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Zentangle Diva Challenge #360 – Bella Italia Edition

by Suzanne Fluhr on April 18, 2018 · 13 comments

Assisi, Umbria, Italy

Ciao from Italy! (Did you know that “Ciao” means both “hello” and “good-bye” in Italian?)

After the first week of our two week tour of Italy, it seemed I never said “Wow” so often in any other seven days of my life. I’m relieved I still have the capacity for wonderment at my somewhat advanced age.

I’ll start by sharing my response to the Zentangle Diva’s challenge this week. (If Zentangle is a new concept for you, start here.) The Diva challenged us to use the tangles Tripoli and Shattuck in a duotangle (a tile using only 2 tangles). These are two of my “go to” tangles, but I admit to being somewhat intimidated by all the wonderful Italian art and architecture I’ve been seeing.

Diva Challenge #360

With Tripoli, I did it using both dark and light negative spaces. My use of Shattuck is uninspired.

I’ve spent considerable time here in Italy looking up at ceilings. Of course, I expected to be impressed by Michelangelo’s frescoes on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican, but I’ve found myself slack jawed, gazing upward in other less well known venues as well. I’ve been particularly impressed by the skillful use of the technique of tromp l’oiel, where objects are made to appear 3 dimensional in flat 2D media.

Although this is my third visit to Italy, it was my first time visiting the Borghese Gallery in Rome. The Borghese is known for its collection of Bernini statues, but I was awed by the ceilings and walls in each gallery room.  Here’s the ceiling in the first room in the gallery:

Ceiling Borghese Gallery

Most of what looks to be like carved relief on the ceiling and walls is, in fact, 2 dimensional tromp l’oiel.

Before we got to Rome, we visited the beautiful Amalfi Coast. The narrow, two way, twisting Amalfi Coast Road is not for the faint of heart, but the views are worth the terror. I took this photo looking down on the town of Positano from an overlook:

Positano on the Amalfi Coast

This was also my first visit to the Italian region of Umbria, sometimes considered Tuscany’s poorer cousin. Umbria is known for its hilltop medieval towns. Back in the day, it was really important to occupy the high ground, especially when there were constant wars among what were then independent city states.

We stayed in Orvieto, a small town with this beautiful Duomo (cathedral): TDuomo of Orvieto, Umbria

From Orvieto, we made a day trip to the town of Assisi, including the Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi and the church of Saint Clare. We were not permitted to take photos in the interior of either structure; so, you’ll have to go visit yourself. However, I can share this photo I took as we walked along a path above the town.

Assisi, Umbria, Italy

The Umbrian hill town of Assisi in Italy.

Stay tuned, I have much more to share as I fondly remember our trip to Bella Italia.

Have you visited somewhere that made you say “Wow!” more than one time? 

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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Deanne B April 18, 2018 at 6:07 pm

Beautiful photos! I like what you did with the Diva challenge …. in the rounds!

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avatar Annemarie April 19, 2018 at 1:51 am

Thanks for sharing those photo’s. I like your tile and it’s contrast! Enjoy the rest of your stay.

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avatar Robin April 19, 2018 at 7:34 am

So glad you are enjoying the beauty of Italy and the benefits of being on a tour. Gives you much time to fuel your wonderment!!! I really enjoy your photos and am always wowed by your artistic knowledge.

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avatar Ken Dowell April 19, 2018 at 7:41 am

I “wowed” multiple times in Rome when visiting the Colisseum and walking amidst the ruins surrounding it.

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avatar 1 Art Lady Kate April 19, 2018 at 8:54 am

Love your tile and totally understand the wow factor in Italy. I was able to spend time there a few years back and you are visiting some of the same place that I was able to enjoy. have a wonderful rest of your trip! You will love both Sienna and Florence!

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avatar Patti April 19, 2018 at 6:15 pm

We really – seriously – need to get to Italy. I can’t believe we haven’t yet been but it always seems as if there are so many places to go.

I’m wondering how you are enjoying (or not) the group tour experience.

In 2017 we traveled by train through the Alps from Ljubljana, Slovenia to Salzburg, Austria. Wow didn’t even begin to cover it. There were just no words that could capture the grandeur of those mountains and incredible green valleys. But, if I had to choose a word it would have to be breathtaking.

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Suzanne Fluhr Suzanne Fluhr April 20, 2018 at 1:53 am

You HAVE to get to Italy—but aim for the off season. I know the feeling of “so many places, so little time”, but Italy is very accessible. This group tour experience has been fine. This group is sponsored by our college alumni association with Odyssey Travels, so we have that as a commonality. Our Odyssey tour guide is terrific, so I’m sure that helps. Then, we have local guides in each location too. They’ve clearly been vetted. Also, there is a lot of “free” time built into the schedule, so in each place, we have time to explore on our own too. I sometimes get anxious about trip planning, so it was nice to leave that to someone else for a change.

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avatar Michele Wynne April 20, 2018 at 9:42 pm

Thanks for sharing your lovely travel pics. I love Italy❤ Your Diva piece great!

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avatar Margarete Gilge April 21, 2018 at 5:23 am

A great Diva tile and wonderful pictures, Suzanne!
Have a nice time in Italy and enjoy your journey!

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avatar ria matheussen April 21, 2018 at 7:19 am

I share your love for Italy. It is not so far away from Belgium and I have visited this country also a few times. On every corner you can find art, there is still beautiful nature and the food is delicious but the only thing I don’t like is that it is always to crowded. Everyone who comes to Europe wants to visit Italy… I was very impressed by visiting Prague (Art Nouveau) and for the nature I’m fond of Scotland and Iceland but the most spectacular country I ever have visited was Peru (Inca culture) and Namibia (wild animals)
I wish you beautiful days in Italy and thank you for the wonderful pictures.
I like the composition and the contrasts you have made on your Divatile.

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Suzanne Fluhr Suzanne Fluhr April 21, 2018 at 5:26 pm

We went to Peru for our honeymoon in 1982!

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avatar Donald Wilka April 22, 2018 at 8:16 pm

Nice touch to put the tangles inside orbs. Like the pictures but did not have a lot of time to look in detail. Could not respond to your post last week as I am not on Instagram.

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avatar Nan April 27, 2018 at 9:24 pm

I love looking at your tiles, especially when it seems like you can reach up and pull something off of it because it looks so real! I can’t wait to see the rest of your trip. This first week just whets my appetite to visit there. I am planning a trip to visit “my” olive tree that I adopted a few years back. They send me fresh oil 4 times a year – yum.

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