I’ve just returned from Orvieto, Italy. Like always, it was magical. And like always, leaving is bittersweet. I have a life back in Canada waiting for me, but my Italian life is pretty awesome too! Knowing I will return to Orvieto in September eases the sadness of leaving. I love the pace of life in Italy, how you couldn’t shop from 1-5 if you tried because all of the shops are closed. I love that there are no to-go cups for your coffee because you are meant to drink it at the counter and chat with those around you, those you stand next to every day while you drink your morning coffee.
We had studio time with rich instruction and experimentation, and wonderful cultural experiences; a tour of the Duomo, wine pairing, a cooking class, and a vineyard visit to enrich our time here in Italy. Of course there was also plenty of free time to shop and explore Orvieto. An integral part of immersing and relaxing is having the down time to decide how to do that – rest, explore, people watch.
Taking a workshop in Orvieto is different from taking a workshop in the US. Of course they speak a different language. You will find a lot of people in Orvieto who speak at least a little English, but you’ll see a special kind of smile when you greet someone with a “Buongiorno!” Orvieto is a small, walled, medieval town on the top of a rock, so there are no department stores, no Michael’s craft stores, no fast food restaurants, no Starbucks. If you need something, you can probably find it here, but it may take a little searching. With Adventures in Italy, the art groups are always seeking out local supplies and are rarely disappointed! Everything from glue sticks to ribbon, lace and fabric, sewing supplies, and of course NON-art supplies like leather, ceramics and jewelery is available here. Something for everyone and plenty of great finds to take home.
Participants in Adventures in Italy quickly find their way around, and find that when friendship is extended to the Orvietani, it is returned twofold. Our little neighborhood near our lodgings at the Instituto San Lodovico is filled with friendly, and soon familiar, faces.
For me, being here in Orvieto gives me a chance to slow down, and really settle in to this wonderful community. Setting out for a walk shortly after arriving, it felt completely natural to greet the neighbors with Buongiorno and hugs and kisses.