Arrived at the Hotel Giotto, went to my regular room, unpacked and I already know where everything goes. Charles Kreloff and Bob Hughes had a slice of Pane di San Francesco waiting for me. Went for a walk around town: it’s been beautiful for 1,000 years and it changes but it doesn’t; still beautiful. Herein, the first set of photos. Including food, as requested.
Salad at dinner
Bootleg photo in the Basilica (no photos allowed!)
Basilica door detail
Outside my room, dawn
The Pope’s Dining Room in the Basilica. For nine hundred years, when a Pope visits Assisi, this is where they feed him.
Interior garden at the Basilica
Lemon and sage ravioli (SO yummy)
We visit the Basilica at night
For your gift-buying pleasure, including, of course, gifts for yourself. They’re not quite all here (kind of like me) — Accordions to come, give me a few days. But
New York City is here
Assisi is here.
And please note: Proceeds this year go to Planned Parenthood. So, buy away!
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.
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?
Okay, you guys. The food here is fabulous, so fabulous I keep forgetting to photograph it before we eat it. But I did grab some pix for you and there will be more. I’m sitting in my window watching at the layered mountains recede to the southwest and the rain clouds slide in. Dinner soon, but here’s yesterday’s. I didn’t manage the main course (grilled meats and vegetables) but I got everything else.
Campari and soda before dinner.
Antipasti, and students going for it, and statues looking on enviously.
Assisi, like any other, oh, gee, 2,000-year-old place, has some extremely cool things going on. I’ve learned about a few over the years, and they’re too great not to share. Here’s me on an evening walk, running my mouth for the benefit of newcomers about the cloth, brick, and tile measurements built into the wall by the town fathers 900 years ago so you wouldn’t get cheated when you bought your goods at the market in the square. Photo by the sneaky but invaluable Jonathan Santlofer.