9.28.15: Firenze Fiesta

The Medici Chapel, The Bargello, The Loggia, The Uffizi, La Specola, The Duomo and a zillion other churches.

Michelangelos (and copies of Michelangelos and possible Michelangelos and what we believe to be falsely attributed Michelangelos and even some Michelangelo graffiti which was my favorite of all) and Donatellos and Bronzinos and Cellinis and Botticellis and Pontormos and one show-offy Jeff Koons.

Paintings and sculptures and frescoes and carvings and some truly creepy wax medical models from the late 18th century.

75 Virgins (and counting).

Renaisance and Gothic and Mannerist and Medieval.

Otrarno and Santo Spirito.

The house where the Mona Lisa lived.

Blue sky and white clouds.


Tiny hands.

Jack Russells.


Selfie sticks.

Sketching and taking turns reading The Catcher In The Rye out loud in the late afternoon.

Fig gelato and Pear/Ricotta gelato and Melon gelato and Peach gelato and Forest Fruits gelato and Stracciatella gelato and Pistacchio gelato and Coffee gelato and Chocolate gelato and Lemon gelato and Pine Nut gelato and Almond gelato and Nocciola gelato and something that tasted like cream cheese icing gelato.

And that was 10 days in Firenze!


9.18.15: The Magic of the Masseria

Our time at Masseria La Selva has come to an end… For seven glorious days, two dozen of us lived together in an 18th century farmhouse and roamed the southern Italian countryside in a jovial pack, learning how to make pasta, tomato sauce, bread, wine and cheese (what else do you need???), exploring caves painted with Byzantine frescoes, sampling gelato in ancient hill towns, finding shards of pottery dating back 2500 years, tasting olive oil in groves tended lovingly by generations of proud Puglians, watching the swallows swoop between the trees at dawn and dusk, singing and eating together in happy kitchens and under warm night skies filled with shining stars. Thanks to my amazing sister Julie Marr and her Kitchen Culinaire partner Sarolta Dobi for inviting us all to Cook Eat Learn and Share a most delicious taste of Italy’s sweet life…



9.7.15: School of Life

Usually our travels revolve around teaching. This trip is all about learning.

Instead of heading back to VanTech with the rest of the kids, our nephew Max is taking his ninth grade year off to explore the world… We’re not sure whether to call it Home Schooling, Unschooling, School of Life, the Grand Tour or just a plain old good time but we’re excited to see where it all leads.

Our dear friend Sheryl is a talented artist with a passion for Renaissance painters. This is her very first trip abroad. All of us are new to dealing with the often frustrating issues and surprise perks of mobility-challenged travel: How the heck do we get up those stairs? Hey! We get to go to the front of every line! No access?!?! Free admission! Experiencing the world from this new viewpoint is a humbling lesson in strength, faith, patience and perseverance.

There never really was a question of where to go first… Max loves history. Sheryl loves art. All roads lead to Rome. And the magic of Rome leads us to discover the wonders of the past and the beauty of the moment one ancient, bumpy cobblestone at a time…

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