Thursday, May 11, 2017

Fabulous Fabriano, Part II

My fascination with all things Fabriano began five years ago.

As I sat in CZT Seminar 10 and listened to Rick Roberts explain how and why he and Maria chose Fabriano paper for Zentangle, it gave me chills.

To think that the paper we were holding in our hands was made in Italy of the finest cotton fiber, in a factory that dated back over 750 years, absolutely captivated me.

Furthermore, to think that that same company kept a log of its patrons since it first opened in 1264 AND continues to do so to this day, was even more astonishing to me.  I thought of the great artists of Italy alone - Michelangelo, Rembrandt, Bellini, Botticelli...and so many more - who purchased Fabriano paper, not to mention all of the artists centuries before and after them.

It became a dream of mine then and there to not only go to Fabriano, but to purchase paper there and sign my name in their guest book.

Upon returning home from the seminar, my enthusiasm must have been contagious when I told my husband Lou about it because when I finished gushing he simply said, "Some day I will take you there."

That "some day" turned out to be just a few weeks ago ~ April 22, 2017.

Through some very meticulous planning on Lou's part, we tucked a visit to the fine city of Fabriano into a longer trip through Italy.

While I enjoyed every part of Florence, San Gimingnano, Sienna, Pisa, San Marino, and all glorious points in between, arriving in Fabriano touched my heart in ways difficult to describe.  Thank goodness we took lots of photographs!

Here is a little map I drew of the places we visited.  It will give you an idea of where Fabriano is located ~
Map from my travel journal (Fabriano paper, of course!) - Adele Bruno, CZT

The town of Fabriano is located in a valley about 1,000 feet above sea level, surrounded by the picturesque Apennines Mountains.

 I took photos of every highway sign that read 'Fabriano' and even took some video of the drive - it was all too exciting to take in!

We arrived on a Friday evening and stayed just outside the city limits in the most elegant
 Marchese del Grillo, a surprise Lou arranged.

The road to Marchese del Grillo
Lobby of  Marchese del Grillo
When we walked into the foyer of the hotel, this display of Fabriano paper greeted us.  There were folded pieces and samples of the most luxuriously textured paper.  The black and white book on the stand just beyond the case held a history of the factory and was a textural delight.

We were certainly in the right place.

The information brochure in our room was printed on Fabriano paper, of course ~

Our elegant room at the Marchese del Grillo Hotel

Marchese del Grillo  was the most exquisite introduction to Fabriano.  Had we stayed at a smaller hotel in town, or a more modern one, I am not certain the experience would have been so dream-like.

The Marchese del Grillo Restaurant 
We dined (I can say that because we were treated royally) in the wine cellar restaurant, surrounded by paintings by local artists.

The room dividers were made by a local artisan.  There were patterns everywhere ~

When the waiter brought our menu, I could not stop touching it.  He returned to the table and I complimented him on the look and feel of the menu and he said with pride, "That is Fabriano paper."
"I know", I said in a tone that I hoped conveyed my appreciation all the while trying not to leap out of my seat.

Menu of Marchese del Grillo - can't you just imagine how that paper felt?

Wine List of Marchese del Grillo

Our complimentary first course

My dinner datešŸ’“

Gratitude and appreciation are the first steps to the Zentangle method - and certainly the first steps on our journey in Fabriano.

To be continued...


  1. I had goosebumps reading this - not only are you a wonderful artist, but a great storyteller too. I can feel the sense of anticipation and thrill. Applause to Lou in his recognition of a dream and help in making it come true.

    1. Oh, Jem, you made my day as I aspire to write like you.
      I'll pass the compliments along to Lou, thank you.

  2. Thank you Adele for this interesting story about Fabriano and the wonderful pictures you have included. You have visited a beautiful region of Italy and I'm glad for you that a dream came out!
    Your dinner date looks also gorgeous!

    1. Thank you, Ria - and yes, I am partial to my dinner date :)

  3. Love looking at Italy through your eyes..... :)

  4. Oh how glorious! I had shivers reading this post, and can't wait to see/read the rest. What a wonderful experience and a pretty cute date too! :)

  5. Adele, what an exciting trip!! Wow! I need to visit Fabriano!

  6. Beautifully shared and captured, Adele. Your excitement and the perfection of everything is wonderful. Nice dinner date! Axxx

  7. What a wonderful trip! I can feel the excitement through your words and pics! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Can't wait to tell you the rest...stay tuned!

  8. Three cheers for a wonderful "Lou!!"

    1. Yes! And I will pass that along to him - thanks!