Sunday, June 4, 2017

Here’s where we’re staying, in the first picture, up on the top two floors to the left. 

Breakfast today was from 7:00-8:30-ish—lots of fresh fruit, yogurt, prociutto, cheese, hard-boiled eggs, coffee, juice, and then Ivano walked in with a pretty wrapped package of fresh warm pastries. 

We met our tour guide at 10:00, who led us from one side of the Arno River to the other, giving us a glimpse of the Ponte Vecchio (the old bridge), to visit a couple of artists’ studios. The first, Jason Arkles, a sculptor from the USA; he and his artist wife settled in Florence several years ago, and have a thriving business. He sculpts and teaches, as he did today when he explained to us how sculptors like Michelangelo reproduce so perfectly the human body. Actually, he enlightened me. He explained in great detail the sight-size method (Here's a simplified explanation: used by the great sculptors and by Jason today. Check out Jason's web site: http://www.jasonarkles.comMade me want to move over here for about three months to study.

We then were led several narrow blocks away to Studio Sapiti, the working studio of another US expatriate, Llewellyn Matthews ( Llewellyn teaches artistic anatomy at both Angel Academy of Art in Florence and Sarum Studios in Salisbury, England. She works in the style of Caravaggio, a late 16th century painter known for his dramatic lighting of his subjects. After she explained his process to us, we probed her with personal did you come to live here? How is your social life? Can you make a living in Florence? Made me want to move here for about 3 months to experience it. 

Then back across the Arno to our side of the river, through the Piazza della Signoria, where we saw the changing of the guards at the Palazzo Vecchio, to the Piazza del Duomo, where stands, of course, the Duomo, the flamboyant cathedral , where I was scolded by our guide for standing on a concrete bench to get a higher angle to take pictures.

We straggled back to our villa, getting some excellent gelato on the way. We rested, cleaned ourselves up a bit, and caught a bus to dine at a charming restaurant overlooking the Tuscan hillside. Leta, the violinist in our group, serenaded the entire restaurant with beautiful Italian music while the sparkly-eyed Restaurateur danced for us.
Right now everybody is asleep, except for me, and I am going to do just that. Tomorrow I teach, and I'm putting these artists to work.


  1. Ohhhh, I feel like I'm right there with you again .... it's been 2 years since Jane and I were in Florence with you, Debra and Ivano. Enjoy your wonderful time there and I'll so look forward to reading the blog. Hugs to all. Jane and I head to IAPS on Wed. We'll miss you there!

  2. Wonderful! And I think you should take your little brother along for those six months of learning!