The holiday season has been very intense for us but we have started to plan for our next trip to Europe in May and June. There will be some very familiar places where we will repeat our photographic exploits, but also an entirely new (for us) experience. We are going to Italy!
PJ and I were at dinner with our dear friend Diane Quaid in November and the conversation turned to bucket lists. PJ turned to me and asked if there was one place that I would like to go and I replied “Ravenna”. At that moment we decided to add Italy to our tour for 2015.
So the general outline of the trip is as follows: In ➀ Vézelay we will stay at our home in the area, the Crispol Hotel, which will be our base for photographing and for a visit with Pere Angelico Surchamps at the nearby monastery of La Pierre Qui Vire, the birthplace of the Éditions Zodiaque. We are hoping that Janet Marquardt will be able to join us for the visit.
From Vézelay we will make a long drive to ➁ Milan to photograph the Duomo, Chiesa di Santa Maria delle Grazie, Battistero Sant Ambrogio, Battistero San Lorenzo Maggiore, Chiesa di Santa Maria presso San Satiro, and the Basilica di San Simpliciano. From Milan we drive a couple of hours to ➂ Ravenna, where we will photograph the Battistero degli Ariani, Battistero Neoniano, Chiesa San Michele in Africisco, Basilica di San Giovanni Evangelista, and the Basilica di Sant’Apollinare in Classe. The amazing Byzantine churches with their famous mosaics are drawing us to this part of the world for almost two weeks.
From Ravenna we have a treat in store – three days in ➃ Florence with PJ’s brother Mark Krausz. We’ll take some time to enjoy the city but will probably not have time to really work on the churches. We’ll save that for a return visit. From Florence we spend a night in ➄ Modena. We hope to photograph the Duomo, the Cattedrale di Santa Maria Assunta in Cielo e San Geminiano.
From here, we head back to France, first the ➅ Le Puy area in the Haute Loire. We will shoot the Cathédrale Notre Dame du Puy and several of the remote churches of the area, including one of our favorites, the Abbaye Saint-André de Lavaudieu. From here we go about an hour north where we will stay just outside of ➆ Issoire at one of our favorite hotels in France, the lovely Cour Carrée in Perriers. I was sick here for six days on our last trip so we are looking forward to returning and enjoying the hospitality and cuisine of Jean-Luc Villette. While in the region, we will be photographing the many spectacular Romanesque churches in the Clermont-Ferrand area.
From Issoire we go to my omphalos, the Hotel Pont de l’Ouysse in ➇ Lacave in the Dordogne. I first fell in love with this hotel in 1986; PJ and I return every year to enjoy the cuisine and the region. From Lacave, we head to the ➈ Limousin where we will photograph the wonderful Romanesque churches surrounding Limoges – the Collégiale Saint-Pierre in Le Dorat, the Abbaye de Saint-Amand à Saint-Junien, the Église Bénévent-l’Abbaye, the Collégiale Saint-Léonard à Saint-Léonard-de-Noblat, the Église Saint-Pierre Saint-Paul à Solignac, and the Église Notre Dame de La Souterraine.
From the Limousin we go a short distance northwest to ➉ Poitiers to visit our family friend Thérese Gayet at their home at Danlot, and then visit the city itself, along with our old family stomping ground at Chauvigny. From Chauvigny we go to ➀➀ Bourges to photograph the cathedral, then to ➀➁ Chartres for three more days documenting the restoration there. And then finally, three days in ➀➂ Paris in an apartment on the Ile Saint Louis will finish our trip. We are so excited to return, especially since the last journey was truncated by my illness.
PJ and I have a great deal of research to do, mostly on the churches in Italy. It will be our first time to work there and we need to know the regulations and practices of that country. If anyone has any information or suggestions to make, on Italy or even the Limousin region, please let us know. It will, of course, be gratefully received.