If you have been reading my blog you know that we had sold our acreage and that I had been busy packing up 18 years of living in June and the beginning of July. On July 15th, we officially became "homeless", and on July 18th we flew to Spain for a month. During that month of being in Spain, staying with my daughter, Kim, and her family, I flew to Italy with Kim for a week of study with the famous portrait artist David Kassen. It was a fantastic week, in a beautiful location - Civita Castellana - which is about 45 minutes north of what we call Rome, but which is called Roma in Italy.
Civita Castellana is a town which is ancient. It was originally settled during the Iron Age and repopulated during the Middle Ages. Civita Castellana has a fantastic city wall which rises up from the highway which passes by. The thick stones are baked dry in the sun, yet have withstood the elements for centuries! Cobblestone is everywhere. It is fantastic to think Roman soldiers and citizens walked these roads.
|part of the city's wall with road far below|
The scenes from the top of this wall are very pastoral and lush. You hear sheep bleating and the buzz of little motorized bikes rising from the valley below in a strange chorus. In the distance is the mountain that the French painter, Corot, painted many times, making it "famous", or at least familiar, for those who followed his work.
The house in which Corot stayed, (and painted from one of its windows), perches high up on a hill, with Tuscan-type trees in a row leading from the house to the road which winds from the hill down, around, and into the town of Civita Castellana.
|the house where Carot stayed|
It was beyond this house, at the height of this hill, that the studio we walked to each day was located. You can just see some of us in the lower left part of this picture, walking along another part of the city wall in the early morning sun. That was the coolest part of our day and walk, literally! We trekked back from the studio to the hotel for lunch, then back to the studio for the afternoon session, and back to the hotel in the evening - 30 minutes each way, so 2 hours of walking per day. With temperatures in the 40's each day, that was an exercise in losing body weight through sweating!
I will have more to share with you on what this gorgeous area was like, and how the class went, in my next post. Till then ciao!