Brenda Tremblay's blog

Minnesota postcard

Hello from Moorhead, Minnesota!  Enjoy Carl Pultz's company in the mornings on Classical 91.5 while I attend a music conference at Concordia College, right across the street from the cemetery that inspired the name of the radio show, "A Prairie Home Companion." 

 

News and views

You may see less arts coverage in the Democrat and Chronicle. The daily paper’s classical music, jazz and dance reporter and critic, Anna Reguero, is leaving to pursue her doctorate in musicology.  (You can hear our conversation about changes she’s seen in Rochester by clicking here.)  She will not be replaced.  In a city with a widespread affinity for music of all kinds, the decision by Rochester’s daily paper to not hire a new music writer is troubling but not surprising.

State of Wonder

When I was in Siena, Italy last week with the WXXI Travel Club, I picked up a copy of an historical novel by Marina Fiorato.  Called Daughter of Siena, it traces the fate of a young woman in the Tuscan hill town during the Palio, a chaotic annual horse race in which jockeys circle the town’s central piazza.  Set in 1723, the main character watches her betrothed die during the

Venice

Greetings from the gorgeous and decaying city of Venice. The WXXI Travel Club is on the last leg of its tour of northern Italy.  We floated in a few days ago and visited several major sites, including the Doge’s Palace, the epicenter of European power and money for four centuries.

Three Dogs of Bologna

Three Dogs of Bologna...

Tuscany

In the hills outside of Florence . . .

Florence

After the serenity of the Italian Lake District and the leafy loveliness of Lucca, Florence was a bit of a shock to me.  First of all, we walked in on a feast day with parades, games, and fireworks celebrating the patron saint of Florence, Saint Giovanni Battista. Second, it was garbage day. Refuse under the hot Tuscan sun smells like refuse everywhere.

Lucca

Thank you for following this journal.  The WXXI Travel Club has arrived in Tuscany, and my thoughts are spinning in a thousand directions.  We’ve been on a medieval whirlwind: a few hours in Sienna, a day in Florence, a rush into the Tuscan hill town San Gimignano.  My feelings trace an involuntary path that might make for more interesting reading for you than a laundry list of s

The Five Lands

I hope you get the chance to hike the Cinque Terre someday.  The Cinque Terre (“CHINK-kweh TAY-reh”) or “The Five Lands” refer to five (cinque) remote villages tucked into a remote section of the Italian Riviera on the Mediterranean coast. Until the last century, these towns were pretty much inaccessible, even to each others’ residents. Until 1545 they were regularly invaded by pirates.

Here's the group photo Rodney mentioned

The photo was taken on our last morning in Stresa, after breakfast.