a personal website of life in umbria
Well I had to get around to doing it sometime. The last posting on this site was April 5th 2015 and since then my world has been turned upside down. The smiling face of Sarah that graced that post which I have now relocated to the recent page, was one of her last successful trips - she did make one more but it did not work out so well.
She is with us no more. She passed away Feb 28th 2016 here in our Umbrian house with Chris, her Australian photo buddy and myself. She had undergone brain surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy but unfortunately nothing worked, the tumor returning rapidly and ultimately taking her life.
As a medical doctor she was very well aware of what was happening to her and while unhappy about it, prepared mentally for what happened. Needless to say it has left a huge hole in my life and those of our family and friends. We were able to spend Christmas 2015 all together here, a final chance to be together as a family.
It is hard to believe a year has past now, and that we have spread her remains in a memorial park in the UK, the same place where her mother, Nancy, and her father William remains were also spread. That was her wish.
Over the next few weeks I will alter the photo web site sarahsladephotography.com to reflect this news. Those images are still available but any and all proceeds from the sale of those will be put towards cancer research.
I am going to add to this site as I continue to live here in Umbria. Things that happen in town and images that I may take on my travels. Scotland, Canada and Australia are all on my radar these days as well as my life here. Life carries on, friends remain - and memories - Oh the memories…
I also had to bury our beloved doberman, Tarot. She was 12+ years old, a good age for a doberman and a wonderful companion till the end. She too was taken by cancer.
A wonderful image of Tarot and some old fellow taken in Sept/Oct 2016
in the park in MCdV by Chris.
And now spring has come to our Umbrian hilltop. The trees are in bloom the summer birds have returned and the air is warming. Below a recent image:
And what have I been doing in the ensuing months - read on below for a summary but I hope to update this site on a more regular basis going forward.
In November 2016 we had our normal Remembrance Day but for some reason they changed the date! It has always been on the 4th, the anniversary of Nancy's death, which we thought was fitting. Not in any way to detract from the losses to war here in Italy but it meant something special to us. Having lost Sarah in February the actual date is no longer so important but the sentiment is even more meaningful.
As many of you are aware, Umbria has been plagued recently by earthquakes, which have unfortunately taken lives and severely damaged some towns. They have been centred to the east of us here and a bit south but we have definitely felt a few of them. One appears to have caused some structural damage of the main church in our town, which is closed until it can be inspected! But there are two others in town and many close by so we are not near the top of the list for inspections.
I have been again to my favourite city in Italy - Siena! So many memories there. It was our families base here in Italy for years before we settled here in Umbria. If you have but time to visit one place in the wonderful country , visit it. Below a couple of images of the town hall with its iconic tower, situated on the edge of the Campo where the Palio is run a couple of times each year.
Christmas Season 2016 had me bouncing between here, Glasgow Scotland , here and then Australia, below some images I took in Glasgow. While there I visited the 'House for Art Lovers' - a must for architects and designers.
The two images of the new building of the 'Glasgow School of Art'
The iconic old building sadly was badly damaged by fire a few years ago and is being painstakingly rebuilt.
Glasgow in a wonderful mixture of the old and new with a river coursing through its centre. At one time thought 'rough and tumble' it has been revitalized in more recent times and is a place of wonderful surprises - well worth a visit and a walk regardless of weather.
As I mentioned above - The HOUSE FOR ART LOVERS. Charles Rennie Mackintosh and Frank Lloyd Wright are my two favourite architects ( I started in Architecture before completing my undergraduate degree in Industrial Design) and Glasgow is the heart of Mackintosh's work. One could spend days just exploring example of his work here, or others influenced by him.
But I have been other places as well. A visit to London in the Fall of 2016 to visit old haunts was wonderful and I had the opportunity to share the experience with a special friend.
The view (above) from the members bar in the South Bank at sunset looking north west towards Trafalger Square. Middle of the road between Londons iconic double decker buses getting an images of Wren's, St Pauls Cathedral in the setting sun. And our view from the window of a wonderful italian ristorante Ristorante Olivelli . they have a number of locations, this was the Bloomsbury location on Store Street.
And the view below from the Tate Modern also on the South Bank.
