Pink and orange, tangerine and melon, apricot and pomegranate: these are the colors of Spoleto, Italy, which I ate with my eyes a few weeks ago while singing with Umbrian Serenades.
This was my second year with the group, which is comprised of professional and amateur singers, the latter on their mettle and everyone in their element making music in the Land of Song - a joyous experience if there ever was one. So was the food, olive oil, gelato, full-jolt espresso and wine made from Sagrantino.
Everything you taste and see is full of the dolce that is Umbria, the buildings about town no exception. Walking by several beautifully colored ones on the way to rehearsal in the morning was like walking through a stage set. There is something amazing to see and experience at every turn, the windows in the center of the building above being but one example. They are trompe-l'oeil.
This soft melon colored wall was near the top of the town (Spoleto is on a hilltop), close to a church that has been in the process of restoration for at least two decades. (I was there in Spoleto in 1985 and it was closed then!) I would pass by just to see the ripe color.
Life moves at a slower pace and in a more gracious manner than the hurry that permeates New York. It also has a certain enjoyment that is hard to describe to those who haven't experienced it. Yes- I was on vacation. Of course everything becomes luminous, tactile and wunderbar. Yes- a great glass of Prosecco does wonders as does a plate of Tortellini alla Norcina. (You can find the latter at a lovely place called La Barcaccia.)
Yes- the trip to the Antonelli winery in the middle of the afternoon was delectable (we sang Danny Boy for our hosts after the full course tasting with a sweetness matched by the desert wine). Yes- our last concert at the San Francesco Church Museum in Montefalco was like singing in liquid light. Yes- time stopped and I thought of monks standing where we stood, making music, hearing glorious sound soar out into space and into the heart. Yes- Spoleto seduces. I can't wait to return.