Story of My Trip to Italy: Part 5

"I've been completely saturated with Italy: color, food, culture, people, artists, and learning a new way of seeing."

--my diary in Italy, July 2018

 Shadows on a wall in Civita Castellana, the town where I stayed for two weeks!

Shadows on a wall in Civita Castellana, the town where I stayed for two weeks!

This is the next installment in the Story of My Trip to Italy series.  (See Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and part 4.  Also Part 6 and 7.)  This particular post is actually a few diary entries from the time I was in Civita, Castellana, Italy.

July 16th...

It's such a windy day!  The windows and doors are opening and slamming shut constantly...the days are FULL.  I've made good friends, Italian friends.  And I love speaking Italian, which I do constantly and shamelessly, and, honestly, quite successfully.  I can tell people appreciate that I am trying.  For example, I made friends with an older couple, Elvira and Antonio.  They have treated me with wonderful hospitality.  I have visited them and painted on their rooftop garden in the center of the city, and also they have invited me for dinner twice! 

 Rooftops in the evening, a view from the rooftop garden of my "new family."  [ more photos of them in part 2 ]

Rooftops in the evening, a view from the rooftop garden of my "new family."  [more photos of them in part 2]

Elvira gave me several gifts-- clothes she used to wear in her youth.  They are very cute outfits!  How could I have formed such a lovely friendship so fast?

 My new outfit from Elvira!    (Well, the hat was something I packed from home, as you see in this  cartoon .)

My new outfit from Elvira!   (Well, the hat was something I packed from home, as you see in this cartoon.)

I also met a local young man, Maurizio, who showed me his favorite restaurant.  Fantastic!

 A memorable lunch with Maurizio, a local, and his friends who were visiting from Norway!  Fantastic food!

A memorable lunch with Maurizio, a local, and his friends who were visiting from Norway!  Fantastic food!

 The pasta was made fresh every day!  So good!!  I forget what it was called, but the meat is boar.

The pasta was made fresh every day!  So good!!  I forget what it was called, but the meat is boar.

Also I made friends with Angelo and Giusy, a wonderful couple who runs "the Club," a little cafe in the plaza, and they are so so nice.  [See photo of them in this post.]  I broke my sunglasses a few days ago, and Angelo took me a few blocks to visit his friend, who opened up a little eyeglass-shop just for me.  (Shops are often closed in the afternoons, I'm learning.  Guys usually sit in front of them on benches, taking a break, just hanging out.  It's very laid-back.)  Anyway, this guy fixed my glasses for me, for free.  It was so sweet.  Everyone is so kind!!

 The Club, where I drank many espressos...

The Club, where I drank many espressos...

I've been getting a lot of good feedback from my peers. (Really, they are my superiors, even though many are so much younger than me!)  A woman named Marsal Nazary gave me a lot of good suggestions.  (See My Paintings and Sketches from Italy.)  Most fun was her idea of a "premier-coup," doing a quick, one-shot small painting of the same scene I had been working on (in a larger way) for a few days.  It was a lot of fun working fast and free:  a good balance.  One method informs the other!

I'm learning so much!  Honestly, the overwhelm can be intense.  I'm glad I'm taking some time to process and reflect.  Susan Jane Walp, the guest teacher, is giving a talk at 9 pm tonight!  I really like her, and I'm looking forward to going.  [note: I wrote about it here:  "Loveliest of What I Leave Behind."]

"You know in your heart of hearts what you love looking at."  -- Susan Jane Walp

 Best pizza ever!  I ate the whole thing!

Best pizza ever!  I ate the whole thing!

I'm eating a lot of amazing food, drinking wine, walking (a LOT, with my easel on my back!) and enjoying life FULLY.  I sat at a table with Antrese Wood (who has the Savvy Painter podcast) and we talked and talked.  It was so lovely and stimulating.  I'm so happy I got to meet her!

 A little car in a little alley!  I saw this sort of thing a lot, and I thought it was so funny!

A little car in a little alley!  I saw this sort of thing a lot, and I thought it was so funny!

 The laundry hanging everywhere in Civita was lovely!  If I could have stayed longer, I would have painted more laundry scenes.  As it happened, I only made one.   (See my painting "Laundry In Italy," in this  gallery  on my website; it's somewhere near the bottom.)

The laundry hanging everywhere in Civita was lovely!  If I could have stayed longer, I would have painted more laundry scenes.  As it happened, I only made one. 

(See my painting "Laundry In Italy," in this gallery on my website; it's somewhere near the bottom.)

 On my easel in Italy:  " View from the New Town ."

On my easel in Italy:  "View from the New Town."

"It's such a lovely feeling to know what I want to do with my life!!  PAINT!!!"

--July 21, 2018, my diary