This is the view of the entry to the reception area at San Fedele Monastery where I recently taught a watercolor class for Il Chiostro. The participants and I found great painting locations just outside these gates.
are several of us seated underneath the beautiful linden trees in the piazza.
To the left is the low wall next to the refectory and beyond that the peaceful Tuscan countryside, probably looking very much the same as it has for centuries. Nearby roads are often gravel, not even paved, in order to keep the paving chemicals from draining into the vineyards. We walked on the roads often in the mornings and late afternoons and encountered many friendly people on our walks. One night we met a neighbor out walking with his family on the road--we greeted him with our not-very-fluent Italian, and he kindly returned our greeting and showed us what he had just collected from the woods: a handful of gorgeous mushrooms. We were so delighted by what he had found--we didn't really even need language to express our admiration.
To the left are two pages of Mary Heath's sktechbook--the subjects are the San Fedele church and the doors and shutters of one of the rooms participants stayed in.
To the right is a page Brooke Randell created--she decided to focus on the windows of San Fedele, including the oculus of the church, seen above in Mary Heath's sketch.