Saturday, April 23, 2005

Friday, April 22, 2005

It’s around 9pm in the evening. We are playing our tunes on the laptop, while the washing machine chugs along. It should be done washing soon I hope because we don’t want to disturb our neighbor Catherine with the noise. This is something you have to keep in mind when you live in a “Palazzo” (translation: apartment building). There are others right on the other side of the wall and you must be respectful of their need for quiet as much as we hope they will be mindful of ours. We are staying in this evening and not going out for a walk as we have done most nights. Bob is reading his book as I write here at the kitchen/dining room table. Today was a beautiful day. Still I wonder when spring (la primavera) will finally arrive. The trees are leafing out and flowers are blooming – we walked through a park today and there were wildflowers growing down the side of a hill and flowers are blooming right out of the ancient city walls. But the weather is still cold (low 40s when it is raining and mid-50s with the sun shining) and I am still wearing my winter coat believe it or not. To think that I almost left it behind! In fact, I have worn it so much that I had to sew a button on today that had fallen off. When the sun is shining it is lovely as it was today with no threat of rain whatsoever.

We decided to take the escalator down to a lower part of the city and explore one of the churches there, Santa Guiliana, which unfortunately was closed (until further notice the sign said). There are a series of these escalators situated around the upper part of the city but their locations are mostly obscure so that they don’t conflict with the historic look of the centro. They are very convenient in getting people up and down with much less effort than climbing up or downhill or climbing the many sets of steps it takes to get down. It hasn’t stopped us from doing our share of climbing anyway! Perugia is very high – about 1600 ft above sea level – with the centro (where we live) at the top of that and the city spilling down along the hills surrounding. It is a city of views and a city of “portas” or gates of the city. Some of these date back to Etruscan times (pre-Roman) and are very impressive. There’s a museum of the city walls and gates in one of the towers that we visited last week that shows the development of the city walls and how the gates connected to it and where the portas were originally and how the city grew from ancient times. Fascinating. And one of the best views in the city!

Getting back to our morning’s travels, one of the cool things we found on our wandering is a little shop that creates handmade, leather-bound books. They have a website if you want to check them out. It’s The woman who runs it is named Sylvia and she said if I want to stop in again next week she’ll give me a lesson in how to do it! These are incredibly beautiful books, some with leaves pressed into the leather and you know how I love this sort of thing. I’m going to try to go if it doesn’t conflict with our meeting at the University next week to be sure we are all registered properly for our language class.

We went into another wonderful museum yesterday – the Nobile Collegio del Cambio with the most amazing frescoes by Perugino on the walls of this intimate space. It’s absolutely breathtaking to stand so close to these larger than life figures in all their glory. These are some of his finest. And with not much fanfare, we had to search for the door to get into this place but it was definitely worth the search (after which we saw there is a small banner above the door that says Perugino’s frescoes were inside, which we completely missed!)

That’s about it for now. The laundry is done and since it’s nighttime now we won’t be putting it outside. We’ll just clip them on the drying rack and set it by the radiator to dry. If the sun is shining in the morning we’ll put the rack out in the yard to finish it off. I’m pretty tired so I’ll call it a night.

Missing you all,
Rosemary & Bob

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