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Well, as travel days go, this one was the kind of experience I have heard and read about and now I can say that I have experienced it as well.  I won’t bore you with the details but it was a version of Planes, trains and me the cranky sister, Italian style.  When we made it back to Rome we needed a shower, a full body massage and a nice hot cup of tea.  Since there was no masseuse available we settled for the comfort of our wonderful cousins and the other two.  Nothing a good nights sleep didn’t cure.  Lou’s husband Andrew (Roo to his adoring nieces and nephews) arrived after missing a connecting flight so we went home, re-organized our suitcases and let Andrew rest a bit.   The next day (Sat. Oct 16th) we went into Rome and my co-horts indulged me in a little search for Ex Votos in the religious article stores in the neighborhoods around the Vatican.  As it turns out this was the weekend that 6 new saints were to be canonized, a big deal and something that happens infrequently so the faithful were out in droves to stock up on newly minted medals, holy cards, statuettes, placques, rosaries, key rings and my personal favorite…fridge magnet/bottle openers with images of their saintos di giorno!  It was like a Catholic Disneyland!  These are the times when I am thankful to have been raised in a Catholic family, a religion which preaches that we should not worship icons.  One of the newbies happened to be the very first Australian saint Mary MacKillop, needless to say, Lou was all over that one.  The photo shows on of the fallen giving thanks and praise…miracles happen every day they say.  I did find one Ex Voto…cool but molto caro!

Sister Mary Louise giving a nod to Sister Mary MacKillop.


Sorrento Lingue garden view.

Sorrento Lingue, Mount Vesuvius view from classroom window.

Tomorrow is our last day of language classes and then we will have a few days of sightseeing.  My bathing suit has disappeared from the clothes line, hopefully someone grabbed it accidentally and it will re-appear or I will be swimming in Positano in my underwear.  I realise that none of you will have he least bit of sympathy for my plight, just rest assured, there will be NO pictures if I do!  A couple more shots from out the windows at Sorrento Lingue…

I studenti rode the train to Florence the other afternoon accompanied by Oracio, the father of one of the insegnante from our school.  He is a lovely and knowledgeable gentleman and speaks no English at all so we really wanted to pay attention when he talked.  We took a bus up to piazzale Michaelangelo and enjoyed the amazing panorama of the city.  On the bus ride up to the piazza, the Transportation cops boarded and started checking tickets.  One of the women in our group had forgotten (italian word for forget…dimenticare) to validate her ticket upon boarding.  The cops were about to write her a ticket when Oracio came to the rescue and though it took him about five minutes of discussion, (lots of hand gestures and head shaking) he talked them down.  It would have been a very expensive mistake but, buona fortuna, it all ended well and gave us a truly Italian experience.  Our next stop was a walk up the hill to Basilica de San Miniato where I sketched this little gargoyle, he is much cuter than his pict’cha!  I just couldn’t get a good photo in the bright sunlight…such a problem!

Here is the third drawing from my photo’s taken at the butterfly museum last winter.  Next week maybe I’ll do a little coloring for you.  It has been raining a fair amount this past week here and we have a very hardy crop of mosquitoes (more commonly known as the MN state bird),  perhaps I should be drawing them?

Arrivederci amigos!

Another little drawing, a stylized butterfly wing inspired by all the mariposas we saw at the museum in Key West last winter (yes, I’m speakin the spanglish).  I just got done my Rosetta Stone Italian lesson and am getting very excited about my trip this fall!  Maybe I’ll start posting an Italian word or phrase a day in preparation…

I’ll think about that domani!  Buona notte amigos.

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June 2023