Tuesday, December 14, 2010
The Milano airport is…well, green. Italian green. In-your-face green. But pretty straightforward, uncrowded and a breeze to pass through with only carry-on luggage. The customs cops return our quizzical looks with epic indifference. Out the doors we go.
Jill finds our jetlagged bodies, and leads us through the parking lot to Giorgio, a teal-blue van we climb into, finding a goodie breakfast box some angel of hospitality has put together for us (although I am feeling quite overfed from my Business Elite meals). We drive off into a day of brilliant sunshine, towards the snow-capped Piedmont mountains in the distance.
Despite jetlag, our talking marathon begins…introductions, personal histories, background for our visit here (we have two guests with us, a couple considering full time service with OM Arts, interested in Italy), hopes, expectations, questions...
Three hours later, passing Turin, we arrive in the valley of the Pellice River. The road winds past cows, sheep and the villages of Torre Pellice, Val Pellice, and finally Bobbio Pellice, our destination. Soon we are standing before an imposing building, a former army barracks, painted a bright Italian ochre: Forterocca (literally Strong Rock; the name is taken from Luther’s “A Mighty Fortress is Our God”). Here we will spend the next four days.
Iz Holidae meets us behind the reception desk, with a bright smile and a few instructions as she hands us our room keys. We are free till four; time for a quick nap, to settle in a bit, and take a picture or two.
At four, after coffee and cake, we meet David, who takes us on a tour of the facility and the property, giving us some of the history of the area, the site we’re standing on, and why this place is important. Already I feel vision coming on. This place is soooo significant, for many reasons, and I'll be writing about them over the next few blogs.