Friday, April 4, 2008

Travel the World

When the middle of the night is a soft, protective blanket and the stars shine the way, I tour the world via the Internet when I can’t travel it in person. There’s so much to learn and so little time. I’m grateful for the blessings of this amazing technology. It’s almost (but not quite) as magical as traveling via Peter Pan’s pixie dust.

Officina Profumo-Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella (Pharmacy of Santa Maria Novella)

February’s Smithsonian Magazine has a delightful article about Florentine monks who make perfumes and medieval elixirs from ancient herbal recipes. A 600-year-old pharmacy, they use herbs and flowers grown in the hills of Florence.

Have a yearning for a bottle of "Acqua della Regina" (Water of the Queen) made for Catherine de Medici so long ago? The monks have gone international with their herbal creams, soap, and fragrances. You can find these products in their official New York and Los Angeles stores if you can’t make it to Italy.

Ancient Textiles

Scholars define myths as sacred narratives developed to explain the world and its origins. Whether those stories are true or not, I love the creative ways mythology is depicted in paintings, music, textiles, and so on. For example, The British
Museum has an ancient Greek tapestry on exhibit depicting Artemis and Actaeon.

You can read the story of Artemis and Actaeon at Mythography.

Peter Pan Statue

There’s a statue in Kensington Gardens in the U.K. commissioned by Sir James (JM) Barrie, author of the Peter Pan books. The story about its installment goes thus: “After it was finished, Barrie arranged for it to be put in Kensington Gardens in the middle of the night because he wanted people to believe it was magic. And on the morning of 1 May, 1912, there it was - and still is.” Isn’t that lovely?

May you be touched by pixie dust and fly to the “Second star to the right, then straight on till morning" for an adventurous weekend!


albertapostcards said...

what a rich post this is. Don't you just love, "Acqua della Regina"? ... oh yes. I had no idea there was a perfume that does not contain harmful carcinogens. This would be worth tracking down. June, I love each of the journeys you've presented to us here ... lovely.


Pat said...

Thanks for these links, June! I love exploring the Internet to learn new things.

I will definitely have to visit the NY store that sells the Santa Maria Novella products.

I love the Peter Pan statue story! Wasn't Barrie so imaginative?

Have a wonderful weekend!

Hugs, Pat

Rosemary said...

Love your post today Junie. Very informative. You have a great weekend.

Lynn said...

Oh June, i love how you write. It makes me feel so optimistic. I love the peter pan story, if I ever make it to the UK I'll have to make a visit. Have a great weekend!

Gumbo Lily said...

That was fun!
Thanks for sharing your finds.


dottycookie said...

Kensington Gardens is a wonderful place to visit. The Albert Memorial is quite stunning as well - one day I hope you'll get to see it for yourself!

Kari & Kijsa said...

Loved all these! Have a fabulous weekend!

kari & kijsa

Rosie's Whimsy said...

Actually, June, I feel like I have been sprinkled with Pixie Dust every time I visit you! You show me things to do and places to go...a gentle life and a meaningful existence each and every post. ((hugs)) Rosie

Beth Leintz said...

Thanks for the middle of the night tour- I used to read when I couldn't sleep, now I surf, too..

It's wonderfully informative to see the world through someone else's blog!

calamitykim said...

Oh, I wish I may I wish I might, have some of that sweet smelling cologne tonight...just saying it probably would be so wonderful that I would never do anything except sit around smelling myself and that would not be good..teehee. thank you for transporting me to new places, sweet Calamity June

Stacy A. said...

What a great story about the Peter Pan statue. Having a bit of magic in our lives can make all the difference. Your post added a little spark today to keep that magic alive; and it quenched my desire for knowledge! How fascinating the perfume made by the monks. What cracks me up is monks turning to the internet. A new concept for me. Have a great week. Love Stacy

Saucy said...

If I could, I would like to smell like Katherine of Aragon, who apparently had the aroma of jasmine, roses and sea water all about her.