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Writing historical fiction: sometime journal of a New York City novelist

back from an extraordinary trip to Italy!

Giotto's Kiss of Judas from the Scrovegni Chapel in Padova
I have been away at an extraordinary trip to Italy, traveling with the West Village Chorale who joined forces with a 60-voice children's choir and an orchestra to sing Mozart's REQUIEM in churches in Venice, Verona and at a villa created by Palladio in Vicenza. I made notes and notes for novels and in Florence, visited the rooms where the Brownings lived across from the Pitti Palace...my friend and I were the only visitors there and I can't say how moved I was to walk through the very iron gate and up the worn steps where Elizabeth and Robert walked so often 1846-1861. I can hardly say I was the ONLY visitor at the Uffizi!! I was early and so sat on a curb eating a large rectangular pizza with mushrooms. The view from the gallery windows of Florence is amazing and again I made notes passionately. Visits to the Giotto frescoes painted a mere seven hundred years ago and to the Da Vinci Last Supper were so moving. We heard AIDA in the two thousand year old Verona Arena (more notes) and I met new friends in a restaurant by Juliet's house. Many more things, many more semi-legible notes. The last REQUIEM was at San Tommaso in Verona where Mozart himself at the age of 13 played the organ. At least a hundred more things happened and I came home all fired up to write but have been too tired to do much of anything in the first four days home except remove the carbonara spots from my blue Indian skirt and tidy through the most amazing amount of e-mails. The normal way to live does still seems to be rushing through the dark streets of Venice for half a confused hour at night trying to find our tour bus before the midnight hour struck and the bus was charged another day's tax for parking in Venice behind the train station. And last night I dreamed I was with friends in Italy again on a boat which sailed on a lake made of melted pistachio gelato...

Please note that I chose a Giotto picture for here, not a cone of gelato. A hard decision...
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