Inspiration from Slowing Down in Orvieto, Italy

Posted by Bill Steiner – Adventures in Italy

One of the apparent paradoxes of slow travel is that you actually see more by seeing less. On the surface, this seems ridiculous. Yet, when you spend more time in a place it allows you to absorb so much more, to see so much more detail, to become aware of many nuances that you miss when you are rushing about.

We had a nice reminder of this with our fall trips just recently concluded. One of the trips combined the local culture, sites and sights of Orvieto, Italy with a painting, collaging and journaling workshop. The teacher, Misty Mawn, is know for her faces, and the group of people on this trip were particularly excited to work with her on painting their own faces inspired by what they saw in and around Orvieto. What was so wonderful to observe was how many different faces this group saw, noted and then painted because they stayed in one city, really looked at it and what was there. By slowing down in one place, this group found an incredible number of faces in a host of different places. They drew from the local churches, the amazing cathedral with its stunning San Brizio Chapel, frescoes from the convent B&B in which we stay, the artwork donated to the convent by parents of former nuns, artwork found on the walls in the street, the artist shops around town.

Our students, in the week they were with us and under Misty’s tutelage, came to know Orvieto much more deeply because they were looking – looking closely and examining, in part, because they had time to do so. Then they put what they saw to paper. The result was a much deeper experience, a bonding with the place and its people, and a trip that fulfills and provides lasting memories in a way impossible to achieve going at a faster pace.

One of the group said, “It was an amazing experience even for a European and Italy lover like me.” Another said a few weeks after retuning home, “I can’t get any of it out of my mind.” We think travel ought to leave us feeling this way, and that slow travel is a terrific way to accomplish it. It is why we do our slow travel trips, and, for us, it is incredibly rewarding.

Enjoy below some of the faces that were painted during the week that will forever be with our group that painted them.

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Kristi and Bill Steiner

Kristi and Bill Steiner began leading “learning vacations”  to Orvieto, Italy in 2003. Through Adventures in Italy they provide a cultural immersion experience. Many trips include the pursuit of some kind of creative work that complements and reinforces exploration of Italy’s culture. Relationships built over the years enable Kristi and Bill to provide experiences that a typical visitor to Orvieto never gets. Trips are held in May and September/October every year. Their Discover Orvieto and Girlfriend Getaway trips are available to groups any time of the year. Learn more about Kristi and Bill’s trips.

Stay abreast of Adventures in Italy developments, and follow Bill’s musings about travel and Italy on his blog Make Haste Slowly.

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2 Responses to Inspiration from Slowing Down in Orvieto, Italy

  1. Wow, these paintings are lovely, impressive, stunning……I must have missed this blog week.
    Cheryl

  2. Bill Steiner says:

    Yes, beautiful. Misty Mawn, the instructor, is returning in 2012!

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