All posts tagged: Orvieto

Top Posts of 2016 (The “Whatever Else Tickles My Fancy” Edition)

As promised yesterday, I’m back with the top posts on More to Come… from 2016 that don’t relate to family and friends.  What I’m calling the “Whatever Else Tickles My Fancy” edition. In a year when I took my sabbatical in Rome and Maine, many of the top posts are from those trips. If my day job doesn’t work out, I may have a future as a travel writer! As was the case with yesterday’s top ten, I’ll list them in the order they appeared during the year. I left for Rome in early March, and Time Off was my post to set the stage for my sabbatical. I had a number of nice comments from friends and colleagues with well wishes.  I also got to showcase my cool “What Would DJB Do?” mug! My first post from the American Academy came on March 10th, and was entitled Looking Back, Looking Forward.  After that, I was posting 3-4 times per week for the remainder of the six weeks we were in Italy. Claire joined us …

Observations from the Road: (The “We Learn So Much Every Day” Edition)

A couple of quick thoughts about recent days in Italy. Orvieto update – To no one’s surprise, Orvieto (which I wrote about yesterday) is the favorite town of several of our friends and colleagues.  We can see why.  A long-time and dear friend from our days in Staunton, Sally James, wrote to say that Orvieto is her “home away from home!”  In my original post, I didn’t mention the chapel by Fra Angeloco and Luca Signorelli, which is the topic of Sally’s first book, Signorelli and Fra Angelico at Orvieto: Liturgy, Poetry and a Vision of the End Time. The decoration of the Cappella Nuova, commenced by Fra Angelico in 1447 and magnificently completed by Luca Signorelli in 1499 and 1504, displays an awe-inspiring Last Judgement and Apocalypse and, below it, scenes from Dante and classical literature. This was yet another magnificent space in an incredible building full of wonderful art and architecture.  Sally encourages us to look for the next issue of Gesta, probably in April, to see her article on the frescoes of …

Orvieto: A Jewel in Umbria

Candice and I decided early in our stay to take a day trip outside of Rome once each week during my sabbatical. A colleague had sent along a blog post on the 10 best day trips from Rome, which whetted our appetite, and with the prospect of seeing one of Italy’s best cathedrals, we jumped on a train last Tuesday to visit the Umbrian hill town of Orvieto. What a marvelous decision! 75 minutes after leaving Rome, we pulled into the Orvieto train station on a beautiful, sunny spring day.  My first thought was about how we would navigate getting up the 984′ rock plateau that serves as the base for the town.  But immediately across from the station was a funicular station, and my spirits soared. Let me pause for a second to say how much I love funiculars (or incline railways).  When we were young, my father (the TVA engineer) use to take us to see old and new engineering projects, and one of my earliest recollections was taking a small funicular to …