In the last part of February, I signed up for a 10-day painting workshop in the middle of Italy near southern Umbria. I was very excited about going to a part of Italy that I have never visited and that was rural and quiet. Previously I have only been to the cities of Florence and Venice, neither rural nor quiet. Last week I found out that the workshop was cancelled due to lack of interested painters. I was disappointed. My personality, however, enjoys a bit of adventure and mystery, so I decided to go by myself and have my own painting Italy retreat. Who knows what I will see and experience and who I will meet.
I love to be in a part of the world that is not home. Travel pushes my boundaries, although most of the time I love going to France. Sometimes when I travel I feel that I am invisible and totally anonymous. I like that feeling. It gives me a chance to be an observer. When I am away from home no one expects me to check messages, weed the yard or correct homework. Language sometimes becomes simply a musical background. Travel releases my spontaneity. There is a visceral aspect also. I am free to do whatever I want and collect memories to savor and share.
So at the beginning of July I will be taking off for Casperia, Italy. It is about 90 minutes north of Rome, in the territory of Sabina where the valley of Saint Francis of Assisi lies. Casperia is a vehicle-free village of narrow winding streets. It is not a tourist area, therefore the town, villages and mountains are supposedly unspoilt by heavy traffic and too many people.
I will be staying at La Torretta, a lovely Bed & Breakfast in the heart of Casperia. Here are a couple of views of my home for 10 days.
Those of you who know me know that I cannot go to Europe for only 10 days, so when I leave Casperia I will fly across the Tyrrhenian Sea, part of the Mediterranean to southwestern France to my familiar village of Sorèze for seven weeks to paint and walk in lovely green hills—a much different experience than being in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Anyone interested in going to Italy?