Thursday, July 19, 2012


One month ago today, I arrived in Fabriano, Italy to join Diana Trout and a group of six other women for a week of art and adventure in this town in the Le Marche district of Italy (about 2 hours north and east of Rome as the train travels, which is how I got there).

We stayed at the Janus Hotel.  My room was simple but clean and comfortable.

The bathroom was modern and up-to-date but strangely fixtured with a seat in the shower stall that would have been convenient if I needed to sit down while bathing (which I didn't) or if the jets worked (except they didn't) but otherwise just took up half the space in the stall and made it a bit crowded in there.

The toilet had a metal bowl on top that served as the bidet which you then had to lift up in order to use the loo.  Just one of the charming quirks of a European hotel!

Could have sworn I took a photo of the hair dryer that looked more like a vacuum cleaner hose but I can't find it, so you'll just have to take my word about that!  But like I said, the room was clean and comfortable and there was a view of the town and the mountains that I quite enjoyed looking out at each morning, especially the sound of the church bells and the dozens of swallows as they swooped  in and out from under the eaves of neighbouring buildings. 

The hotel also had a dining room with a very talented chef and very friendly and helpful staff - my first meal there was a delicious pasta.

We ate lunch on the hotel's pretty (and thankfully, shaded) outdoor terrace which immediately became our favourite spot - we often hung out here during our week long stay, it was just so welcoming and comfortable!

After we ate, we got out our art supplies and started to play.  At least, Irena and Diana did, I just watched from the sidelines, not quite ready to pull out my as yet unopened Moleskin to face the daunting white pages within.  Time enough for that later!

Our fellow group members arrived over the course of the afternoon and early evening, having flown from various U.S. origins and then taken the train from Rome as I had.  We all had dinner together at a restaurant in town, meeting Maggie for the first time, a resident of the Fabriano area who would be acting as one of our local guides for the week.
Irena, Susan, Maggie, Diana, Denise and Jane
(Holly arrived later)
We also had our first taste of the medieval festival that was taking place that week, the Palio, when we visited one of the four participating churches to see their flower painting entry.  This is a painting of their design

and this is actual the flower "painting", spread out on the floor of the red team's church.

Made entirely from dried flower petals, it was quite stunning.

We watched part of the evening's festivities, in which the four teams (Red, Blue, Green and Yellow) competed in various athletic events, including barrel racing

and tasted the wares of one of the town's gelaterias.  Mmm, good! 
Diana sampling gelato


Anonymous said...

Just perfect, you did indeed have a great view from your room's room was a wee bit bigger, but all I saw was the massive a-c system for the hotel....and I love the photo essay for the patio, which did live in for our art-intensive week! Thank you again, Cynthia from Holly

Diana Trout said...

OMG! I love this post. You captured things beautifully. Except that photo of me eating gelato: that is blackmail material. What a hoot, though, I love the room and bathroom descriptions. You are as funny on paper (screen) as in real life.