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PDX OPERAbeat | A Company Blog is the blog for all things Portland Opera, featuring a variety of guest contributors who will provide insider's tidbits on all we do to celebrate the beauty and breadth of opera.

Un Viaggo Operatico in Italia- Atto Secondo (An Operatic Journey in Italy- Act II)

Monday, July 4
We drive via private coach to the Barolo region to sample the great wines of Northern Italy. The countryside is magnificent:

2011 Portland Opera Italian Adventure Blog 2, Photo 1

Tom Denney, a member of the Oregon Wine Brotherhood, reads the fine print on a bottle of Barolo during our wine tasting at the Catine Marrone:

2011 Portland Opera Italian Adventure Blog 2, Photo 2

George Carter and I agree - it doesn't get much better than this!

2011 Portland Opera Italian Adventure Blog 2, Photo 3

After lunch in the charming village of Roddi, we're back on the coach for the two-hour drive to Milan. The group is at leisure that evening - most, I'm sure, are happy to rest - blissfully tired from the country air, exquisite wine, and drive to the big city!

Tuesday, July 5
We begin with lunch at Ristorante Nabucco, where they printed a special "Portland Opera" menu! Fernando Leon proudly displays the menu, as a portrait of Verdi looks on from behind:

2011 Portland Opera Italian Adventure Blog 2, Photo 4

Afterwards, we're off to the Santa Maria Delle Grazie church, to see Leonardo's The Last Supper. Julie Reiersgaard and I prepare to board the coach:

2011 Portland Opera Italian Adventure Blog 2, Photo 5

Given the fragility (and immense popularity) of the painting, viewing time is very limited, and strictly held to 15-minute intervals for small groups. As we waited to enter the church, I photographed a few more members of our mighty tour group -

Art and Barbara Wassmer:

2011 Portland Opera Italian Adventure Blog 2, Photo 6

Gerald and Michelle Marcyk:

2011 Portland Opera Italian Adventure Blog 2, Photo 7

Julie Reiersgaard and Helen Rackliff:

2011 Portland Opera Italian Adventure Blog 2, Photo 8

Tom Denney and Clare Burovac - graffiti is a universal language!

2011 Portland Opera Italian Adventure Blog 2, Photo 9

Next up - a trip to Casa Verdi!

-Chris