We pause the normal relentless blogging about plants for something different. My wife, kids and I took our first European trip together at the end of June. We rented a gorgeous place north of Verona, Italy, in a valley of vineyards. Above is a view north from downtown Verona.
Exterior frescos and sculpture in Verona.
San Marco in Venice (not shown- the thousands of tourists and pigeons filling the piazza).
Entry to the Doge's Palace in Venice.
Villa Rotonda north of Vicenza, Palladio's most famous villa and a personal inspiration. The villa is symmetrical inside and out; all four facades are pretty much the same. It's more of an idea of a building, or a sculpture of an ideal building. I made a sculpture based on this years ago and spent a long time researching this building. Too see it in person made me giddy. Bucket list!
Within a couple hours I made another check on my bucket list: Giotto's fresco cycle from 1305 at the Scrovegni Chapel in Padua. We spent hours and hours studying these in one of my art history classes. Giotto is often seen as the beginning of the Renaissance, the first modern painter. Visitors are only allowed 20 minutes per visit due to the fragility of the frescos. We drank our fill.
Interior of Basilica of St. Anthony of Padua. We had to visit to say thanks for all of the help finding lost things over the years!
Castelvecchio in Verona, a medieval castle remodeled in the 20th century by Italian modernist architect Italo Scarpa, and now an art museum. I drove my family crazy photographing Scarpa's benches, mounts, flooring, pedestals and doors.
Andrea Mantegna's altarpiece at the Basilica of San Zeno in Verona. We spent hours studying this one in art history class as well.
Lake Garda near Sirmione. I'd like to get back to explore the Dolomites when the kids are a little older and can handle some trekking.
These guys suffered through a week without TV or iPads; forced to eat strange things like octopus, cuttlefish and wild boar; and made to walk long miles through stone streets . They are troopers.
Back to plants soon.