Venice, Florence,
Welcome to The Phoenix Files!

This blog is a collection of papers and how-to articles I have written over the past 25+ years, as well as my travel journals and announcements.  Scholarly works from "The Library" on my old website, are labeled here as "Historica Tractatu." 

My travels have had heavy influence on my work and are the 'back story' behind many of my designs. Some of my older journals are revised from the original, and most link to photo albums on Facebook.  

Crossroads Tour - Firenze Final Day

Posted by Heather Daveno, written 2011, revised 2014 on 8/10/2014 to Travels in Italy

I wake up at 6:30 AM, but roll back and try to go back to sleep. Forty-five minutes later, a neighbor starts playing Spanish guitar in the lobby just outside my door.

There are worse ways to wake up on a Sunday morning...

Crossroads Tour - Portovenere

Posted by Heather Daveno, written 2011, revised 2014 on 7/27/2014 to Travels in Italy
It's a very pleasant morning as I retrace last night's route to the train station. I walk past the Benedictine abbey ruins that I saw on the tour bus last night.  Even in ruins it is a very peaceful place, and my heart is touched by a single rose bush, its blooms framed by the marble columns...

Crossroads Tour - Genoa

Posted by Heather Daveno, written 2011, revised 2014 on 7/6/2014 to Travels in Italy

I could not have asked for a better day. The Lanterna, said to be the oldest working lighthouse in the world, opens at 8 AM.

I decide to head out so I can arrive before the crowds...

Crossroads Tour - Arrival in Genoa

Posted by H. Daveno, written 2011, revised 2014 on 6/29/2014 to Travels in Italy
May 5, 2011. I set out on the path I took yesterday which led me straight to the train station in Florence for my trip to Genoa. Today however, is a different day... Inexplicably, I find myself on the Ponte Veccio, the next bridge over...

Crossroads Tour - Florence First Day

Posted by Heather Daveno, written 2011, revised 2014 on 6/15/2014 to Travels in Italy
May 4, 2011. This morning I take a walk to the train station in preparation for my trip to Genoa tomorrow. I locate it without any problem, walk around inside to make sure I can find all the gates, and then walk across the street to buy a day pass for the bus. My first blisters appear at 11 AM...

Crossroads Tour - Arrival in Florence

Posted by Heather Daveno, written 2011, revised 2014 on 6/8/2014 to Travels in Italy
May 2, 2011. And so it begins. Another rainy day in Seattle. Last minute chores. Last cuddles with Odincat and a final visit with Busterbird. A side trip to the post office to pay my rent. The 10:15 AM bus to the Metro tunnel which I very nearly miss, the 10:45 Lightrail which whizzes past the Franz “Slice of White Bread” sign that always cracks me up. My longest sojourn away from home is now officially underway.

Crossroads Tour - Prologue

Posted by Heather Daveno, written in 2011, revised on 6/7/2014 to Travels in Italy

This story starts today, December 20, 2010 the day of the Solar Eclipse Solstice. The double celestial occurrence portends a most fortuitous day... I receive a gift … an opportunity to take an extended trip abroad, to any country I choose...

Three Days in Florence

Posted by Heather Daveno, written in 2009, revised on 6/1/2014 to Travels in Italy
Three Days in Florence
I arrive at the train station in Venice a couple of hours early, and sit outside on the broad expanse of steps, enjoying the sunset, the church bells filling the chilling air, the sky variegating from grey at the horizon, to rose, to robin-egg blue. I sit outside as long as I can, before heading inside to find my train...

Three Days in Venice

Posted by Heather Daveno, written in 2009, revised on 5/29/2014 to Travels in Italy
Three Days in Venice
My first international flight takes me to Europe and the heart of Carnivale in Venice,  February 2009. You never forget your first time ...