The day after school got out, we left Perugia for our longest trip of the year. This morning we’re in Ferrara, sleeping in after six days of heavy sight-seeing. Soon we will head to Sardinia for our second week.
We started in Urbino, our first visit ever into the region of the Marches. This small town is where Raphael was born, and if you didn’t know it upon arrival, it was a hard fact to miss; many streets, restaurants and piazzas are named after him and his masterpieces. His centrally located home is now preserved as a museam. There is also a large monument in his honor as well as many of his original and reproduced paintings around town.
Urbino also prides itself on the legacy of Duke Federico who ruled the city in the 1400s and is known for being a fantastic mercenary and true Renassance man. We toured his palace and walked through the piazzas and courtyards that he commissioned. His image has been painted all over. (He is always viewed from his left profile because he lost his right eye in a duel.)
On the way north to the region of Emilia Romana, we cooled off at “Acquafan.” Not surprisingly, it’s been the best part of the trip for the boys. There were 19 waterslides, a wave pool, swimming pools and granitas served in tall, take-away containers. You could order up to seven flavors at once.
Then we headed to Ravenna, one of the cutest towns in Italy. Its pedestrian streets look like a movie set, and its churches are world famous for their 1500-year-old mosaics. Present-day Ravenna has embraced the mosaic motif and created modern designs on nearly everything: garbage cans, planters, store fronts, and street signs.
This beautiful city has more that mosaics. Tom was excited to visit the Duomo’s famous labyrinth said to absolve Christians of their sins. However, once he saw how small and simple it was, he gave me a familiar look of disappointment. I think he was hoping it would be made of hay.
Our last stop out of town was to the Boarderline art exibit which featured famous works by 20th century artists on the boarderline of insanity and normalcy. Many of the pictures looked like nightmares or crime scenes. However, the museum cheered us up with more mosaics on the first floor.
And now we are in Ferrara warding off mosquitos. There is a castle across the street with the most swampy green mote I’ve ever seen (which satisfied our curiosity as to the mosquito population.)