Sunday, July 15, 2012

Lovely Flashbacks ~ Italy 2012

One of the students from our recent Art + Yoga retreat to Umbria, sent a note saying she was going through "Italy withdrawal", something I can definitely relate to! Over ten years of traveling to and from the Italian countryside has left me with year-long withdrawal symptoms! A malady that has no cure! Below are some of the highlights of our adventures this June. First, our three day pre-retreat scouting and sketching trip to Siena. Enjoy!

Breakfast every morning at the lovely Pensione Palazzo Ravizza in Siena; croissant, homemade grain breads, fresh fruits and jams, blood orange juice and cappuccino love, of course!

 Each morning for breakfast and each evening for cocktails, a delightful view of the Siena countryside from the garden. A sketch is imminent !!!!

 Michael soaking up the exquisite Siena morning

 A favorite tree in the Pensione Palazzo Ravizza garden, begging me to grab my sketchbook!

Siena's Duomo, packed with art, amazing marble floors and....

...a Gothic marble sanctuary of dark-green and white stripes, incredible!

Inside the Duomo, the "not to be missed" Piccolomini Library. A 14th century take on the birth of humanism and the Renaissance, frescoed by Pinturicchio celebrating the life of Siena's future Pope Pius II, Aeneas Picccolomini (c. 1454-1513). The breathtaking, three dimensional frescos invite you in to celebrate the optimism of the time. These were preserved in a small closed room (Piccolomini family library) for 550 years and look as though they were painted yesterday. My fav!!

 The "dandy" in tights is said to be Florentine artist, Donatello!

 Note the use of the very rare cobalt blue and gold-leaf in the illustrations of the illuminated hymnals.

Nicola Pisano's pulpit in the sanctuary, the seven relief panels carved in wood depicting the life of Christ are said to be the "Giotto of sculpture"; creating depth and dimensionality by layering , note the stars on the ceiling, just like St. Francis Basilica in Assisi

Duomo reflected
 View from the top of the Duomo, Siena rooftops, love it!

The Campo in Siena, home of the famous Palio race. People spread out like it's the beach, very strange indeed!!

 Cheers from Siena! More in my next post...Ciao! Victoria


Onlythemanager said...

So beautiful! I can see why you feel deprivation when away.

Maria Rose said...


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