Postcards from Umbria


I had a perfect hot day in Rome last week. (On a hot day in Rome, perfection includes getting back to an air conditioned room by 3:00 and spending the hottest part of the day resting one’s feet.) Loyal readers (that’s you, Mom and Paul) already know of my fondness for Gianlorenzo Bernini, the sculptor and architect whose work decorates Rome and — please don’t think me shallow for mentioning this —… Read More

I misplaced my camera the day before Mom and Paige (dear family friend and Mom’s traveling companion) arrived. As it happens, Paige is, on top of all her other admirable qualities, a very fine photographer.  I didn’t lose my camera on purpose. Really. But you may notice an improvement in the photos taken during my camera’s hiatus and a corresponding decline following its reappearance. Pienza On their first full day in Italy, we… Read More

There are two WWII cemeteries near Benano. They are peacefully beautiful and very poignant. The small Orvieto war cemetery is primarily a battlefield cemetery, so the dates of death are almost all about the same — and all of them are way too close to the dates of birth. They were so young. It’s startling to realize that the British men buried here died within weeks of June 5, 1944, when Rome fell to… Read More

Paul is here! This will be way too long if I describe how happy I am to be with him again. Longer still if I describe my race to the airport to be there on time. Daylight Savings Time arriving in Italy this weekend … who knew? Everything worked out, and it was a wonderful reunion. We took a very slightly longer but much more scenic drive home. Rather taking the freeway,… Read More

We had heard that our little village of Benano is featured in a fresco in Orvieto, but all we knew was that it was supposed to be in a building across the piazza from the Duomo.  So I went on a fresco hunt this morning. The Etruscan Museum is directly across from the church, so that was my first stop.  I was deflated when I saw its stark white walls.  Museum staff… Read More

According to local lore, the entire village once baked bread in the forno (oven) that now sits in disrepair in our ground floor.  The forno is no longer useable because of impossible-to-ignore ventilation issues.  And I’ll try to say this kindly, but there is really nothing attractive about it except the communal life it represents.  So with mixed emotions, we are about to dismantle one of the most evocative and interesting historic features… Read More