This pano was from the terrace off the special exhibit area where we saw the work of Georgia O'Keefe
On that same trip we also visited Whitby
and the Isle of Aaran
And that is enough for this update. I hope to be back soon to tell you of some of my adventures since this last new years, time spent in Australia - a new country for me. Before I upload this update I will add a bit to my Design Thoughts pages as well - I have a huge backlog of stuff that I have collected over the last couple of years... Till the next time - R
The days, the weeks, the months - they just race by. And of course by now the whole of the planet that is going to change time, either forward or backward for the Spring or Fall has done so - We here have 'lost ' another hour as we 'sprang' forward.
Sarah has been doing some photo traveling
- initially to Slovenia to capture some of it in its winter coat. Here she is in hers.
image taken by Luka Esenko Photography
This is what is looked like at the beginning of February here in MCdV - it only stayed for that day bt was a reminder of what could have been - there was snow on the more distant higher hills.
We had a nice visit from our daughter Rebecca and her partner Ryan - they have moved back to Glasgow from Dundee where they were located while she worked on her PhD is Psychology - The course work is now done, the thesis handed in for review and now needs some revisions before we need to refer to her as "Dr Slade" - I think the cartoon below 'borrowed from the site noted' sums up her studies... Note it was a Valentines Cartoon
And our grandson grows by the day - he was two in February! Every time we see him via the Internet his vocabulary grows - very proud grandparents, of him and daughter in law and son.
Family Reading Time - taken by a friend and posted on FaceBook
We have had a couple of things happen here in MCdV. As most of you are aware we have a lovely old doberman - Tarot - who get walked regularly - 4 to 5 times a day. Last walk of the day and we crossed the torch lit piazza on our way to the village walls - they like torches when there is a special event on in the teatro. Around the corner by the well and what do we come face to face with?
Yes a camel! It is too late for Christmas (and 3 wise men here would be a stretch) and it is the wrong animal for Easter! Tarot was a bit puzzled, but only the smallest, single, 'wuf' from her and the camel was not perturbed by her - just kept lying there munching... Turns out that some exec of Camel Cigarettes was in the teatro for a meeting and brought his mascot with him!
Much more usual was the collection old cars that showed up recently. Was a nice sunny day and a good excuse for photography.
So life continues apace in our small Umbrian hilltop town - seldom a dull moment. The Relais Castello has reopened again, hopefully on a more permanent basis and joins the GenteVibia B&B as a place to stay.
And the International Center of the Arts is getting busy for its end of May start to this summers session. If you want to spoil yourself and enjoy some 'art' in the Umbrian countryside - give it a consideration!
All for now - hope you have had a happy holiday weekend - R
For those of you interested in design - I will add some content to my 'design thoughts' page as well as posting this.
Today is Friday the 26th, the end of another week, the last Friday of the month and nearly the end of another year. With the best of intentions I really do plan on updating this site more often but...
With today's efforts I will try to cover some of the things from this month, and include a number of design sites in the 'design thoughts' area as well.
During November I made it to the UK, Glasgow to spend some time with my daughter, who with her boyfriend have returned there from Dundee, she having completed her PhD studies in Psychology. It is a lovely city, and although wet for my visit, it was a nice visit. Finally got to visit the reopened Kelvingrove Museum and walked by the burnt out hulk of the famous Glasgow School of Art - what a loss! Then a week in London staying as usual in accommodation by the Acorn Group. This is located just north of the British Museum, a wonderful location from which to wander the streets of London.
One of the sites I was able to see before it was entirely dismantled was the 'Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red' - the sea of poppies that was installed around the Tower of London
The ProLoco of the comune have done us all proud again - The town has lights, a stunning presepe, A Santa's House and a Cafe with local produce as well as a market of produce... If you have young children it is a must see, and even if you don't it will all bring a smile to you lips.
The oil harvest locally this year was a disaster, small wormy olives that were on most trees were not even worth the effort of picking. Some individuals got lucky but the price of a good local product is about 50% greater than it was last year. There was not enough variety to even have the yearly olive oil tasting/cena. So we hope for a cold winter to kill the vermin and with luck next year will be better.
On the 6th of December we did attend a cena in the Old Mill in Madonna del Piano. It was advertised as a 'Tasting of Autumn Produce' and it lived up to its marketing.
That was followed shortly after by a cena under the church, sponsored by the Womens Guild. Simple fare, but tasty and lots of it. If you have never attended one of these events, I strongly advise it - notices are usually found the the Bar Centrale, in the main square, and they are a wonderful way to mix and mingle with the others who live in the area.
