Florence is graced with many magnificent sculptures. Below is a sculpture of Neptune with children.
Most surprising: That the "little Italy" in NE Ohio where my parents grew up was indeed a slice of the Tuscan hill towns—buildings, gardens, décor—so familiar from my childhood in Ohio yet so surprising to me as the norm in Italy. When my grandparents and other relatives emigrated through Ellis Island, they settled in NE Ohio for jobs. They set about building their new lives of freedom and promise in the familiar style of their homeland in the vicinity of Florence. In a word: quaint.
This is a garden at a winery in Montepulciano. Just love that enormous pots of tomatos and herbs!
Most over-used word (by me): "quaint" Italy is not super-sized. It is real. It is authentic. It showcases craftsmanship, style, and beauty. It dates back to medieval times and challenges me to actually grasp and hold and understand exactly what that means. The sense of time is over-powering when standing in the midst of the city gates, the rolling hills, and Etruscan artifacts.
Note the craftsmanship in the sidewalks in this residential area of Fiuggi, such as in the detail in the street lights. All of the sidewalks in this area have the shell design inlaid in the cobblestones. These are infinitely more eye appealing than comfortable for walking!
The view from our hotel balcony in Chianciano
Knitting: zip! zero! nada! Miss Feather and Fan did not fare well at all, poor dear. She lost her little, yellow sock stitch holder and dropped stitches which looked quite pathetic dangling off the circs. She was most embarrassed when her colors ran. She is hand painted after all! A bottle of water with a loose cap began to trickle on her in the new tote bag, a souvenir from Orvieto, a beautiful Italian town. Just imagine her chagrin as her colors stained a book in the tote bag, tissues---well, it was most unlady-like. By this time, she was wet and dangling from the needle! Fortunately, she was most pleased to spend the next two days arranged on the table on the balcony of our suite to allow her to dry. Well, I mean, she spent two nights out all night in Italy! Need I say more?
An Italian "snack bar"
The trees that are slow to grow bear the best fruit. --Moliere