Sadly, this year's travel plans have been supplanted with overdue home projects, including the hanging and cataloging of my personal collection of paintings and other artwork. So this summer, in lieu of an overseas getaway, I could only gaze wistfully at framed pictures as I hung them—many of them reminding me of my favorite travel destinations (and vacations gone by). Let me share a few of them with you. Alas, this shall be the extent of my romantic journeys for Summer 2020. On the whole, I have little to complain of. In the meantime, I'll enjoy a few more "little journeys,' gazing at my pictures of my favorite places.
Eleven years ago, kind friends offered us the use of their charming apartment in Assisi, Italy. So that year, instead of hopscotching from one Italian city to another (as we usually would do), we took the plunge, spending eight days in one spot. It was a very different kind of holiday for us—and one I remember very, very fondly.
I'm fortunate to have travelled a lot. Assisi may be the most enchanting place I've ever visited. Assisi is built of beautiful pink and cream-colored stone—nestled snugly into the sides of a steep hilltop—which reflects the light in a soft, flattering glow. The steep hillside meant that our "next door" neighbors were actually twenty feet above (and below) us, allowing a wonderful measure of privacy during our al fresco breakfasts and dinners on the little terrace. And the steep terrain is laced with numerous stone stairways and ramped passages—ensuring an excellent workout whenever one heads-out for an afternoon (and evening) gelato.
The fact that we were spending eight days in one place allowed us to relax—and melt into an unfamiliar community a bit more than we normally would. We prepared all of our own meals and shopping for the wonderfully fresh and simple ingredients became a pleasurable daily routine. Every afternoon at 5:00, we would head out to the small market (just reopening after an afternoon "siesta") to see what looked good and interesting. We marveled at how three or four simple ingredients, sautéed with olive oil and garlic, provided the most delicious embellishment to our box of pasta. And €3 bottles of wine, sitting in baskets on the storefront sidewalk, never tasted so good!
My parter, Robert Perdziola, draws and paint for a living. He never sketches while on holiday. He never has the time and he's never relaxed enough. So, imagine my surprise when he headed-out, sketchpad in-hand, to make a few drawings. Imagine my surprise, three months later, as I unwrapped some of the sketches, tagged with my name, sitting under the Christmas tree!
The "hillscape" above is a view of Rocca Minore, one of Assisi's fortress-castles built in the 14th Century. It sits at the foot of Mount Subasio where it's provided centuries of protection for the Medieval walled city.
Though our Greenwich Village store is now permanently closed, LEO Design is still alive and well! Please visit our on-line store where we continue to sell Handsome Gifts (www.LEOdesignNYC.com).
We also can be found in Pittsburgh's historic "Strip District" at Mahla & Co. Antiques (www.mahlaantiques.com) or in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania at The Antique Center of Strabane (www.antiquecenterofstrabane.com).
Or call to arrange to visit our Pittsburgh showroom (by private appointment only). 917-446-4248