Posts Tagged ‘charlemagne’

Culture By Candlelight

Tuesday, June 9th, 2009

mozartdinner1Salzburg is also famous for being the birthplace of Wolfgang Amadeau Mozart; one of ,if not THE most famous and prolific composer of his or any time!

We went to a candlelight dinner and concert of his music: it was brilliant.  The food was excellent, the ambiance was amazing, the other people at our table were delightful, and the program of a 5 piece string quartet and two vocalists was inspired.  They did selections from the operas “Don Giovani” and “Marriage of Figaro” as well as songs from Eine Kleine Nachtmusik.  This was all done between courses of the meal.

mozartdinner2 And the location was the Stifskeller St. Peter ; the oldest restaurant in central Europe and first mentioned in 803 on the occasion of a visit by Charlemagne, and frequented by the Mozart family in their day. And now Steve and Debbie Morales!

Nancy and Steve Tanner, I thought of you all during this magical evening…we dedicate this evening to you (and I know you can’t have a 5 piece string quartet…just seeing if you were paying attention)!!

Hilltowns in Tuscany

Sunday, April 26th, 2009

montepulciano-duomoaltarSomedays it all starts to look the same.  But if you quiet your spirit and look closer, each of the hilltowns we have visited thus far, have their own distinct flavor.  Each of them was  an important oasis for traveling either to Rome on a pilgrimage or to the Holy Land on a Crusade.  The hilltowns were markers and way-stations leading the greatest of personages-such as Charlemagne– to the lowliest laborer on their faith-quest dating from the 700’s.  There are even walls, catacombs, and art remaining from the Etruscans 900 b.c.

These walled-cities were fortezzas and places of refuge for the travelers and later places to hold off the sieges of waring tribes and provences.  Much greater populations were in these towns then (Montalcino pop. 5000 was said gargoylesquiricoto be around 15,000).  All sorts of services rose up to fill the needs of sojourners, and they were also surrounded by farms, orchards, and herds to sustain the populace.

Montepulciano, Pienza, San Quirico d’Orcia, Bagno Vignoni (hot springs) and Cortona (of “Under the Tuscan Sun” fame), San Angelo en Cole, Buonconvento, and of course our own Montalcino, may seem like notches on our belts, or another set of photos to label, but listening closely we hear the voices of the so many as they struggled to live, love, and hammer out an existence in their own time in history.

If stones could speaks and walls talk…