The Farmacia has relocated! - well it has and it has not. Starting next week, the last of 2014 the old location will be open limited hours that tend to coincide with the hours of the Doctors surgeries. You can get your prescriptions filled - but if you want more than that you will need to visit the New Location in Madonna del Piano. The old church next to the bar complex on the main Todi /Marsciano road has been redone and larger, lighter premises have been open - A parking lot just across the road provides easy access.
The weather has been strange this month, it started off a bit wet but has been quite good. Mid teens for temperatures (that is centigrade mind you) with mist filled valleys in the morning. Some evening the fog has reappeared but then it is not really fog - here at 420 mts we are actually in the low clouds... Today, Boxing Day / Santa Stephano was forecast to be overcast and rain but it has been a crisp clear day - who knows - take it as it comes.
And I will close this short addition with the Seasonal card we sent out for this year - The snow in the image is real but from February 2 years ago, 2012. We moved here full time in 2005 and I think that is the only year that snow actually stayed around, for almost a week!
Today is Sunday the 14th, half way through the month already and definitely the end of the summer. Some of the white wine grapes have already been plucked from the vines and hauled off to the cooperatives for this years vendemia - not a good one. A recent article has stated that national yields this year will be so low that the French are going to be producing more wine than the Italians - Mon Duex!
One of the sure signs of the end of summer is the yearly disappearance of the bollards that block traffic from the local gardens during the summer months - well they have gone again and the placeholders are back - And the children who were in the park are back to school this week - six days a week in this part of the world.
Last weekend we had a local wedding, a young couple, Sara and Christian who live over the hairdressers (parrucchiere) in the main square. Beautiful event ( I must admit that I do not know if there is an 'h' in his name and I have not found anybody to tell me!), and I took the opportunity to snap some pictures of the people and the event. Click on the image below or here to see the gallery I created.
A few months ago, one of the two plaques on the front of the main church, came crashing down - one of the three remaining metal retainers fell out and down it came - hundreds of shards of marble in the square, but thankfully nobody was hurt, as it happened over the one door that is seldom used! It was puzzled together as no images of it could be found, the contents recorded and the day before the wedding a new one has appeared in the square. It has yet to be hauled into place, hopefully more securely this time!
With the passing or August, it is a lot quieter in town! Those here for the yearly holiday have departed, I have removed the canvas roof from my terrace structure before the autumn wind takes it down for me, the Torraccia summer bar has closed. The part-time expats are thinking of packing, assorted building projects in town are slowly continuing and the wildlife population that is not being hunted - we are back into hunting season again, marked by gunshots on Sunday mornings in the mist covered hills below the town and the baying of hunting dogs, is growing. Again - the wildlife population is growing - that probably got lost in my tortured sentence structure above - here an image of 2 of 10 puppies that have joined the hunting ranks - or will when they get a bit bigger!
That is it for this update - I have a few things I will add to my 'design thoughts' page if you are interested - Till next time - R
Wow! has the end of the month of August ever been busy - people ask what we do in a small quiet hilltop town - Hah!
Well for starters we had yet another cena in the piazza for the 'Friends of Bar Centrale' - not an official group or name but for lack of a better description I am at a loss. The menu was different than the previous one but again, truffles were a major part.
Click on the image above or here to see other images from the evening, including many of a brown minced substance in large quantities - yes - that is truffle! Again the provider of the truffles is a local fellow and to repay him for his truffles, cooking talents and wonderful company I have prepared the ad below! If you want some of these umbrian gold, he is a great source.
The International Centre of the Arts has gone into winter hibernation, while the principals involved make contacts with universities, lecturers and potential students. It will be an opportunity to update the web site, making it more obvious that, while other courses may be added to ones experience, what you sign up and pay for is an all inclusive opportunity - food, local transport, accommodation and education in Italy. If you are interested keep visiting the site and following the progress.
ICA signage outside entrance to main building, the phoenix in the logo a reference to the rebirth of the project
Monte Castello di Vibio - August 2014
One of the interesting things about August, is that it is an opportunity for most Europeans to have their holidays - The Parisian flee Paris for the south coast - the Italians for the seaside and others to their summer homes. It is a great time to meet previous acquaintances... And have a glass of wine and watching sunsets like this - what more could you ask for?
sunset from Tim & Kim Walkers, Frontignano - Aug 4th 2014
And the final weekend of the month August 29th-31st was full of events. It started with an evening concert in the Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II - Music and Life - a tasting of typical deserts and local passito while listening to the Asternovas Band.
