(click on pictures to enlarge)
Fidz had been wanting to see an exhibition of contemporary art at a gallery in San Gimigniano, Tuscany for a long time so since the weather is still fairly warm and sunny, we decided to take a short trip.
We are lucky to know an Irish artist, Janet Mullarney, who has a studio in Tuscany. We were able to stay with her which was an added bonus as we were able to see some of her pieces as well. Given that we are close to Christmas, I’m featuring her glass deer masks which were the first things that caught my eye when I walked into her living room. I find masks fascinating as they alter the perceptions of both the wearer and the viewer and if the mask is glass, what are the perceptions then?
Anyhow, driving from Rome to Tuscany is a lovely journey. One goes through the provinces of Lazio and Umbria and the landscape changes as you go along. If you take minor roads as opposed to the Autostrada, there are spectacular views of towns such as Orvieto along the way. We stopped in Castiglione del Lago in Umbria and Cortona in Tuscany, which are normally full of tourists but which were strangely deserted this time. One doesn’t see a lot of Christmas decorations but most towns have a Christmas tree and lights in the main Piazza.
The exhibition in San Gimigniano didn’t disappoint. We also enjoyed a fine lunch there which included ribollita, a hearty Tuscan soup made with bread, canellini beans and vegetables.
The last time we were in San Gimignano in the spring, the town was packed with tourists. This time, there was hardly anyone there. Clearly, the week before Christmas is not tourist season in these Tuscan towns.