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Sono in partenza!  I am going on a recently planned trip to Roma, Orsara di Puglia and Lucca!  My amica Shannon, who some of you may remember from this post, has organized an artist retreat just outside of Lucca…so of course I have to go.  It just so happened I already had vacation scheduled for the week before, with no plans!  The week before the retreat includes November 1, which is the festa Fucacoste e Cocce Priatorje in Orsara di Puglia. For years I have been hearing about what an incredible experience the festa is.  Even my parents tell me stories about it. I have not ever attended because…. well really, who goes to Italia in November??? Apparently now I do!  I managed to rearrange my schedule and piece together another week to my vacation and off I go! Have a look at this lively 47 second video.

I had to find out how to say ‘artist retreat’ in italiano so I could explain what I was going to be doing to my famiglia.  The 2 best options I found are ritiro artistico and soggiorno creativo.

I arrive in Roma for the weekend, then will take the train to Orsara for the festa and a few days of hanging out and visiting with amici e famiglia.  I must admit I am a bit concerned because my little casa does not have heat!  Luckily the forecast is sunshine, and I have 2 of my Nonna‘s big blankets. I may buy a space heater or else bake biscotti every night so I can use the oven! My next stop is Lucca.  I will be at the retreat for a week and at the end of it we are having una mostra, an exhibit in Pietrasanta.  After the retreat I have a day and a half free, which I will probably spend in Firenze, since that is where I fly home from. As I explained in my summer post ‘Chiuso per Ferie’, which hardly anyone read, new posts will have to wait until I am back.  I will be posting to Instagram regularly, so check that out to see what I am up to!

Arrivederci, Cristina

PS The photo was taken while flying over Stanley Park and downtown Vancouver