During your week with Adventures in Italy, you will have designated art time, designated cultural activities, and free time to explore. One place we don’t always get to, but is definitely worth a visit is, oddly enough, the public library.
In 2013 the public library in Orvieto developed the idea of a Readers’ Garden to fill the space in the back of the library. They wanted to feature work of a local artist, and held a competition to determine who would design the space. The winner was Marino Moretti, a well-established ceramic artist. He looked at the space and the idea of “four” came to him. The idea of four turned into the Four Elements, earth, water, air and fire.
In designing the garden, Marino researched the properties of each of the four elements. Their corresponding zodiac signs, tarot suits and cards, personality traits, animals, trees and plants, and even metals associated with each element are all part of the makeup of the garden. Each element has a bench, and then in the larger area, tiles related to the element. Here’s a snippet of information on each element, see which element speaks to you!
Earth: female. Zodiac signs: Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn. Personality traits: trust, patience, punctuality, responsibility. Animals: snakes, spiders. Trees: ash, hawthorn.
Water: female. Zodiac signs: Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces. Personality traits: love, compassion, devotion, modesty. Animals: aquatic animals. Trees: poplar, willow
Air: male. Zodiac signs: Gemini, Libra, Aquarius. Personality traits: awareness, cheerfulness, diligence, kindness. Animals: birds, insects. Trees: alder. birch.
Fire: male. Zodiac signs: Aries, Leo, Sagittarius. Personality traits: action, courage, curiosity, determination. Animals: reptiles, lizards, bear, lion. Trees: oak, plum, holly, ivy
The Readers’ Garden is a great place to sit and read, to sketch and paint. And if you want more of Marino Moretti’s art, he has a shop in town right by the Duomo.
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*information for this post taken from the book Microcosmo Ceramico published 2014
Michelle Logue leads cultural and creative adventures in Orvieto, Italy. With a mandate to provide "travel that transforms", Adventures in Italy gives guests an immersive experience. After more than 15 years of return trips, Orvieto has become a welcoming home base surpassing the typical Italian vacation.
Adventures in Italy operates trips in May and September, with two options: Artistic Enrichment nurtures creative expression, while Discover Orvieto invites visitors to focus on the history and culture of Orvieto and live as locals. Find out more about tours and special offers by following Adventures in Italy on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and visit www.adventuresinitaly.ca
Slow Travel Tours is an affiliation of small-group tour operators who offer personalized trips in Italy, France and other European countries.