The Cherries of 2019

All over Italy, the cherry harvest is poor this year – everywhere except for the Severini School, that is. After Enea’s drastic pruning and medication last year, our two old cherry trees responded with a bumper crop of beautiful, organic fruit.

Severini School cherries ripening
Enea holding a bunch of cherries

The birds tried to get them, but scary eyes drawn on balloons and a big net protected them long enough to allow them to ripen.

We had to rush to harvest them in the face of an oncoming hailstorm, a task we finished just in time… although not without getting wet!

The four buckets of cherries we collected then traveled to Enea’s kitchen in Emilia-Romagna, where he pitted them and cooked them down into a dozen jars of jam.

Saturday morning we tasted the finished product for the first time, and the verdict was unanimous – Enea’s recipe is ottimo!

Slow Museums: February 24, 2018 – Museo delle Navi Antiche di Pisa

In December 1998, a bulldozer working on the expansion of the San Rossore train station in Pisa brought up several scoopfuls of wood and ceramics, and work was immediately stopped. Archeologists were called in, and what they found were the remains of thirty remarkably preserved shipwrecks in what was once an Etruscan, then Roman port of the city. The Museo delle Navi Antiche di Pisa is not yet open to the public, but tours of the museum-in-the-making can be pre-arranged on two days of every month. We were lucky that this semester, the UGA Cortona Studies Abroad program’s excursion to Pisa happened to fall on one of those two days, so a group of students and instructors were able to view this incredible archeological discovery.

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Slow Museums: February 25, 2017 – Siena

My museum today was the streets of Siena — I set out on a “Palio Hunt”, looking for symbols and landmarks of the contrade, but soon found other things that interested me.  Such as the strangely antique reserved (parking?) space in the alley behind the headquarters of the Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena, the world’s oldest bank:

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