Saturday, December 15, 2007

My first view of Bramasole

I'll never forget the day the first two Frances Mayes books came in the mail. They were a birthday present - and they gave me a new path to take, a new direction. And they made me long to return to Italy.

In three previous trips, lasting six months in total, the closest I had ever come to Cortona was a day trip to Arezzo. But over the next four trips, I managed to get to Cortona on three occasions. Thank you Frances for opening my eyes to that very wonderful Etruscan hilltown.

I need to go back and spend a week there in an apartment. I would like to see the orange haired angel by Fra Angelico in the museum, and I would like to get to know the town really well.

The trip in 2001 was probably the most special. I have just reread my travel journal. We parked near the exquisite rosy apricot, tall villa - Bramasole. The small shrine with the Madonna was just as described with a fresh posy of wildflowers in a jar underneath it. I looked up at the Polish built wall and the one remaining palm tree standing to attention outside the shuttered windows.

Then I heard voices and caught a glimpse of two people standing outside the door. When the man called out buon giornio, I answered, and he then initiated a conversation. This was Antonio, from the books, who keeps a small store, La Nicchia Cornici, in the town. He came down to the gate to speak with us and then invited us in to look at the garden in front of the house.

The rosebushes and lavender were so beautiful. It was a real highlight of my trip.


It took another two years to return to Cortona, but Antonio remembered me when I visited him in his shop. "Ah, Australia!" he said when he saw me.


1 comment:

ceresmary said...

I saw your picture of Bramasole and felt pulled to your site! I must say that your Banner is unbelieable. Then I saw your picture, wow. You really have a gift with Photoshop! How did you do it? I am still developing our website and would love to get beyond 1D to 3D affect!

And I've yet to figure out Blogger for page design..any tips you can give me would be wonderful!