Posts Tagged ‘duomo’

Florence with Ernie

Friday, September 26th, 2014

Yesterday (the 23rd,Sept.) our travels would have seen Sandi and Ernie Jenson jump on board. Tragically, Ernie’s life ended with a horrible traffic accident a few weeks shy of a trip of a lifetime. It’s difficult to stroll around Florence without them; to raises glasses of vino de la cassa, consume pizza as only italy can make, and indulge in gelato in exquisite. flavors. They both would have loved the feel of the leather goods, and held their breath seeing “David” in all his glory, and been spell bound at the sight of the Duomo right in front of our classic hotel.

I know I will reflect for the next several days what it would have been like, as I know Sandi is watching her calendar and seeing these days go by at home.

Today we went to the more humble Santa Croce church where many illustrious Italians were entombed; Michelangelo, Marconi, Dante are but a few.

Steve and I sat in a pew and silently held Ernie and Sandi in our hearts. Ernie was an engineer-type with a keen mind and thoughtful observations so we said a prrayer and lit a candle in front of the sepulcher of Galileo. I think Ernie would have liked that.

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Spoleto To Orvieto

Saturday, April 9th, 2011

The town on the mesa built on porous rock and over 1000 caves underneath served as our prelude to Montalcino.  I think their Duomo (cathedral) is my 2nd favorite after Sienna (no 3rd if you count the incredible Vatican).

We had thought Spoleto would be our stop (“Living in a Foreign Language” by Michael Tucker of LA Law fame is where he lives) but driving the narrow roads frazzled us and we got outta dodge.  

A lovely back road drive along Lago Alviano soothed our jangled nerves and we fell back on Rick Steves for our hotel and dinner suggestions in Orvieto. Both worked well- especially dinner in an open courtyard on a balmy night with Ossobuco and Risotto di Faro.  And oh, gelato on the way back to the room (and Orvieto Classico…a fine white wine).

As Time Goes By

Thursday, July 9th, 2009

It has been rather busy since returning to San Diego; a Pfizer convention, guests for 8 days,Steve’s dad needing him on the Fourth and him not being home, etc,  so it has just been the last couple of days that we have been unpacking, and sorting our souvenirs and small gifts.  And our memories.  They are not so easy to put back on the shelf.  Do we want to?  What do I miss the most?

What I miss is rediscovering my husband in so many little ways. In Montalcino we got to play “house”.  Shop, cook, wash dishes, and delight in the discoveries we made each day. Read books, watch movies on the computer between toastincinqueterra1us in bed on “movie night.”  No distractions, settled in, drinking wine, making new friends, being of small service, and sharing the immense sense of marvel.  Boy did we fight too! 

Trying not to fall into old patterns and roles, still hurting from failures, and sometimes thinking the only thing we had in common was the kids. Choosing to love, remembering how to love, loving from the head when the heart forgot how. Vowing to change and be different, and making progress . OK, too deep.

I loved having company come.  How honored I was to have someone come so far to share this.  And we were only too eager to share what we had found.  

Cooking Italian style, lots of Jug wine and cheese on a terrace with a million dollar view. Scarves, market day, Duomo’s, Easter week, 8 of Maggio, church bells, finding the small treasures of a small town, great ravioli, poppy fields,  crunchy underwear, shutters thrown open to greet each new day! 

And how humbled I felt that some dear people would read my frequent ranting on my travel blog and let me share this all with them from afar. Thank you.

pietaI was blown away by the faith  of Christians through the many centuries who went on crusades, spent lifetimes building Abbey’s, Cathedrals, walled-cities, who dedicated their lives to sculpting masterpiece, painting ceilings, writing music that glorified God. Sure ,there was greed and self-interest, but you could tell there were hearts who swelled with the love of their Lord to dedicate their lives to doing what they thought was His will. That faith really reached through the centuries and grabbed my heart. 

