The participants for our group tour in Italy arrived late last week,
and we’ve been having so much fun sightseeing and eating!
First, we toured the Vatican Museums and saw the 500-year-old art and
artifacts preserved there. It was awe-inspiring! Next, we
traveled to Florence, childhood home of both Leonardo Da Vinci and Michelangelo.
While there, we toured the Galleria dell’ Accademia (Accademia
Museum), which houses Michelangelo’s famous statue David.
We also wandered on our own all around Florence, getting lost.
Finding our way back was half the fun.
My granddaughters Sofia (left) and Michela (right) joined the group
for the welcoming dinner at Toninos in Cortona.
We had a wonderful welcome dinner at Toninos when we arrived
in Cortona, and so far we’ve visited the Church of St. Margaret;
the Diocesan Museum; the Etruscan Museum; and Le Celle, the monastery
of St. Francis of Assisi.
St. Francis is the patron saint of animals, birds, and the environment
and is very dear to my heart, as many of you know. Some of us
even wore our St.
Francis pins in honor of my favorite saint!
Last week I included a picture of members of my family and me on
the steps of Cortona’s Town Hall. This week my family was
What a joy it is to have all four of my daughters with me in Italy!
Left to right: Becky, Ginny, Mary, Patty, and me.
Another of my favorites is St. Margaret. She is
the patron saint of Cortona and is famous for helping sick people.
She started one of the first hospitals in Italy, and her body is miraculously
mummified and can be seen in a glass coffin at the altar of the church.
This crucifix is in the Church of St. Margaret, which is located
on top of the hill in Cortona. The crucifix originally came from
the Church of St. Basil, which occupied the same spot in the time of
St. Margaret. According to legend, the crucified figure got down
off the cross and let St. Margaret into the church to pray after she
had been locked out.
Our next adventure was a tour of wine country, with stops
in Montepulciano, Montalcino, and Lucignano.
Mary and I found the tour guide’s explanation of how wine
is made to be most interesting. We were at the Santa Rosa Vineyard
outside of Montalcino.
This is about half our group at Santa Rosa.