I spent 10 days total in Orvieto; one week at the Adventures in Italy art retreat and 3 days on my own. Although I could write an entire book about this trip, I will try to sum it up with a highlight reel . . .
Everywhere I turned was a sketching opportunity and I painted dozens of pictures while I was there. As I mentioned in my previous post, I came back to Orvieto to visit the Duomo, one of the most beautiful facades in all of Italy. This Cathedral, a version of Italian Gothic architecture more commonly known as Siennese Gothic, is built on the highest point in Orvieto and is visible for miles around. The Duomo is covered in gold mosaic that glitters from every angle as the sun dances across the face. Intimidating to sketch and paint, I only allowed myself 30 minutes so that I would not get hung up on all of the detail. I was fairly happy with my rendering and loved the stark contrast between the front and sides of the structure.
As I mentioned, what is inside this Cathedral is probably most important, especially to the faithful. It was built to house an important relic of the Catholic Faith, the Corporal of Bolsena. My sole reason for visiting all of those years ago was was to witness this important relic, unknown to many, that resides inside in the Cappella del Corporale. The Chapel houses a corporal or altar cloth, believed to have had the blood of Christ spilled onto it in a miraculous event. You can read about it HERE. Years ago, the cloth was exposed for all to see and venerate, but now it is encased in a protective reliquary. There is a powerful grace over this chapel.
The art classes, taught by Jacqueline Newbold were a wonderful series of watercolor lessons which I enjoyed immensely. When not in the classroom, our host, Michelle Logue of Adventures in Italy led us through Orvieto to see all it had to offer. We took an amazing “hands on” cooking class at Zeppelin Cooking School & Restaurant with famous Chef Lorenzo Polegri who was not only an incredible chef, but quite the character! He entertained us with jokes and sarcasm while we picked the menu and made everything from focaccia to pasta to sauces to gelato! After a few hours learning to cook in the authentic Etruscan style, we shared a beautiful meal and local wine together. I don’t think I stopped smiling the entire day which just affirms my belief that there is nothing more special than gathering around a table, something I learned growing up in an Italian household where no one dared to miss dinner time with the family.
The short clip below shows me using a Chitarra – a guitar-like or mandolin style tool for cutting pasta – functional and beautiful!
Cooking with Chef Lorenzo!
The Beautiful Duomo in Photos & Sketches
A few sketches from my Pasta-Making Day!
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