I confess my “walk” with the Lord has been a little distant of late, maybe less intimate, because of the enormity of expressions of others that make my meager efforts to serve seem so meager.  Why would the God that inspires the Pieta, want to listen to my jibber jabber ( but He does, so i’m working on this).

But WAKE UP Italy and the rest of Europe!  How sad to see the catherals locked and shut down.  Meager attendance, Easter habits, faith as an old persons’ panacea.  They are not smarter because they have put their faith on a shelf.  They are missing the Glory, the faith-dimension that is the only thing that makes this world make any sense. 

Thank you Jesus, for Father Piernino, Giovani, Miranda, Juonpaulo, the monks of St. Antimo and those who still burn brightly. We pray for revival.

So much for the rawness of 3a.m. self-examinations.

Pillars With Personality

Friday, May 15th, 2009

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“……everybody must get stoned…”

stonecornucopiaWe have visited a few Cathedrals, Duomos, Chapels.  After reading “The Pillars of the Earth” by K. Follet, the lives of those who tediously cut all the stone for decades (lifetimes) on end came alive for me. 

I have had fun looking for the fun they might have had expressing themselves, when block after block got too much. 

So how about inserting a family member or a self-portrait?  And then laughing, thinking about all the people to come who would wonder about the significance of that random block.  So you leave your mark and  then go  back to making the square ones.

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Firenze

Monday, April 20th, 2009
All aboard!!

All aboard!!

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We conquered train travel by rolling down the hill from our apartment to the Buonconvento Station and catching a 2 hour train directly to Florence!

It was a little intimidating for at first, but along with the Jensons, we caught the train so that we could get closer to town and got ourselves to the Duomo. We found it amazing on the outside, but a real bore on the inside.

Steve and I continue to pray inside each church we visit, for a European revival of faith. Inside each church we also light a candle for my little church back home. All of the churches still have their altars banked with Easter flowers and it is very pretty!

We had made a reservation at the Uffiziand we were there at our appointed hour of 13:15 (they use a twenty-four hour clock everywhere). I think we managed to see what we wanted to see: “Birth of Venus” by Botticelli and a painting by pontevecchiojewlryLeonardo di Vinci. The copy of the statue of “David” by Michelangelo in the public square was good enough, rather than face more lines to see the original.

We headed to the Ponte Vecchio (“old bridge”) which is covered with jewelry stores! We consumed more gelato, tried cannoli, and had a waffle sandwich (fudge sauce, gelato and whipped cream) that was to die for. Hey, Italy isn’t only about wine and pasta! We got back to the train, and shared a copy of USA Today while we bounced back home after an amazing day.

Savoring Siena

Monday, April 20th, 2009

sienasquare

What a beautiful town and very user friendly!  We drove 40 minutes from our little hideaway through Tuscan hills and even found parking.  We left breadcrumbs to find our way back home.  We really enjoyed the Duomo, the museum, and the famous square–all of which were teeming with people due to spring break.  We had warm weather and we encountered lots of different languages, colors, aromas, architecture and art inspired by faith.

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Easter Italian Style

Sunday, April 12th, 2009

Buon Pasqua!

What an Easter!  The taunting task of 4 services was not the walk in the park I thought I might be.  The tension of liturgy coming at me in Italian, in two different venues, sequestered in an organ loft that was lofty, and organs that had been around for over century.  Feeling the nudge to offer my services was my easter giving, it came back at me as maybe a way to fill the void of not being at Lake San Marcos – they have so much been in my heart this week.

The Maundy service was tense being the first one on the antique organ in the Duomo, but then Saturday night’s service started at 10 pm and didn’t’ end until midnight!

