Amy and I arrived at Kate and Maurizio’s house on Monday. They were delayed returning from Spain so we had the house to ourselves. The trees have grown a lot since we last visited in 2001. We at blackberries from the vegetable garden and delicious cherry tomatoes, ate a ratatouille tahat Cecilia had prepared for the Nazaris, and took a swim in their pool. Cecilia and Stefano (Abby’s host parents when she was here) showed up to see how we were doing, but I had to disappear for a remote thesis defense.
The next day we lazed around reading books and catching up on email. Some cooling rain squalls came through. Kate and Maurizio and Nicci and Duccio arrived that evening and cooked pasta with hot peppers, delicious. On Wednesday Amy and I went for a drive, visiting Cittadella, the city where Abby went to school, Bassano, with a collection of Jacopo di Bassano in the Museo Civico, and Castelfranco, where we saw this wonderful Giorgone in the duomo. There is a wonderful hint of reserve in Mary’s face, a sense of maintaining an inner private life against the public one thrust upon her. The air was clear and the sky was blue and the mountains to the north of Bassano were lovely.
That evening we had a dinner for Cecilia, Stefano, Marta, and Chiara and thank them and toasted them and gave them the pewter bowl we had brought over. Kate recited The Man from Ironbark.