Thursday, April 6, 2017

What's New In Northern Italy

Spring Brings More Business For Gondoliers
Spring is here in Italy!  We know this by two things, one is when we see leaves sprouting on the grape vines, and the other is when we see cotton floating in the air from the cottonwood trees.  Grapes are usually one of the last plants to show action, so when they show leaves we know the weather will change for the best.  The cotton makes allergies go nuts!

March was fairly dry, compared to other years, and April seems to be also the same.  We have temperatures reaching 70, causing Italians to shed those overused scarves and black jackets.  Standing in my coffee bar are four gentlemen, two with shirts and two with jackets.  It’s a mixed bag this morning caused by the overcast skies.

I made a visit to my family doctor this morning in order to get his signature that I am alive and well.  My teacher’s pension system needed assurance that  my descendants were not mooching off the system after my demise.  The office had only 3 people waiting to see him and it went quite quickly.  Only one person was coughing, the others had paperwork.  My doctor goes it alone, he has no secretary, no aides, no nurses, no people sorting paperwork.  This is the way in Italy for doctors.  He keeps a copy of my tests, but I carry my own copy and my X-rays.  It is my responsibility to not lose them.  By the way, in case you are an unbelieving American, my visit had no fee.  Doctor visits are covered by the health system in Italy.  Go in the hospital, it is the same, covered.  All people, poor or rich get a chance to stay healthy without going bankrupt over medical bills.

Monday the weather was  so good that I made my first outing to paint watercolors.  It was a bit of a shock to find that the waterwheel I intended to paint for several years, was now a construction zone for a new pedestrian bridge.  I had walked a distance with all my equipment so I made a go of it anyway.  Here is the finished product.   It is just a sketch I will use later for a larger painting.

I have also completed an acrylic painting of this old boat.  The size is about 4 feet by 3.

Quiet Sunset 

Greek Salad and Tzatziki
How to make Greek Yogurt Tzatziki below 
I have plans to fly to Chania, on Crete Island where I will  soon enjoy a week of painting.   Chania (pronounced Hawneeyah) is a quaint town with the center featuring Venetian architecture created when the Venetians ruled there.  They have a nice harbor with a small light house, and another boat harbor nearby.  We have enjoyed Chania several times, gotten to know some great people, and visited many of the beaches of Crete.  It’s not just the scenery, though, I really enjoy Greek cuisine.  Fotos next month!

home made rolled noodles and great sauce with meat
Croatian Specialty
Totally Awesome Calamari
Croatia is also on our travel list.  We will stay in a bungalow on the shore of the sea.  I will take my painting equipment.  Last year while painting a terrific thunder storm rolled in and the whole night the rain poured down in buckets.  I will pass on that this year!  Their food is also super.  Here is a foto from last year of the storm arriving. 
Storm Coming
The land looks like it is floating

I wish you a happy Spring, ciao.

1 comment:

Cecilia said...

Wow, your sketch looks absolutely stunning. You have a great talent! I also like your photos, made me think I should visit Italy again. I love Italy. Greetings.