Friday, August 11, 2017

Day 8A, July 30, Tarquinia and the Tuscan Beach

After our wonderful quiet and liesurley day at La Romita on Thursday, we woke up on Friday headed into the fullest day we would have. It was a little cloudy, cool, and a little rainy off and on - wouldn't you know it. The rain came just in time for our beach day. Nevertheless, we persisted and the poets piled into the bus. The artists took their day of rest today, so we were smaller in number, but high in spirit. Off we went!

On the way to Tarquinia, Raniero pulled over for us to have a few minutes to explore an old aquaduct nearby that once furnished water into the small city. Signs nearby stated that it was probably built int the early 1700's, but it may have an earlier history. We got off the bus and enjoyed a little jaunt down the trail and into the field a bit.

Another little visit with my mother - she loved figs, and I thought of her when I saw this 
little wild fig tree. She would have been a little disappointed that they weren't ripe enough
 to have a bite. Funny how often I thought of her...

After we had stretched out legs and climbed back of the bus, off we went to Tarquinia, in the province of Viterbo, Italy. Apparently, this area is known for ancient Etruscan tombs, but I shall remember it as a city of  doves, fragrance, and backyard sculptors. We didn't visit the tombs, but the little city held it's own surprises hidden behind wrought iron gates.

Notice the bell tower at the end of the road? They have several towers, 
and the bells ring pretty often. I wanted to go to the top of one of the towers,
 but never found the entrance, so...

The plaza

I could see them and I could hear them...

OMG, I could smell this a block away! 
It appeared to be some kind of oleander, but what a fragrance!

The "castel gate"

Narrow streets. You really have to listen and watach for the cars.

All along the way, you can hear the doves. 
They make their nests in the holes in the wall - hundreds of them. 
As you walk down the narrow streets toward the church, 
the sound of their cooing is just something else.

Construction began in 1121 and it was consecrated in 1207

The altar

The nave

How many others have stood here?

And we laugh about someone sitting in our spot!

Beautiful mosaics

Donna listening to the silence

Headed out to one of its balconies to see the view

 After exploring the church, I tagged along with Richard and Donna and headed back down into the town to see what we could see...

Look at the morning glories! A beautiful cascade of brilliant blue falling over 
and twining around a slightly ajar wraught iron gate...

Richard, brave and curious man that he is, just slightly pushed on the gate 
until we could glimpse into the back yard...

And then we invited inside - a beautiful garden and a wonderful art studio!

A glimpse inside her studio

And some of my favorite pieces in her shop

I can almost feel the ache of being created - birthed...
waiting for new life to be breathed into me.
Holding one of my most favorite ever crucifixes.
 If she had only taken plastic...

I left Richard and Donna there and headed out on my own, peeped through another gate, and found another artist busy sculpting larger pieces...

 Somewhere along the way, I caughte up with Jodi, and we found the rest of the "lunch bunch" and shopped for Nancy's Italian shoes!

And she found them! Her Italian shoes made in England,
 but hey, that's ok. They were delicious and comfortable and quite smart!

 Then we headed back to the bus stop  - hungry as always, and waited for the rest of the group and Raniero to show up...time for a picnic lunch! By the time we got to the beach, it was pretty cloudy and even drizzly at times. I would have loved to have the hot sunny weather we had at the beginning of the trip, but this is life.

I have a little ritual when I go places...I have this thing about putting my feet in a large body of water (the sea or the ocean) - how many places have I put my feet? I remember the first time I did this, way back in the 80's, when I went to Puerto Vallarta, and stuck my feet in the Pacific Ocean.  Since then, the Atlantic Ocean at Hilton Head beach in South Carolina, again in the Pacific, along the shores of Washington State. I put my feet in the icy waters of Galway Bay, along the icy shores of western Ireland, then into the very warm waters of the Pacific Ocean along Jaco Beach in Costa Rica. I always scout out waters to put my feet in - a ritual, perhaps some sort of "baptism"...the warm waters of the Bay of Bengal in India last year, and now, in the Tyrrhenian Sea, the part of the Mediterranean Sea between Italy and the islands of Corsica and Sardinia.

It was too cool for me to put on my suit and get into the water, but some of our brave hearts did, and it was fun to watch. I thoroughly enjoyed walking the beach, one of my favorite passtimes here at home.

Somae and Donna
Hawking his wares
Kathy, Tonya, and Sarah

Nancy getting her feet wet too

Yep, changing into her suit right there on the beach! 
The only painter who came with us that day. And I regret I've forgotten her name.

Precious Jodi


Waiting for the foot bath
I have no clue why, but I got emotional watching each person dip
 their feet into the foot bath - have no clue, but it was a moving experience. 
For some reason, a tender moment.



After we all bathed our feet, we headed back to the bus for the grand surprise of the afternoon, and I'll write about that tomorrow. This is plenty for today!

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