Yesterday, the world lost a great woman, and I lost a good friend. Bea Kreloff died at 91. She was an artist, a teacher, a radical feminist, a very secular Jew, and a grand dame, one of the best storytellers I ever met. Even if she did tell you the same story a million times. She and her partner, Edith Isaac-Rose, co-founded Art Workshop International, where I teach in Assisi in the summer. She lived around the corner from me and I went over often for coffee (me) or martinis (Bea). One of her few regrets, she told me toward the end, was that she wouldn’t live to vote for a woman for President. There are better pictures of her — and certainly, ones she’d like better, with fewer wrinkles — but this is as I remember her best: on the terrace at the Hotel Giotto at cocktail time, looking splendid, laughing, and holding court. Bea, I will miss you.
And there’s more coming. This was dinner at the country home of my friends Mario and Marina. In addition to fabulous food — more than I photographed — we got the first lesson in wine that ever made sense to me; both Mario and Marina are sommeliers, amateur but certified. The house has been in Mario’s family, as has their home in Assisi, for, literally, centuries.
Table is set; Mario lights the mosquito candles. (They worked, too.)
Jonathan and Barb hang out before dinner.
Rolled meats, vegetables, and breads, skewered and roasted. Never had this dish before. Quite delish.
Cold rice salad.
Two colors of zucchini, one grilled, one marinated.
Plums, so sweet I’m wondering if these are the so-called sugar plums.
Inside the cake.
The house after dark.
Which does not mean I’ll stop posting the Italy photos and stories. Ironically, now that I’m back at my desk I have more time to do that. (Don’t tell my agent.) This is me discovering a fresco in Florence, with St. Sebastian locked behind glass behind me. Photo by Jonathan Santlofer. I think it’s kinda great.
The rest of the photos are on the camera and so have yo be downloaded, but this was on Jonathan Santlofer’s phone so here it is. After a hot and hectic day, we chillaxed in a sidewalk cafe that was, actually, in the street.
Day trip to Florence starting early this morning, so cappuccino. (The first, but not the only, today.)
Me and Barb Shoup, one of the other writing teachers, enjoying an afternoon cappuccino in the Comune.
I know you asked for food and art, but a storm came in last night and left this morning, and I thought you’d want to see it.
Storm comes in last night.
After the storm, early this morning.
Yesterday I posted one of the sketches I did in drawing class and got this response: “Post more food pix!” Sic transit gloria. Here’s last night’s primo, which was vegetable lasagna, plus some foliage near the dining terrace and a sunset with backlit pigeons.
Because, I guess, anything is better than the US political situation right now, some folks have asked for more of the sketches I’m doing in Jonathan Santlofer’s art class. Okay, to distract you, here comes one. We don’t have a nude model here, by the way, so does anyone have Melania’s number?