Sunday at 9 and 11 am were filled to capacity with easily 40 plus standing at the first, and maybe 100 standing beside the packed pews at the 11am.

wildboarThe town is bursting with tourists and family that have come back home to visit for the holiday.  We felt very lucky to find room at a restaurant we wanted to try after the first one was all booked.  What a meal!  I had homemade ravioli in burro as primo piatta, Steve had  zuppa di funghi, Mary and Ron had crostini .  For our secundo piatta,  Ron and I had roast chicken in brunello sauce and sauteed spinach with lemon, Steve had cingheri stew (wild boar).  Mary had boar in padetti noodles and a side of white beans.  A bottle of Rosso di Montalcino topped it off. 

gelattoWhile walking off our meal, several were tempted to have a gelato chaser to a great meal!

We are so enjoying having Ron and Mary Jenson as travel buddies!  So brave and so far to travel, but they immediately sensed how special this place is.

Tomorrow we will drive to Sienna and on Tuesday we will have a private tour of wineries and points of interest (we hired a private driver).  On Wednesday we will attempt an early train to Florence .  Thursday will be a quiet day, and then return Ron and Mary to Pisa for their flight home. 

They have been such support this weekend with all the organ stuff.

Our hearts have held our families close today as we celebrate loving you, and our Risen Lord from so far away. 

We have just finished a meal of bread, cheese with honey, bruschett, and Italian pastries, and, oh yes, more wine.  We were sitting around a coffee table listening to jazz and counting our blessings.  You are all at the top of my list!

Maundy Thursday Organist

Thursday, April 9th, 2009

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The Duomo was  the site tonight of the inaugural playing by me of Catholic Liturgy!  I was suspended 3 stories above the altar area in front of the pipes of an organ from the year 1858 with bellows and all.  It was a very meaningful service: Father Piernino washed duomoorganthe feet of 12 men, then communion followed by a silent procession over to a narthex which was decorated like a garden to represent the Garden of Gethsemane

I played for about 8 different chants.  We seemed to be together, but the acoustics were really reverberating up to me.  I don’t get freedom to play any prelude or anything, it’s by the book .  Steve hung out with me in the balcony to keep me apprised of what  was happening down below as I had no visual.  There were no bats in the belfry, but I didn’t look to closely.  There is a huge dome above this photo.

This Saturday I play at 10 pm and somehow it involves fire (?) (“…He descended into hell…”).  Then again at 9am and 11 am on sunday.  It has been a little nervewracking, but an experience I will never forget.  Maybe Father Piernino will let the Pope know, and I can have and audience with Him when I get to Rome.

A Piece Of Pisa, Per Favore

Friday, April 3rd, 2009

When we saw the forecast for lots of rain, we made a route change and went to Parma!  It is a big city, but very nice and friendly (featured in John Grisham’s  book “Playing for Pizza“).  The Cinque Terra we figured would be all washed out, so why not head a mere 2 inches in the guide and see why Mr. Grisham fell in love with this place.  Those two inches contained the French Alps, just a few miles from Turin (site of the 2006 Winter Olympics).  

leaningsteveBeautiful, breathtaking, and…”Coast, we are nearly out of gas!”  Due to all of the switchbacks, we almost ran out of gas.  We arrived and had a great hotel and an awesome italian meal and a long walk around Parma before we headed to our reservation at Camp Darby in Pisa (a little-known military base with beautiful accomodations).

So heading out early we had to cross…guess what?   The Italian Alps!  But this time we took a major highway with buckets of tunnels and incredible engineering feats. 

We were scheduled to be in Pisa around 1 pm, but we got in at the ususal Morales-time table of 4:30 (at least it was still daylight).  We managed to go against the traffic, swimming upstream, and see the bapistrypisasights in town with fewer tourists as it was near closing. With the start of Easter week and school breaks, this place is bedlam.

We passed on climbing the  Tower, but were moved by our time in the Duomo and in the Bapistry.  The acoustics in the bapistry is such that every 30 minutes a guide comes in and sings a trio of notes spaced apart, but because of the echo and it’s 10 second length, it comes out sounding like 3 people singing at once (a full chord)!

It is amazing to actually be here and see this all in person.  And it blows me away to see and to know the effort, talent, devotion, and faith to build it all. Amazing!