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Sunday, June 16, 2013

Urbino Alley

Urbino Alley, 30x20, oil on linen
Can't let those alleys go! where-ever I go, there they are...just calling out to me. There is an interesting story behind the little side trip we took to Urbino. This town was not on our agenda at all. On my last trip to Europe, we went to Venice; since we would be on the Adriatic side of Italy, I really wanted to go to the water to walk the beach and I thought it would be a nice place to catch our breath before heading to Rome. I picked the town of Pesaro after doing some minimal research. We would be there after the "season" was done, so I figured we would find at least a couple of hotels still open for business, and usually at a discount. I did not book a hotel in advance. I did not bring a map of Pesaro with me, thinking I could check it out online somewhere along the way. I do not have the latest technology but I did have my iPad and the internet is accessible most big tourist places, right? Wrong. NOT in Italy. After we got off the train in Pesaro, and went outside to find we were in the middle of a hub with 5 or 6 streets leading out in all directions! The one map I had managed to look at briefly beforehand showed the sea was 4-6 blocks from the train station...I had no idea which one of the streets to pick to go to "the sea." Looking down them, they went a long ways with no water at the end. I tried talking to a few people, including employees of Trenitalia, but no one understood, "the sea," "la mer," or "Adriatic." So, I am trying to just find a map of the town. Nada. I go check out the INFO sign...closed. BUT I hear English! There are 3 Brits looking at a bus schedule, so I ask them if they can just point me in the right direction, and they not only did that, but walked us into the old town and towards the sea. On our 20" walk into town, with luggage trailing, we discovered that they were 2 siblings and one girlfriend. The sister of the young man was the guide, as she was studying at university in Urbino. She said we MUST go visit Urbino, that we would not regret it. Pesaro was okay for the beach but as a town, not so exciting. Urbino was a walled city, with winding streets and alleys, and the birthplace of the artist, Raphael. So, she told us the ins and outs of taking the bus to Urbino, and we spent our one full day in Pesaro, going to Urbino. It was a fun day, and though she did not tell us of the Saturday market, we fortunately tumbled across it. While my friend shopped to her hearts content, I roamed around talking photos and even happened across the Raphael Museum, though we did not go in. There is also an art institute and the university. It is not on many American's iteinerary, but I am glad we went the eastern route. I am sure enjoying painting my way through my photographs of our time on the Adriatic.

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