Several lucky friends of mine were in Italy lately, and I’ve gone to Italy with them – vicariously.
As I’ve followed their travels through FB and e-mails, I’ve also dug deep into my collection of art and travel books.
Physically I haven’t been to Italy in many years, but I can go there anytime I want with my books, some old photographs, a few websites, my CDs, and a little imagination.
Anything to get me out of Trump’s America – if only temporarily.
I have my favorite memories of Italy –
… wandering around Venice at night with the Tiny Goddess and no destination … visiting my daughter in Florence when she spent a semester there … two visits to Giotto’s Arena Chapel in Padua … Midnight Mass at the Duomo … a walk around Florence on Christmas Day when everything was closed … a stay at the Villa Serbelloni in Bellagio on Lake Como when the TG and I were very young … “AIDA” at the Baths of Caracalla in Rome … the Fra Angelicos in San Marco in Florence … the Sistine Chapel with small binoculars … the Tintorettos in San Rocco in Venice … a few fine meals with my family … a room with a view on the Arno.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with Italy: it has the food, the people, the scenery, the music, and the art.
As Erica Jong said, "Whenever I go anywhere but Italy for a vacation, I always feel vaguely disappointed, as if I have made a mistake."
She might have a good point.
Here are some instant Italian vacations:
Maria Callas sings “Vissi D’Arte” from TOSCA (1964, Covent Garden) – very late for Callas, but still….
Renata Tebaldi sings “Un Bel Di” from MADAME BUTTERFLY (live)
Franco Corelli sings “Nessun Dorma” from TURANDOT (lip-syncing)
Website for Giotto’s Scrovegni Chapel
The Official UFIZZI Site
The Official PITTI PALACE Site
VENICE IN 3-D – a two-minute tour, thanks to Google
Venice by Night and Gondola ride – a nice, short clip
A good, one hour documentary about Venice and its islands
How Venice Works
A walking tour of Florence
Florence in 4K
The MOTHERLODE – 1.8 million images from the world’s great museums