Sunday, May 25, 2008

New and Old Doors, Corniglia Italy

Day 3, Saturday. Figuring Vernazza and Manarola would be crowded on the weekend I headed for tiny Corniglia the only village of the Cinque Terre that is not on the sea. I was rewarded with many picturesque old stone walls, old doors, and old lanes.

For those who like to paint scenes of vineyards from the top of the hill, I am thinking of Deborah and SusanH, this is a great destination. The vineyards are terraced with dry rock walls and interlaced with tiny gardens and flowers. As for me, I love to paint the ancient lanes, doors and windows, and I found a feast of them here. Unfortunately the sky was grey most of the day so I will have to imagine the shadow patterns that would have been there had the sun been shining.

I am posting this particular view as I was all set up to paint it when the heavens opened and it began to pour. So I quickly packed up and looked for a sheltered spot with a view I could paint.

I found steps leading off the main street of Corniglia (street is too big a word, it is only 5 feet wide at the most) up to a doorway that looked too old to be used. The best part was the view across the "street" was lovely and their was a roof over my head.

I began to draw with my ink pen when the door opened and out came an Italian lady with a cigarette in her mouth, "Prego, Prego" she said never loosing the cigarette as she squeezed past me. "Prego" seems to mean Please do, or its OK or something like that. I hear it all the time. By the time I decided to take a break and take more photos and have a bite to eat, 4 people had come out of the doorway, all smiling and saying "Prego, Prego" to me as I took over their front porch. The painting is not finished yet, but I will post it when I complete it.

The fun part about my perch was I could overhear everyone, tourists and locals alike, as they strolled down the lane and very few noticed me. Some tourists need to watch what they say! Of course I understand only a few words of German and Italian so most of the people that past me I could not understand, but the English was spoken by as many Brits and Ausies, as Canadians and Americans, and at times their comments and impressions of Italy were pretty funny.

If the twenty something American and Canadian guys are wondering where the girls are, they are all backpacking in Italy!

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