How did I wind up in Italy in the first place this month? With outrageous airfares and the lousy euro-dollar exchange rate? Did I win the lottery? Well, kind of. My very generous brother and his wife offered to send me to the Playwrights Retreat at LaMama Umbria in Spoleto. It’s ten days of workshops and writing time with a master playwright- this year’s was Naomi Iisuka, whose “36 Views” I like a lot. She also runs the master’s program at U.C. San Diego. Good group of writers at various levels of experience. Gorgeous setting. Wonderful people run it: David Diamond (who I replaced in a job at USITT many years ago) and Mia Yoo. Fantastic food. Great vibe about the whole place. Can’t say enough good things about it. I got unstuck from a play that hadn’t been going well since last fall, and finished the first draft of the second act. These photos are the courtyard, where we ate lunch and dinner; the field, which has a platform stage where you can make out the rigging; the olive trees are basically the front yard; and the path up to the field where the laundry hangs.