Marilyn is a graduate of the University of Rhode Island and lives in Westchester County in New York State. She has recently written a book titled: “Dear Al, A Widows Struggles and Remembrances”, which continues to sell quite well. Currently she writes for The Brick Magazine, and has previously had both prose and poetry published in Westchester Parent, Bay State Parent, On The Water, Balanced Rock and others. In May of 2018 she was awarded the first place prize in the New York State Federation Of Women's Clubs annual writing contest.
A DISCOVERY IN TUSCANY
“Sure enough….there it is”, I shouted, so proud of our find. We four travelers tumbled out of our rental car and exuberantly began snapping pictures of our discovery. A year earlier my friend and I were enthralled to find we had fallen in love with the idea of visiting Tuscany after reading, “Under the Tuscan Sun” by Frances Mayes. Along with our husbands, we booked a villa in the town of Camucia at the foot of the mountain town of Cortona, and this only upped our anticipation level of accomplishing the task of locating “Bramasole”. Chapter by chapter we learned of the author’s trials to restore this old villa to a functioning home in a manner befitting its antiquity. In mid-May we left the USA for Italy and our rental villa. Upon our arrival at our destination, we settled our luggage into its proper place and immediately set off in search of Bramasole with information we had obtained from the Internet. The directions turned out to be rather confusing, and we were not experiencing the slightest bit of progress when we spotted an Italian police car manned with working members of the Carbonieri. We explained our quest to them with great difficulty due to the language barrier. Barely comprehending our intent, they radioed headquarters and then indicated that they would help us locate Bramasole. All we had to do was follow the patrol car. We set off excitedly at breakneck speed, and we anticipated reaching our goal in short order. The Carbonieri, however, did not seem to really know where it was themselves and soon tooled off in another direction. By this time, we sensed we were on the right road and were determined to follow it to the very end. If this method of discovery was not successful, we would turn around and approach it from the opposite direction. According to the description in the book we knew that if we could find “the little shrine in the wall”, where neighbors paused to pray and adorn the statue with wild flowers, we would have no trouble identifying the house. Our hunch was right, and we soon spotted the villa perched on the crest of a sunny hilltop. After our squeals of delight and picture-taking subsided, we felt we wanted to do something more. As there was a little mailbox next to the shrine, we composed a short note telling Ms. Mayes of our delight at finding her beautiful home. We wished her many years of happiness living in the rural Italian countryside. Now that our trip has ended and we are back in the states, our thoughts frequently return to our little adventure….a daunting one, as we were already senior citizens at the time of that undertaking. We are, however, still searching for another “seek and ye shall find” expedition which will enable us to experience the euphoria of that “Eureka Moment” again. Why not?
To find Bramasole: Take the road on the west side of Cortona to Torreone; Turn right at Torreone toward the church of S. Margarita where that road splits into 3 at a small bar; Take the road to the left downhill; Bramasole will be on the right.