Sunday, December 20, 2020

Artnotes: Looking for Christmas


Florence Street  Blair Pessemier  acrylic/canvas  16 x 12"  40 x 30 cm

We arrived at our parking garage (414 spaces available) quicker than usual.  We burst upon Santa Maria Novella by 10:30 AM.  It was as if the city were asleep.  Which is perfect for what we love:  to look at the Architecture.
We slipped into the Florentine coffee shop to order a fabulously flaky cornetto and two macchiati, “to go”: the only option was to stand on the sidewalk.  We walked past “our” hotel, where we spent a Christmas past with a friend (Harika had special bowls that came with the room); it was closed.  As I looked around I noticed more and more things closed – absolutely every restaurant, almost all hotels, and most stores shuttered.

Not a Red Hat   Laurie Fox Pessemier  acrylic/canvas 17 x 20"  43 x 51cm 575.00

A side door to the Duomo was open, a roped entry and hand sanitizer in evidence.   There was a tent heralding the Aeronatica.  We approached the door and our temperature was recorded.  There were less than 50 people in the church, all distanced in pews.  There was a mass going on, and an official type came to suggest we pray over “here”.  He led us to a pew directly beneath Brunelleschi’s dome.  Tilting our heads back (our minder disappeared), we could examine it in all its glory. At first we thought we were at a funeral, but then it became apparent this was a celebration for the Madonna di Loreto, the patron saint of the Italian Air Force. We admired the Last Supper in front of us (Florence was a big Cenicola city, in advance of Leonardo in Milan).  Suddenly, the coronets sounded and music commenced.  We thought it best to beat our retreat.

Side Door Basilico Venice   Blair Pessemier  acrylic/canvas 16 x 10.5"  41 x 27cm   450.00

It’s one thing to leisurely walk around a city looking at things, stopping for lunch, milling inside a store, and another to be out there in 50-degrees without a single place to stop and warm up in.  As we approached two hours on our feet, our pace was slowing.  It was clearly time for the car.  We rethought our “12 Cities” tour.

Today, we decided to take our walk closer to home.  We drove to the park along the Panaro river and set out for our 30 minute jaunt.  Halfway into our hike, we happened upon Christmas greetings on the bank.  We took photos and were touched to the heart by the gesture.


If you want to reuse this Christmas book, please contact us at   It is available for a nominal fee.

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