Archive | 4:23 PM

Arrivederci but not Goodbye

6 Jul

Tonight is the last night I will be writing from Cortona, but certainly not the last night I will be writing. I am loving this and have had a chance to combine two things I enjoy…photography and writing.  First and foremost, I consider myself a photographer. Not in the grand scheme of things, with all the lenses and settings, but I do see life through photos…always have. On this trip, I carry the smallest camera and almost always have it in my pocket, so I am usually able to capture what I see. Later, my photos tell me the story I want to share.

Given that I wanted to enjoy time here, I have not spent all my time writing, so I still have much to describe. In the past 18 days, we have visited many cities, made many new friends, enjoyed the food, the culture, the lifestyle and the roads we have travelled, whether planned or accidental. I have taken many notes and pictures and plan to keep writing about our trip. Not sure if I will write everyday, but you can check occasionally, or you can even subscribe to this blog. I believe you need to give your name and email address, but you will be notified when there is a new posting.

We  are heading to Roma for two days although I think our internet access will be limited. Thanks for coming along for the ride so far!

Arrivederci (for now)!

Judy and Len




6 Jul

We often walk through the gardens and take a different road each time we get to the end. One time, we came upon a Bed and Breakfast called Villa Valenza. We met the manager, Giancarlo,  who told us about the villa and then asked if we were looking for Bramasole. No, we were just walking, but was it close? Not far, he said, so, why not?

I think many of the Cortonesi think Americans come here just to see the house made famous by the movie, Under the Tuscan Sun. Although I read much of her latest book before this trip, finding the Mayes’ house wasn’t really on our agenda. But if we were that close, might as well. We walked a bit more and there it was, on the hill, perfectly lovely. The movie and real life adventures of Frances Mayes are quite different, we are told. But that’s what makes a movie sell. Suffice it to say that she was pretty gutsy to have purchased and restored a 250+ year old major fixer upper almost 20 years ago in this lovely town.

What you might recognize from the film is the little grotto where the man left flowers every day. I must admit, I was happy to see the house after all. She might have been home as a window on the second floor was open, but we were respectful.

For the trivia minded, Bramasole actually means “yearns for the sun” as this house is on the shady side of the mountain. Nonetheless, the setting and landscaping are beautiful and the house appears to have been restored to its old charm.



Beautiful Children

6 Jul

Whether home or abroad, children’s faces bring a smile to my face. Their expressions and innocence always capture a moment in its truest sense.

Meet my beautiful great niece,  Maven Grace, pictured in pink hat; Graziella’s grandsons (Lorenzo kissing Andrea); and others whose parents kindly agreed to the photos. Finally, father and son sporting Borsellinos… never too young to learn!



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