As some of you might know, I was a student at the University of Georgia’s Art Program in Cortona…16 years ago this summer. Hard to believe it has been that long! This is, of course, what introduced me to this beautiful place I now call home and, not to mention, Dino. Nostalgic, I dug through some old photos…and at the risk of embarrassing myself (and Catharine, India, Nikki, & Sarah)…I look at these pictures and can see the years…gosh we were young.

Last week I attended the closing art exhibition of the UGA students in Cortona. A flood of memories came back to me about that special summer. A colleague of my brother-in-law’s daughter is here as a student with the program now and very nicely invited me to attend. The work was wonderful (especially Stefanie’s self portrait)…I was very impressed with the talent this year, and even more so that the art is taking more traditional turns.

I decided to have Stefanie and 3 of her friends…Faye, Lacey & Jess…over for dinner. I remembered my experiences with Italian cooking for an entire summer…so much meat and not many vegetables. So, Dino and I made them a dinner of fresh zucchini from my zio‘s garden, bruschetta, tuscan chicken with roasted potatoes, and fresh green beans, which we ate outside at dusk in the front yard. I wish I had taken a photo of these lovely girls. They were so sweet and honest and genuinely happy to be here in Italy. A shame how it takes another’s prospective sometimes to jolt your own mind again. They even brought me some stunning orchids…

I was amazed to hear of all the wonderful changes that have been made to the UGA program. They have wifi and cell phones, computer labs, kilns for ceramics, a vegetable garden, and my personal favorite…a dedicated painting studio in a chapel. I was also a little comforted that some things have not changed at all…boys still chase after the girls, romance blossoms, they go out to dance occasionally, they eat gelato often, and they feel safe in my little town. Thanks girls for helping me remember the best of things!

For those of you in Atlanta that attended the program, they are having a reunion on August 15th…info is here and on FB.

Interested in more?