Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Indian Summer in Etruria

During  the past  weekend  while  we   watched the dramatic changes in  Italy’s  government and worried  about  the  economic  situation,  life  at the  local level  went on as usual   with  many  social and cultural  events  to enjoy .

 People seemed to be  having more fun than usual: was it   due to  the perfect  Indian summer days  -l’ Estate di San Martino- or  was the jubilant  feeling connected to the political situation?

what happened to the "O"s?
November means   the olive harvest  but   there is still time for  visiting  Rome, just 1 ½ hours  train ride to the south. 

 It was  a delight to see that our  favorite independent   bookshop Anglo-American on Via della Vite  had given a place of honor   in the main window  to “Etruria-travel,history and itineraries in central Italy”.  

   If  you are looking for  Christmas  gift  books   that don’t come from amazon  http://www.theamericanmag.com/article.php?article=3025   come by  on Saturday  Nov.  19 at  around noon   and  I’ll be happy  to sign  a personalized  copy  of one of  my  books.

Cristina  of Anglo-American bookshop

window display features "Etruria"
Sergio Di Giacomo from Messina and Marcello
-book signing, Nov  19th   at Anglo American bookshop

Even after   46 years in Rome there are still new discoveries  to make, such as the interior  of  majestic  Palazzo Cenci Bolognetti  in the ghetto area .  

study area  

fresco of  Roman Forum, Arch of Triumph,  Meta Sudans 

Porto Ripetta, Tiber river 

office  with a view 

geometrical tiles in Palazzo Cenci Bolognetti 
 The fortunate  American  students who study here are  surrounded  by architectural details  such as a spiraling staircase  similar to that of Palazzo Farnese in Caprarola, frescoed walls and  pavements exactly  like those in my  humble abode.   

Friday Nov.  11  brought  scholars from several universities  to the Museo  della Città e del Territorio  in Vetralla  to discuss  San Francesco church, just across the street. 

   Viterbo’s  new bishop H.E.  Lino  Fumagalli  showed up after  an unplanned  tour of the surrounding  countryside when his driver  got lost   and  scholars  discussed  the frescoes, pavements,  sculptures and history of the monumental  church  which holds  the most complete  fresco cycle of  the life of St. Francis of Assisi.  
Elisabetta de Minicis (r) director of Museum 

Elisabetta Scungio, one of the speakers

Enrico Parlato (Univ della Tuscia) and other speakers

Stephan Steingraber, Fulvio Ferri and other  attendees

Since  Friday’s date   had  the magical   numeration  11-11-11  (11th day, 11th month,  2011)  it  automatically  was a special sort of   day.   Bookbinder  friend  Lucia  and  her husband   celebrated  the 120th anniversary  of their  business  Legatoria Viali  with a show and   reception in Viterbo.

hand crafted  books by Legatoria Viali 

a toast  to  120 years of  activity 

Artist  Nikki Borghese and  antiques expert  Elena Solari from Orvieto enjoy the sunlight 
Sunday  was also a very  full day  which began with  a country barbeque   at  Le Masse di San Sisto,  sponsored  by  AWAR- American Women’s Association of Rome .  

Mario Bracci Devoti  chats with one of the AWAR ladies
an American family discovers  Le Masse, Vetralla

Swedish  ladies  at Le Masse, Vetralla/Viterbo

AWAR President Lee Skelton shares some wine with local artist
 The reason for the party  was to raise funds to  create  wells for  drinking water.    “Wine  to Water “  was the theme and  those  attending  were able  to  take a dunk in the hot thermal water,   meet  new friends and enjoy the    delightful wines  of Tenuta Castelnuovo Tancredi www.castelnuovotancredi.it .

Sunday evening  brought  another  international cultural event to Vetralla,  organized  by  Opera Extravaganza.  .  
 Dragana Moles and Susanna Ohtonen -an international flavor to music 
audience  of  lovely ladies from Holland, England, Germany Austria
How Dante  saw  Inferno
 Serbian-born soprano  Dragana Moles-accompanied  by pianist Francesco Scialdone- delighted  a large audience  with a  program of  arias from operas  and  Neapolitan songs.    

Learning  about  Canto V  of Divina Commedia- Vetralla Library 
Awards ceremony at  University Tuscia 
Winners of  award for  best  doctoral thesis

And  the  weekend  also  brought  the arrival of  this year's harvest of  extra virgin olive oil....celebrated  with  a fireside

dinner... the first of the season. 


  1. Your photos are wonderful and help step us through your month. This is my first visit to your blog, but it will not be my last. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

  2. Thanks for reading, and your comments. Feel free to share with friends.
    Happy Thanksgiving!