Monday, October 5, 2015

Umbrian Moments, Sept. 2015

  At home in California now, we will go back to normal life here….work, play, morning walks, garden puttering, visits to Mom & Dad…. The day to day stuff that brings to me the comfort of routine.

  In the back of my mind though, I will be thinking of the life that is more and more becoming the new normal, in Umbria. Two worlds that we live in, entirely separate from one another, and yet both have so much to offer. 
  I feel very fortunate.

  For the next few weeks, I will be doing my part to prepare for a show of Johnny's paintings which he did in spring in Umbria. It will be a good way to stay connected to both our worlds.

  Another way to stay connected will be doing this…writing and sharing photos here, on Live Pronto. I have so much to work with still…From the trip in spring, as well as the last couple of weeks in Umbria and Venice. 
  I look forward to slowly going back through and reliving some of these past moments.

  One of our favorite moments is when we just arrive, pick up our rental car, and make that drive through the countryside to get the first glimpses of Panicale from the valley….

The big tractors are always a bonus.

  Because we came just as the wine festival started, there were flags all around the village…this was fun to see as we found our usual parking spot.

The village colors. Three different flags for three different neighborhoods.

Rare for us to see so many folks around..
We are normally here in March, April & May..when it's pretty quiet.
Summer & fall are full of festas.

  We have to touch base with all of our favorite views..some just from the walls of town, others are favorites from places we drive to so often.

From just inside the walls.

Along one of our morning walks.

Below town, on a favorite drive.
We aren't used to seeing the hay rolls, though…or all the spent sunflower blooms.

  The biggest differences on this autumn trip include the light and the landscape. I couldn't stop taking photos of the freshly turned fields. All through the valley…the color combo of the soil and the blue, blue sky..I just loved. The soil was turned in huge chunks, adding texture to the views.

Just one of a bunch of my field shots. 

A perfectly beautiful day to visit a favorite nearby hill town,
Città della Pieve.

  When we drive around to go to the farmer's market, or the lake..or just looking for spots to settle in and paint…there are so many touchstone views that I now have taken photos of soooo many times.   Over the years, these areas haven't changed much at all, but seeing the very familiar scenes in a different season is a trip. Big change.
  We are used to the vibrant greens and yellows of early spring. In September, it's a whole different story…and just as stunning to me.

Heading down to Tavernelle for market day.

The color of the lake is different, too, as well as the fields.

  All the trees and shrubs are in leaf, so you get these distinct lines through the landscape, too. I love the new rhythm that this adds to the views...

Nearby, above Lago di Chiusi.

  We were excited to see all the olive trees in their full glory. Fingers crossed, the harvest will be a good one. Last year was a big disappointment, as the bugs got the best of the trees.
  From what we were told, it's looking ok this year.

  Speaking of harvests, another spot we love is just below town. La Saporita, where we buy apples, almonds, pears, and other wonderful produce. 
  The long driveway to the store front is always a delight, lined with cypress and umbrella pines.


  What was new for us, were the apple trees full of ready to pick apples. There aren't even leaves on the trees when we first arrive in March, but by late April or early May, they are usually in bloom.
  The espaliered trees are always beautiful, but with all the fruit…a real treat.

  There were pomegranate bushes all over the area, too. Of course! I have noticed them around as they just begin to leaf out in spring, but never really considered just how gorgeous they would be with the branches full of fruit….

  The farmers markets had the best of late summer produce going on, too….

So tasty, I ate some every day.

  Then there were the grapes. It was harvest time, and some of the vineyards had already been harvested, others were being done while we were there.
  A real joy to see the vines full of big bunches of ready to crush fruit...

  In fact, just seeing the vineyards themselves, with all the vines full of leaves, was so different. I drive to Sonoma every few weeks, so I'm used to watching those vines go through the seasons. It was such a trip to see them here, because we always see them just totally bare. The fields were green with the vines...

  So anyway, today was my first day back at work in the gallery. Lots of mail to go through, bills to pay, messages to answer…..the usual day to day stuff. I love my job. I feel lucky to be able to help our business do it's thing.

  But already my little brain is thinking about next time….

  The tickets are bought, the apartment is booked…I think it's just fine.
  A presto, Panicale. Non possiamo aspettare…..