February 26, 2008
We’re in Ferrara. It’s been a very long day, with two flights and a bus ride, the most spectacular part of which was the ride over the Alps between Frankfurt and Venice. We’re sending a couple pictures of that to the Flickr site so people can see. They were taken out of the plane (as you’ll see, because you can see the wing of the plane).
Ferrara is interesting to me, because it feels much more like a Northern city than like a Mediterranean city, and of course we are very far north in Italy. It’s also cold, although not freezing, but I think in the 40s. Cooney and I, at least, and I think the others too have been happy to have our winter coats with us and not just our “LA winter” gear.
We took a walk around the city after we arrived — everybody was really tired of sitting — and saw some fun things. There’s a medieval part of the city and a renaissance part of the city, which we’ll explore in more depth later. The pictures we’ve sent include one that I took after a man came up to me on the street and tried to tell me that there was a perfect spot from which you could get the entire façade of the duomo of the cathedral. I told him that I had actually already taken a picture of the cathedral, but he didn’t want to hear about that. And so he just directed to me to the exact spot under a big archway between a plaza and the cathedral where I could take that picture, and that’s also posted on the Flickr site.
People seem to be generally quite friendly. I had read, and it’s clear that this is a pretty wealthy town. You see a lot of women walking around in very beautiful, high leather boots and actually fur hats (which is a little overkill probably for the temperature, but they look very fashionable and beautiful). There are lots of jewelry stores in the town, lots of cafés in the town, lots of wine bars in the town, so it feels very appealing.
We chose a restaurant for tonight, which is a place we didn’t see, but we also went to check out the place that we’ve reserved for the dinner that Jeff is treating the entire orchestra to after the first concert on Thursday. People were in there at the wine bar, eating the Italian equivalent of tapas. It was very warm and very cozy, and one of the pictures is a sign outside that place with me under it, looking at the menu. The place is called Al Brindisi, and it’s a yellow sign, so you’ll recognize it on the Flickr site.
Everybody was very excited about the coffee. I didn’t drink any, but several other people did, and said, “Oh, Italian coffee is SO delicious.” Trevor and his wife and several other musicians had stopped for coffee along the way, as had Andrea and Dan. Everybody seems to be in a good mood. Some people got to sleep on the plane, others didn’t, but still even those who didn’t sleep are really in a good mood. We get to have a little break before the first rehearsal on Thursday afternoon. I think that’s about it for now!
Listen to the audio version of this blog and view the photos that go with it at our LACO gallery.