Italia: Endeavour Language Teacher Fellowship

L'avventura

Monday, January 09, 2006

Pistoia



7th January: No formal lessons as such today but a trip to Pistoia was in order. Cathy organised our tickets at the station and showed us how to validate them. The train trip was a mere fifteen minutes. Cathy, from Monash, organised the tickets and off we went. Upon arrival we were given an extensive tour of the historic centre and weaved our way in and out of the matrkets as we visited a number of historic buildings including: Cattedrale di San Zeno, Cupola della Basilica della Modanno dell Umiltà Chiesa di San Paolo and La Chiesa di San Giovani Fuorcivitas including others. As you see they don't go in for short names. Many of the buildings were banded in the green and white marble which seems to be very characteristic of many important buildings in this region.

We were then let loose in the markets for an hour. Deb and I looked at some scarves in the market and then I went off with Adriana who was very hard to keep tabs on but we didn't get lost. We had lots of fun and we were on time getting back to the restaurant. I bought another Happiness card which is very useful for calling home. A ten Euro one(about $18 Aussie dollars) gets you 480 minutes if you are ringing to a fixed line, so is very economical. It can be used quite easily from the hotel room.

Lunch was magnificent and the antipasta dish was a real hit with everyone. After the meal we were taken to the studio of Cinzia Ciou who restores paintings. and specialises also in goldleaf restorations. We were given a lesson in gold leaf. Cinzia did a quick demonstration; it was a lot harder to do than it looked. Antonella had me in stitches, there was gold leaf going everywhere and some of own frames looked a bit like a patchwork project. Putting the glue on the frame was no great issue but getting the gold leaf on evenly and positioning it was another matter completely. When the leaf work was finished we added a picture a religious figure. He, San Giovanni(a gospel writer apparently) sat by my bedside table that evening and I actually got my first good night's sleep.

I returned to Pistoia with the first group. Some people decided to stay on a bit longer. Maria managed to avoid a fine on the train even though she couldn't find her ticket. Liz, Rosemary, Rosanna and I did a bit of shopping. The cafe Chocolat is a great place for coffee or hot chocolate and just down the way from the hotel. They also have a fabulous array of little cakes and pastries. Rosemary shouted us to a few. The best thing is that you can take your coffee sitting down and the prices are very reasonable, for example 1,15 for a capuccino. Once again, it was a reasonably early night for me.

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