Rain was threatening one day and we found an archway to paint under, which gave us a good view of the central Piazza Republica and the famous Cortona clock tower and steps, a building dating back to the 12th century. After a couple of days of painting, we took a break for a day trip to Firenze, where we walked, shopped at a couple of fascinating Italian art supply stores, and visited the Uffizi Museum. Some artists who hadn’t previously been there, went to the Academie to see Michaelango’s David and other works, while others walked across the Ponte Vecchio to the Pitti Palace and the Boboli Gardens, for a fantastic view of Il Duomo and the city.
Back in Cortona, we continued to explore new areas each day, painting in the morning and afternoon, while trying to keep up with our hectic restaurant schedule. One evening we had a cooking class at Il Refugio, a beautiful Tuscan villa outside town which also hosts workshops in addition to cooking classes. We got to get our hands in pasta instead of pigment, and had a great time making pici pasta (pronounced “peachy,” it’s a kind of fat spaghetti noodle) for our dinner. The location was so beautiful, we’ve arranged to go back there and paint before the week is over.