–It has been two years since I have visited Italy. What I have seen still inspires.
–This year I traveled to Pisa with some friends. The sun was warm, the clouds white, puffy and benevolent. The breeze was cool enough to be pleasant and carried a slight tang of the nearby sea. I have always been impressed with Pisa. I find the town charming and the buildings along the Arno fill me with a kind of peace as they gracefully follow the curve of the river. I imagine the Romans in their boats, big and small, navigating…
–The Camposanto is the emotional high point for me. The frescoes are amazing for many reasons, perhaps because they are even there. Anyone who visits is made aware of the damage caused by Allied bombing during the Second World War and the subsequent attempts to repair and restore their delicate structures.
–Of all the great dignitaries, princes, princesses, lords and ladies entombed in the Campo, one resident stands out: Deane Keller. Keller was an American, a member of the MFAA Group that, during WW II, scoured a desolated Europe to save the great artistic treasures either looted by the NAZIs or damaged by the ravages of war. He is responsible for the saving of what we now see in Florence and Pisa, especially the frescoes of Pisa. Much was lost. Much has disappeared. While standing next to Keller’s tomb, I was talking to a friend about this. I began to cry. I was reminded that what we draw, paint, sculpt or photograph is of the finest delicacy and so easily destroyed. Keller tried to fix what he could and his work continues to this day.