There is something magical about sitting under the stars on a beautiful summer evening surrounded by old architecture and listening to good music and enjoying fine company.
Saturday events started with the launch of a new book "Monte Castelld di Vibio in bianco e nero : Scatti, schizzi e scritture sul colle dei Vibi" in Piazza Garibaldi, thst was accompanied by an open air exhibit of the art within the book.
And right next door in the ISA Gallerie was another Art exhibit - this the work of some of the local students of the American artist Lucy Macgillis. I have taken the liberty to reproduce some of those here and I strongly suggest that if you have bare walls and want to support some good artists, you make you way to one of these exhibits.
by Francescaby Santuccia - olive tree in bloomby Santuccia -by Santuccia - Santa Maria di Angeliby Santuccia - poppies in Piano Grande1 - 5<>
That evening Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II was the scene for a different, more informal type of music with a 'Taverna in Piazza', a tasting of local foods and wines.
The 31st was another day of events - A market of supporters of the slow food movement, flowers, oils, and a antique market joined the Art Exhibit above, in the afternoon there was an excellent lecture in the Teatro della Concordia on Wine and Health and the day closed with a repeat of the 'Taverna in Piazza', this time without music, but with the accompanying talk on the food and culture of the food and wine we were tasting provided by Antonio Andreani.
I have tried to capture some of the spirit of that day in some images below.
And today is September 1st - Woke up to wild winds, a sky with a dark gray cover of clouds that looked like the end of the world had arrived and rain - buckets of it! Oh, did I mention that the weather had dropped a good 10 degrees? So that may be it for the Summer - Vendemia - the picking of the grapes, next.
Once again the event was superb! - And the weather cooperated as well - as rain had been forecast and did not show up. Over 350 individuals were fed and entertained through the evening. I have post a few images here, and others can be found on the local Pro Loco Facebook page here.
It has been a couple of months since I have added to this blog - a couple of month filled with all sorts of activity both for me and the Commune.
But first - Tomorrow is what our family has dubbed the 'Moveable Feast' or 'Cena Mobile'. An opportunity to dress up in medieval costume and sample traditional umbrian foods as we all move from piazza to piazza for the assorted courses.
Way back in July there was the 'Festival di musica antica classica & moderna'
and 'MASTERCLASS di ELIZABETH WALLFISCH' This provided an opportunity to listen to some very fine music at assorted venues in town and included a free outdoor concert each evening in the main Piazza. Here is an image of one of the talented performers.
It seems to have been a season of dinners in the piazza. The 'Friends/Patrons of the Bar Centrale' had a small gathering of about 30 one evening for a truffle feast. Not a lot of english spoken that evening but a lot of fun. Here is one image of them setting it up and others can be found here
The provider of the truffles is a local fellow and to repay him for his truffles, cooking talents and wonderful company I have prepared the ad below! If you want some of these umbrian gold, he is a great source.
The International Centre for the Arts - Monte Castello di Vibio, got going with a few students in attendance and many prospective institutions viewing the facilities. They had two events in the Teatro
Concordia - an excellent lecture on colour and pigments by Dr George Kremer of Kremer Pigmente GmbH & Co. KG a leading supplier mineral pigments to professional artists, and an evening of music by a very talented duo of professors from University of South Carolina, Marina Lomazov & Joseph Rackers playing separately and piano for four hands.
the images above are l-r : dinner in the art school, the piano duo and, Kety, David and Eduardo on the stage in the Teatro Concordia
Kety is to be complemented by providing wonderful facilities and support for the School, David Voros, one of the two Directors, has worked tirelessly to return an art school to our Commune and the Teatro have been generous in its support.
There was another recent Cena in Piazza, this time hosted by the Confernita of the church - sort of the womens guild - to raise money for the main church and its activities in the Commune. Held on the evening of the 8th of August, over 180 people attended and left stuffed! Good food - too much food!
Here is an image below and if you click here you will find others.
