UMBRIA, ITALY, watercolor

Umbria, Italy, watercolor 6x9 in.

Walking around Assisi, in the province of Perugia, in Umbria, we often see grapevines attached to a wall, a building, and even to another tree for support.

Reading DANTE, A LIFE, by R.W.B. Lewis, I've just learned that when the first gold florin was minted in 1552, it became almost instantly the basic monetary measure in Europe. Its originality consisted in that instead of being engraved with the pope or the emperor, as it had been the custom, it had the symbols of the city of Florence (thus "florin"), St. Giovanni on one side, and the lily on the other, the city's secular emblem.