Friday, June 30, 2017

aZZisi TOP

Week 2 is here and the class is beginning to settle in. Dr. Starman has pointed out many flowers that are on the grounds of Santa Chiara. My favorite so far would have to be the Petunia flower. There are 35 species of this plant and originates in South America. The spanish explorers in South America discovered this plant which in the Tupi-Guarani language was called Petun. Petun roughly translates to “worthless tobacco plant” They do not require much water and are tolerant to heat. Petunias can create many colors from a velvet purple to a vibrant mixed yellow and maroon. There is a planter here at Santa Chiara with the mixed yellow maroon-ish color and I was blown away when I first saw it, I had no clue it could produce colors like that. We visited Assisi this week where it is known as the birthplace of one of Italy’s patron saints St. Francis. While the class and I were touring this area, we visited the Basilica Papale di San Francesco d'Assisi. Opened in 1253, this masterpiece is still standing tall and proud. Unfortunately, two earthquakes hit this area in 1997 and the aftershock caused the two of the vaults to collapsed resulting in the death of 4 people and damaged frescoes of St. Francis. With a team of restoration experts, they were able to put most of the broken pieces back together. When walking around I noticed on sides of buildings and on most of the balconies that the petunias were more of the dominant flower planted. They are pretty sight to look at and would not
mind seeing them back in Texas.

-Michael Vandever

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