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Archive for the ‘Small group travel Italy’ Category

For the third year Misty brought her magic to Orvieto this fall. She had new students and half who had been with her and us in Orvieto before. Such fun! Here is the group and a taste of their beautiful work.

Misty with her group

Misty with her group

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe also had a group doing Discover Orvieto during the week. We did many things, but one was to travel to Allerona to cook with our friend Simona. She is a wonderful teacher, and we had such a good meal!!

Simona got us all involved

Simona got us all involved

We went into her garden at her house in the countryside to pick fresh ingredients

We went into the garden at her house in the countryside to pick fresh ingredients

One of the dishes we cooked

One of the dishes we cooked

Could you guess we were in an Italian home?

Could you guess we were in an Italian home?

The Discover Orvieto group

The Discover Orvieto group

There were spouses and friends of Misty’s group in Discover Orvieto. We all shared in meals, wine tastings, vineyard tour and more.

Here we all are together

Here we all are together

Great memories, and future trips to look forward to!

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Finally, we were ready to have our olives pressed into oil. The goal Rita gave us was 100 kilos. When she measured our harvest it was 213 kilos – 468.6 pounds! This group rocks!Oil2013-10-25-15-08-51

Our olives going up the conveyor to be washed then fed to the press.

Our olives going up the conveyor to be washed then fed to the press.

Here, Adventures in Italy scrolls across the bin mixing our paste for processing into oil.

Here, Adventures in Italy scrolls across the bin mixing our paste for processing into oil.

Rita and Bruno were absolutely fabulous during our visit.

Rita and Bruno were absolutely fabulous during our visit.

Bruno shows how to put the labels on our very own cans.

Bruno shows how to put the labels on our very own cans.

We each do our own can and label.

We each do our own can and label.

Ready for the oil.

Ready for the oil.

Look at that color!!

Look at that color!!

Oh my!

Oh my!

Rita passes the bottles to Bruno, who fills the cans.

Rita passes the bottles to Bruno, who fills the cans.

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What an amazing day. The taste of this oil is incredible, even now three weeks after we picked and pressed the olives. The color is still that amazing green. Such a rich experience, made more wonderful by Rita, Bruno, Carla and the rest of the people at Bartolomei. We will return.

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Casa Parrina has a wonderful variety of offerings. One of the things they do is put saffron in some of their honey. We were fortunate enough to be there when the flowers were blooming and being harvested. They are beautiful!

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This is the plant in the ground blooming. They had harvested 200 flowers this morning.

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Stunning! The flowers before picking the stamens, and picking below.

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Plucked flowers

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Probably more valuable by weight than nearly anything on the planet. Next in our Taste of Orvieto adventures – at the market shopping for our lunch.

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Tracie Huskamp’s group just finished up. Most of them are headed on to
Venice and Rome. One of the group started out on the west coast, traveled to China and South Korea, then here, and will return via New York to CA. Around the world! What fun it is to have such interesting and fun people in our groups!

Tracie led the group around Orvieto where they took pictures. She then helped them select just the right photos, crop them to a good size, have them printed and use that as a base for painting on fabric. I don’t know how she did it but the results were stunning. She brought mats to put each picture in, setting off the beautiful work. Here are some samples.

By Molly Gehring (Plastic cover over the matted picture creates the shine)

Debbie Smith

Glenda Hoagland

Maryann Villavert

Outside of class the group visited the market and shopped for a picnic lunch.

In the market

They visited some of the 1200 Etruscan and medieval caves under the city.

Before going down into the caves

Then they cooked at Zeppelin Ristorante.

Putting bread they made into the oven

Fresh veggies

Rolling out the pasta

Foccacia and bread sticks we made and sat down to eat

Bombe with gelato for dessert

We made a visit to Palazzone Vineyard on a sparkling day.

Giovanni tastes the wine from the stainless steel tank

A sparkling day at the vineyard

Which we enjoyed on the patio of the locanda built in 1290

With views back to Orvieto

We wish the group a fun next week as they travel on for more adventures. Thanks to all for joining us!! Tracie will be returning to teach in 2014. It isn’t too early to sign up!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I am late getting to the final group that was with us this spring. The blog software was agonizingly slow in Orvieto so I gave up doing it there. So here I am.

Sue Spargo led ladies from Australia, Ireland, Holland (living in France) and the U. S. in a delightful week of embellishing fabric. What I absolutely loved is how completely different each piece was, and how every single person captured bits and pieces of Orvieto in their work. The other thing I love about these workshops is that the work produced reveals things about Italy and Orvieto I haven’t seen. Everyone sees different things, and to suddenly see what you have been looking at, but not seeing for these past 9 years, is always fun.

So let me give you just a bit of a taste of the week and then show you what Sue’s students produced. Before the workshop started Sue had laid things out in the classroom – color and texture hinting at what was to come.

