Friday, February 28, 2020

A Good Day to Work at Home

Friday, 28 February, 2020

With Coronavirus Countermeasures still in full effect in Lombardia, I spent a large portion of yet another day inside the Villa Skorpion II "smart working" and reading.

I did go out for about an hour to visit the world famous Pasticceria Marabelli for the usual morning fare.

 Serie A is following the
Coronavirus protocols at great
financial loss it would appear

The headline in today's paper confirms that this coming Sunday's huge game between Torino's Juventus team and Inter Milan will indeed be played but the stadium's doors will be closed to spectators.

How big is this game you ask?

Juventus (19-3-3) is in first place in the 20 team Serie A table with 60 team points based on three points for a win and one point for a tie.

Inter (16-6-2) is in third place with 54 team points, only two games back in the standings.   

Remember that in Europe, a team's record is listed in this order: Wins-Ties-Losses.

Can you imagine the circumstances needed for a late season NFL game between say Kansas City and New England being played in purposely empty stadium?

After my cappuccino and brioche, a deep rich dark chocolate one today, I opted to go to the Villa Toeplitz just around the corner from the Pasticceria Marabelli to have a quiet read in an empty park.

The tree lined road that brought
me to the Villa Toeplitz

The entry gate to the Villa
on this gorgeous day

The Villa Toeplitz's observatory

 The view from my bench while I read

The trees are about to explode
with new blossoms

So are the bushes

An ornate window next
to my parking spot

Flowers were blooming back
at the Villa Skorpion II as well

The rest of my day was spent preparing for Saturday's practice and reviewing the Savona Pirates' videos to prepare our game plan for next week.

I really hope that we will be allowed to play but I certainly am aware that everyone's health must come first.

Reading Is FUNdamental!

I just love the entire
Inspector Montalbano series
by the recently deceased
Andrea Camilleri

All of these books are a joy to read as are the Italian TV movies from these books are to watch.

It will be good to be outside for a good amount of time again tomorrow.

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Rebeling Against Authority or My Trip to Artsy Arcumeggia

Thursday, 27 February, 2020

At lunch yesterday, one of our players asked me if I had ever visited the art colony, mountain village of Arcumeggia.

The simple answer was, "No."

That would change today.

But first, a short walk to the Bar al Semaforo for my daily cappuccino, brioche and the morning news . . .

Juventus and Cristiano Ronaldo
lost in Lyon 1-0 to Olympique Lyonnaise
in a Champions League contest last night

My day was off to a good start!

In a nutshell, the Bar al Semaforo
will close at 6:00 p.m. until further
notice due to Coronavirus countermeasures

Nourished, I was off to Arcumeggia only about a half hour away to the north, away from Milano's Coronavirus outbreak zone.

It was a beautiful 30 minute drive
through the dry woodlands of Lombardia

An interesting old farm hut

Finally, after a rigorous series
of hairpin turns on a narrow road,
I'd arrived in Arcumeggia

Arcumeggia's nice church
was closed this morning

A Padre Pio statue was a
MUST outside the church

So what is the reason for my friend's suggestion to visit this tiny mountain village?

As it turns out, in 1956 the Provincial Organization for Tourism decided to turn Arcumeggia into an artistic, painted village. Over the years, a group of over 30 Italian artists have come to Arcumeggia and painted frescos on the village's external walls.

I was here to see how these same frescos survive today.

My first fresco
"Sharing Polenta with the Family"
by Innocente Salvini, 1971

More frescos this way

Even in this remote mountain village, the Coronavirus countermeasures were in effect, the Tourist Office was closed until further notice.

Not a fresco but a nice Liberty style
building erected in 1928 that houses
the closed Tourist Office

A map of the village pointing
out the location of the frescos

An idyllic spot for an art colony

Fresco by these artists

Cold, potable water

"Racing Cyclists"
by Aligi Sassu, 1967

by Albino Reggiori, year unknown

Lots of narrow lanes in this
serene village

"The Emigrant's Return"
by Gianfilippo Usellini, 1956

Milano far to the south

"The Bullfight"
by Gianni Dova, 1964

A memorial to Arcumeggia's WWI fallen

"Allegory of Mural Decoration"
by Umberto Faini, 1994

I liked this photographer's
business sign

Another interesting business sign

Of course, both businesses were closed this morning.

How old is the street light?

An artsy hanging garden

"The Soildier Who Does Not Want War"
by Gioxe De Micheli, year unknown

"Severin, Drink a Little Wine"
by Gianfilippo Usellini, 1964

"A Young Girl Longed For"
by Franco Ruspetti, 1961

This path looked promising

"Jesus Christ Laid Down and Mourned"
by Pier Ceresa, 1964

I liked the look but
what is that statue?

And what is that on the balcony?

Ah, a woman . . .

. . . and a thin woman at that

I heard a noise above me on the balcony . . .

. . . just someone's hunting falcon
tethered to keep me safe thankfully

"The Allegorical Composition of a Carpenter"
by Giorgio Cigna, 1961

Which road to take?

Not all of Arcumeggia's art
is of the fresco variety

Another fascinating street lamp
with a hunting scene beneath

More non-fresco art

Even plain old walls had
an artistic bent in this village

"Goat's Head"
by Barbara Galbiati, year unknown

"Christ and the Samaritan"
by Enzo Morelli, 1956

Another refreshing water spigot

"Gea's Triumph"
by Sante Monachesi, year unknown

Door art, a different medium

"A Study of Two Feet"
by François Jans Jean, 1985

"Two Boxers"
by Giuseppe Montanari, 1961

A thin and limber Santa Claus

What an interesting village

How can those cherry trees be
blossoming in February in these
Alpine foothills

Even more non-fresco art

An ancient communal laundry

My loop of the city was complete
once I returned to the church

Arcumeggia was well worth the trip

I only saw two other people on the streets during my time in the village, both from about 70 meters away.

I felt safe from infection.

I stopped at the Esselunga Supermarket on the way home only to discover that there were still few shoppers to be seen.

But . . .

. . . the pasta shelves and . . .

. . . the pasta sauce shelves were
back at full strength!

I felt so good about today's happenings that in the evening we alerted the Skorpions to our finally practicing again at 3:00 p.m. on Saturday after cancelling our normal two practices this week..

Of course, the Coronavirus countermeasures still mean that we can not use the locker rooms until further notice.