Patrick took the photo above of an angel in Cortona, covered in a surprise late-spring snow from 2009 or 2008, I'm not sure. I like to think of this cheery fellow (the angel, that is) as a sort of mascot for our trip. He must be freezing under all that snow, but he's still smiling—and why not? He's in Italy, after all!
Hearing from Patrick cheered me up, reminding me that our bleak winter weather will soon be over and spring is practically on my doorstep. And that means summer and fall are truly around the corner, and that means that soon I'll be packing my bags for my jewelry making workshop in Cortona this Sept. 1-11, 2010. Naturally, you're invited to join the party!
In the meantime, I've been searching the Internet for information about the events and festivals and other items of interest relating to all things Italy, and came across some pretty terrific blogs. One of my favorites is www.tuscanyandumbria.typepad.com. While it's true that they don't always update very frequently, their posts are still informative and enjoyable to read. Their latest, dated Nov. 17 of last year, features an overview of the flea market in Arezzo.
"Surely the best day out you can have at this time of year has to be the Arezzo antique market," writes one of the authors.
I love the photos they've posted; in particular, if you scroll down the page a bit, you'll find some great pics of the Ex Votos (Latin for "from the vow made") or votive offerings available for purchase during the market.
And guess what? We'll BE there this Sept. 12, when the entire city essentially turns into a street market and fair, when the most amazing, authentic Italian antiques and trinkets are on display. I can't wait! We'll also have the opportunity to observe the biannual "Joust of the Saracen" and have great food and wine, too.
We'll use the trinkets we find in Arezzo to make some cool "found-object" jewelry using wire and hand tools (no soldering) during our retreat in Cortona, Italy. And Arezzo is only one of the amazing cities/towns/villages that we'll be visiting on this tour. We'll also spend a day in Siena, Orvieto, and Florence, and visit three villages during a wine-tasting tour.
Our base of operations is Cortona, Italy, a gorgeous little hill town made famous by the book and movie: Under the Tuscan Sun. I've been there, and it really is just as beautiful as you can imagine. Our accommodations are comfortable and the food is incredible. As for the cappuccino, well, once you've tasted it you'll never go back to Starbucks again. Sorry, it's the truth!
I hope you can join me in Cortona this year. It's going to be a very special trip, with plenty of touring, eating and drinking, plus four full days spent in the workshop making amazing wire-art jewelry. If you need any information, please feel free to email Patrick at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit his Web site: www.toscanaamericana.com.