Oh, I am having so many adventures, have taken hundreds of pictures, but I find that internet connections are spotty at best, especially for posting pictures; so that will have to wait. Perhaps if I were in one place for more than a day or two, or if I weren't sick (yes, I've come to Italy to get a cold!), I could figure it all out more efficiently. In a couple of days I will be in Roma, and plan to be there 3-4 days; that may give me a chance to show you just a bit of what I've seen and done. But yes, I've seen black madonnas, for sure! I've seen the dark icons, but the ones that fascinate me most are t he carved wooden figures, all very dark and strange to our eyes.
It's all taking me much longer than I anticipated. When one relies on public transportation (and my poor, abused, but ever-faithful feet) and the vagaries of the 12-3 pm lunch "hour" that is almost universally observed in the places I've been, I just don't get to all the places I want to. There was one Madonna outside Genoa and Milan (about equidistant) that I just couldn't get to, because I needed to rent a car, and could only do that at the airport. If I see one Madonna a day, I'm doing well. I know now that I was greatly overreaching myself when I thought I would see all of them in this trip.
Every day I re-think and re-plan. Since I know I can't see them all, I've decided to concentrate on Rome and Sicily, which have the greatest concerntrations in the smallest space. If I have time, I'll double back to Naples, Venice, and that one I missed near Milan.
And I've discovered new loves that I never expected. Genoa: what a great city! Very gracious, right on the ocean. Beautiful architecture, lots of old churches, and plenty of beautiful places for a tourist to park her weary self. And Zurich! Who'd have guessed that Switzerland would also have flowerboxes overflowing with blooms?
And so I will close today, reporting in from Livorno (saw the Madonna of Montenero, the patron of Tuscany, today). I need to check my mail, and I'm having one of those marathon sneezing fits. Pray for my improved health, okay?