12 April 2015


We first visited Cortona. I didn't know at all about the city but my mother happened to pick it up from the Italy guidebook. The main photo for Cortona page was a beautiful Tuscany landscape. I decided to visit there immediately.

Sketch of the city of Cortona from Camucia Cortona station.  I am always fascinated to see an entire city surrounded and protected by wall.  Because in most castle cities in Japan, the wall is protecting only the castle building and the rest of the city, where people lived, are outside the wall.   The reason for this difference seems to be that in Europe, the invaders were from different ethnic groups while in Japan, they were still the same Japanese people.  So the different ethnic groups might try to kill all the citizens and the lord needed to protect them.  But in Japan, it was only the lord of the castle that were attacked and the citizen could continue living there under the new lord.   

コルトーナの町の城壁外のバス停から、中心の広場への道を案内してくれたシニョリーナが働いているジェラート店へ立ち寄った。なんと、リコリス味を発見! 「とりぱん」に店員がまずいから売るのをためらったというエピソードとともに「リコリス・アイス」が紹介されているのを読んで以来、もう何年も探していたのだが見つからない味だったのだ。こんなひょんなところで出会うとは! さっそくリコリス・アイスを片手に市庁舎前の階段に座り込んだ。スケッチはアイスを食べ終わって幸せな気分のまま描いたもの。

View from the city was superb.  And after this sketch, we climbed up to Basilica di Santa Margherita. I spotted a firecrest and a black redstart there!

日本野鳥の会発行の小冊子「ひばりは どこに」に挿絵を描いた際、トスカーナの風景を描いてくださいと頼まれた。これまでもの旅でもトスカーナの田舎の景色は車窓などから眺めていたが、あまり自信を持って描けなかったので、今回、糸杉などをしっかりスケッチできて満足だ。

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