In other news, the hotel did open! It has kept the same name Relais il Castello and can be reached by phone at +39 075 8780022 or http://www.relaisilcastello.com/en/ . I have yet to visit it, but they appear quite busy. They are part of a hotel group - DE GENNARO HOTELS GROUP.
( I have heard mixed reviews regarding the restaurant - the food looks good but there may be a few service issues to iron out - I personally hate the 'bar' signage they have placed on the exterior - in my opinion it is very tacky and not in keeping with the spirit of the commune - I hope that it is improved!).
It is nice to have a place where those that want a hotel rather than a B&B (we have the excellent Gente Vibia) or an Agriturismo, can stay.
Sarah has been busy - Since the posting of her Antarctica images she has been to Slovenia and Spain. She is currently on the road in Namibia - click the place above to see images of those places on sarahsladephotography.com
And I left town for a short while, visiting family and friends in Canada and then visiting Las Vegas for the 42nd year reunion of my fellow school students from the United World College of the Atlantic - UWC. The school has been in the news recently for reviving on of the original RNLI rigid hulled inflatables that we designed way back then.
If you have never been to Vegas - it has to be seen to be believed. Below an image taken indoors, at night on the second floor of our hotel - The Venezia
Yes - that is a canal, with gondola and a painted sky. There was some natural beauty not too far distant though, which we also visited - the south lip of the Grand Canyon
And I will close with an image taken yesterday of our Commune priest after a long days work - apparently a celebration of his 31st year as a priest.
The early summer heat continues - weather for the next 5 days is sunny and low 30's - time to keep the sun facing shutters on the windows closed during the sunny exposure. The initial meeting of the new town council is this evening - an open affair - should be interesting to see how the new team handle the crowd.
The Castello is being actively worked on with a hoped for opening date of July 1st 9 for booking details and tentative web site see Trip Advisor here, Booking.com here and the hotel here) we know of at least one individual who had already booked in there early in the month - here is hoping them luck.
The director of the International Centre for the Arts - MCdV is here for the summer and the final touches are being put in place for the reopening of the Summer Art School. Assorted educational institutions are visiting this season to evaluate the facilities, and there will be a few students, but it all looks very good going forward.
My guideline for the beginning of the summer is the re-installation of the summer bollards at each end of the public gardens - excluding vehicle traffic during the summer month - They are installed so it must be summer!
And if the heat is getting you down you can and view a short film I have assembled from Sarah's Antarctica images that she took during her November 2013 trip. You can see the actual photographs at www.sarahsladephotography.com
June the 1st was a beautiful sunny day - one could start to believe summer had arrived. As is the summer norm there was a gathering of the 'ex-pats' in the main piazza at midday. The afternoon brought the opening of a new cantina, just beyond Doglio.
Coming from MCdV, go through Doglio, take the sharp left at the end at Agriturismo la Grazie and then the next right onto a 'strada bianca' - unfinished road - Go straight down it about 1km and as you proceed down an incline, you ought to see the cantina off to your right about 200m. I asked about hours and the answer was a bit vague but I did get his name - Filippo 329 124 7666 - they have red and white, in bottles and sfuso. It was a lovely afternoon with wine, food and music - a good start to what will hopefully be another local source of wine.
The evening of June 1st was a bit cool but La Torraccia did open, as scheduled and the locals dusted off their dancing shoes and ate the pizzas that were flying out of the ovens. Each summer it is entertaining to see how much the youngsters have grown up during the winter months
May is over! And June is here. Last evening was also a Sunday and the Commune celebrated the election of its new Sindaco with - 'Buffet di ringraziamento NUOVA ENERGIA' . Food, drink and a wonderful commune spirit!
Lovely summer day - Sun is out, warm - poppies growing amongst the first hay of the season and along the roadsides!. Can tell it is election day - lots of new road surfaces - strange how that seems to happen. Here in MCdV we have two candidates and their lists - one chosen from the left, a young but seemingly capable fellow chosen by a runoff between the three parties of the left - and the other represents a civic party - a young lady who is a local vigilli (municipal police) that can be found on duty in a number of small communities in the area. As an 'expat' without a European passport I don't get to vote but Sarah being British does - now she just has to figure out how to fill in the form - a how much of it - she can only take part part in the local election I believe! It has been interesting to see the various meetings though and how politics at a local level is done.
