italy is you often can go from one town to another, and thus, there is usually some place to stop and have a nice plate of cheese and salami, and a glass of wine in a lovely little piazza. Or, your destination could be to stop for an espresso before turning around to do the hike back.

At left are pictures of the view along the trail, and looking back at our starting point, the town of Spello. Below, yet another amazing Umbrian countryside view, with Spello in the distance.

Below: The little piazza in Collepino; a pizza oven on the edge of town in Collepino; and along the path, a sweet-smelling flowering bush, the name of which I know nothing about, neither in English nor Italian!


Ancora Firenze

Posted on: May 3rd, 2012 by jmbroekman 3 Comments
Il leone alla chiesa di Santa Croce


must be one of the most photogenic cities around. We have been lucky to stopover for a night several times during these months in Italy. I’m going to miss being able to do that after we return to Maine at the end of this month.

At left: the lion guarding the entrance to la chiesa di Santa Croce, and a view up to San Miniato in the distance. Below: Santa Croce and the piazza after a rain; and looking at the Ponte Vecchio from behind.


Festa Della Donna

Posted on: March 8th, 2012 by jmbroekman 2 Comments

Oggi e la giornata internazionale della donna.

As stated in Wikipedia: it’s a day to remember the social, political, and economic conquests of women, as well as the discriminations and violence that are still in evidence against women in many parts of the world. In Italy the day is celebrated with Mimosa flowers. And, right on schedule, the Mimosa trees are in full bloom. When we were in Rome 4 years ago on March 4th there were mimosa cakes in all the pastry shop windows. I’ve not seen them yet in Foligno, but I’ve not yet been out this morning.

Here’s wishing you a bright sunny day of the women – may we all continue to move forward in creating a peaceful world where equality and justice for all prevails.

Italian Doors

Posted on: March 7th, 2012 by jmbroekman 2 Comments

Firmly locked

Italians are notoriously good at defense – just look at all those walled cities up on the hilltops. Then there are the fences – many with a barking dog running the length of the property as you walk past. And then, the variety of doors, with locks and chains of all strengths and sizes.

I’ve long been interested in doors as the gateway to something else. It’s an easy metaphor to use – barriers to what lies beyond or within, thresholds worth crossing to discover new territories for exploring. Opening doors in my work has always been a challenge, but one to which I keep returning. Maybe that’s why this time in Italy the rich abundance of physical doors has captured my attention. I’ve been collecting lots of photos of doors, knockers and knobs. The next newsletter (coming soon), will have a handful more photos of doors and details. If you are not already subscribed, you can do so here.

In the meantime, I’ve posted some new collages on the Italy Sketches page which you can reach by clicking here. At some point I’ll make it easier to find. For the time being, though, I’m having too much fun playing with Venetian Stucco, a material I’ve recently discovered. It’s a great surface on which to draw; and working with it appears to have opened some new doors!