Tuesday, June 14, 2011

To the Villa Torricella, June 14, 1911

Villa Torricella, Summer 1911 (Eleanor and Phoebe Pyle in the distance)

One hundred years ago today - June 14, 1911 - Howard Pyle and his family took up a three months’ residence at the Villa Torricella in San Domenico, just north of Florence. He later described the entrance to the property - which his son Howard photographed - in a letter to Mrs. Charles Copeland:
You approach this little villa up a rising lane from the road. The road itself is framed on either side by high stone walls, over which the verdure peeps, and it is so narrow that it would be impossible for two teams to pass one another. An iron gate shuts us from this road, and as the gates are opened you see before you the stony rise of a path, and overhead an arbor of vines and flowers. When we were here in the spring it was full of wistaria, and the air was loaded with their fragrance. Now there are few, if any, flowers, but only the leaves and the vines twined overhead.

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