Funnily, today is also the day for Cantina Aperta - I have covered it before here . This is the event where for the price on one etched glass, that you get to keep, you drive from one cantina to another and sample their wine with your glass. The driving from one to another, is bad enough after having visited two or three places, but then voting? - the results could be interesting!
They have not yet blocked off the road through the park - for me the real sign that Summer has arrived, but one of the other events that signals its arrival is the opening of La Torraccia - the summer bar below the wall. The Pro Loco have been busy, refurbishing it and launch date, under the same management as the last couple of years is scheduled for June 1st - always a fun event, and well attended.
I have lost rack of how many of my friends have confused Umbria with Tuscany - I have to keep explaining Umbria is between Rome airport and Tuscany - a lot more 'wild' and well worth a visit.
Tuscany has for years had a wonderful promotional campaign though and Umbria is just getting it act together. Having made that statement I have just visited the regions main site and it is all in italian only - oh brother!
I want to mention a current photo exhibit of the photo journalist Steve McCurry that is showing in Perugia. He has toured Umbria and captured some of it is glory. He is best known for his image of the afghan women and for my money the best image in the show is a similar one her took in Bevangna of this woman -
There is another of a lady with a falcon that comes close in quality - All the images are displayed as large backlit transparencies - on the floor across two venues - not the best option in my opinion, but...
If you are not familiar with this photographers work it is worth a visit.
While at the exhibit I did pickup a small promotional book by the regione umbria on a variety of apps for your smart phone or tablet - both Google Play and Apple iOS based - that are free and well worth looking for - I have included a screen shot of some of them from my iPad - strangely the region does not appear to have a page that links to them!
I must eat my words above - click here or on the image above and you will bounce to a site in italian ( by the app developers ) that will illustrate the apps that are available.
And before I left the exhibit I had to play a bit photographically myself - below two images taken by me that day in Perugia
For some time now the local 'albergo' here in Monte Castello di Vibio - the 'Castello' has been closed. For me, a bit bitter sweet - It was for lunch there, that we first visited this town in August, some 15 years ago! A few years ago now an enterprising young couple open a B&B called Gente Vibia here in the town and has provided local accommodation to visitors. Borgo Struginati is an agriturismo located near Doglio, a part of MCdV that also has accommodation and there are numerous arrangements that can be made for those that make the effort.
But I wanted to mention three places in particular - all upmarket and offering unique stays while in the area. The first is La Palazzetta del Vescovo is small luxury boutique hotel. Run by a charming couple and located on the next hill over from MCdV in Spina. The second is Castello di Simano located to the south of Todi on rural roads. This is an entire town, a medieval village that dates back to the 1300's. rooms, apartments or villa may be rented - all serviced by an outstanding restaurant - i Dui Papi . The third place, most recently discovered by me is Castello Borgo Monticelli . This small borgo, located near Castiglione della Valle, dates back to 1100's and again consists of rooms, apartments and villa.
It is possible to eat at all three establishments to get a sense of what they have to offer - they are quite different but all would provide a unique stay here in the heart of Umbria. All three have excellent web sites with details and images so I have not bothered to include images here.
As the title says - it is time for a change. A new look for the site, and with luck, more regular additions to its content. I also hope to restart the 'design thoughts' comments I used to make - the continuation of the Design and Graphics Special Interest Group I used to host in Ottawa, Canada. I will add another menu item above when I have put together some content for it.
To the right are three site links - at the moment very impart to my wife and I. The first is Umbria Cucina a cooking School here in Monte Castello di Vibio that we are involved with - Sarah as Italian/English translator and I as graphics and web work - an effort to promote a local business and bring visitors to our town. The second link is sarahsladephotography.com - a web site of my wifes photography and a possible source of your royalty free image needs. Through it you can follow her world travels and experiences as a photographer - her retirement profession. And the third site is th International Centre for the Arts - Monte Castello di Vibio. We are very involved in the rebirth of an art school here in our town - there has been one for many many years and the challenge of the closure of the former school at the end of last season has been met with a concerted effort to replace it with another - providing students and those interested in all the arts a wonderful venue here in the heart of Umbria.
For those hunting for previous material the following link that might be of use:
Some people ask us why we moved here - the short answer is we came for lunch - but as you can see from the two images in this posting - with beauty around us like this - why would you stay in a land of snow?
rjslade.com - Monte Castello di Vibio - last modified April 5th 2015