Some of Sue's work

In the classroom

Learning a little about wine

We cooked an amazing meal with Simona

A visit to Palazzone Vineyard

Final multi course dinner at Zeppelin

And now for the beautiful work of the week.

What an amazing collection. Truly beautiful work! While some of the images you see displayed are obviously traceable to Orvieto and Italy, many are not unless you have been there. This is the beauty of what comes out of the workshops: true mementos of this idyllic city and experience. Sue is returning in 2012 on May 13-19 to lead another workshop, and her trip is already nearly full.  We are also working with her to identify dates for fall of 2013. So stay tuned to our web site.

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Our first two trips finished up last Saturday. After we saw most everyone off, Kristi and I headed for Ravenna. Back now in Orvieto, waiting for the next group’s arrival, I have time to post some pictures from the first week.

DJ Pettitt and Heidi Darr-Hope led our learning workshops. Two more dedicated, enthusiastic teachers can not be found. They each led their group on very different journeys of discovery.

  • Heidi led her group in some very reflective exercises with participants each creating a personal mandala. Wonderfully, the group made a Mandala for all of the rest of us to share in the garden. This beautiful piece of work emerged during the week as they added to it. It was truly a gift.
  • DJ had her group creating the most sublime fabric journals that incorporated photographs that she guided them in painting and texturing and embellishing into works of art. Bits and pieces from Orvieto became part of the journals. The variety of the finished works were as individual and beautiful as the people creating them.

Here is a small sampling of what the week held.

Gathering pieces for the garden Mandala

The Garden Mandala in progress

DJ demonstrating

Creating

Maya's journal cover

Rolling ricotta in zuchini

We always like to get with a local chef and cook. It is such fun and we learn so much. We made several appetizers, eggplant parmigiana, our own tomato sauce, and a divine panna cotta.

Simona guides our cooking

We also have our favorite vineyard to visit to learn about wine making and to taste fabulous wines as we gaze back to Orvieto perched on its rock.

In a vineyard with Giovanni

Giovanni smells one of his red wines

It is a beautiful place!

Sometimes the beauty just gets to you!!

Pecorino cheese being lifted from its vat

Some of us took a visit to one of the few remaining farms where they still make cheese by hand. Pecorino cheese is made from sheep milk and Danilo and Francesco make some delightful cheeses. We had lunch with them sampling several cheeses with honeys and homemade jellies, and a ricotta cheese made in front of our eyes. We also enjoyed fresh lamb and wine from his neighbor.

Lunch served on an ancient slab from an elm tree

Umbrian countryside

The sun has set on these two trips. Kristi and I are filled with fond memories of the gifted and warm people who joined us for this week. Some are home, some still traveling, but all are in our hearts. Thank you all!!

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I love what we do in Italy. I think there is a soulfulness, an authenticity to our trips that is an outgrowth certainly of where Kristi and I come from, our life experiences, our roots.  There is much of that past from which I could draw, but I want to highlight just one today – and that is an extraordinary wilderness camp in Maine.

Darrow Canoe Camp

Sunset canoeing in Maine

When I returned from four years in Afghanistan at the tender age of 14 it was quite a culture shock. In those intervening years the U.S. had changed a lot, but I returned expecting it to be the same. So it was difficult. After my freshman year in high school I had the great good fortune, through the exceptional intuition of my parents, to spend six weeks of the summer in Maine’s remote wilderness at Darrow Canoe Camp. The camp was made up of small groups, each of which spent the entire summer canoeing the lakes and rivers of Maine’s outback, where we only saw other people when we were transported by vans every few weeks from one wilderness to another. Here I found a place to belong, a group of people working together toward the same goals, in the natural environment which inevitably connects us to what is deep within.

Darrow Camp home base, Grand Lake Stream, Maine

It was a fabulous summer. I returned the next summer as a counselor in training and then the following years through high school and college working my way up to lead a group after my junior year in college. After graduating from college, newly married, I brought Kristi to Darrow where I served as the cook at the base camp and she managed the office.

The camp has changed, going into Quebec to find the wilderness once so prevalent in Maine. And it is now a nonprofit organization. But it is the same at its core.

The experience taught me much about working with people. It taught me how to listen, how to work together toward an end, how to deal with adversity, what it means to be part of a group. It also taught me to slow down, to connect to nature as a way to connect to life, to listen for the deeper urges in me sometimes obscured by the frenetic pace of life or the messages with which we are bombarded.

In short it was a formative experience. That experience influences our trips to Italy where we continue to connect to what is deep inside, to enjoy a place as a group, albeit with a little more comfort than what we had in Maine, to celebrate what is authentic.

So this is a tribute to Darrow Canoe Camp, all it has done for me and continues to do for scores of young people today, and, indirectly, does for all who travel with us to Italy.

My generation continues to wilderness canoe, here in Quebec

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