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Thursday, September 30, 2010

MY Town Friday – Black and Orange

Today the air was warm and heavy with the promise of rainy season.  The trees and grasses are brown after nearly a month without a drop of rain.  This is a good topic for the month of October – Halloween and Fall colors in the northern hemisphere.  Not a really good topic / or colors for this time of year in Nova Friburgo – really not good colors for anytime of year around here.  The colors for here are reds, yellow, pink and purples.   

But in the true spirit of our Shoot-out, I searched through my flowers archives and found these photos that had both Black and Orange …. disclaimer - neither one of the first two was taken in Friburgo – one was a new-year’s eve photo taken up into a tree in Macae, and the other out in front of a restaurant in Sicily, yes Italy and neither is even the right time of year.   The last one is a caqui (persimmon) on one of our trees in the garden – taken around June as the leaves finally turn to fall colors here in the tropics. 

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scan vulcano 1x (5)
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Saturday, September 18, 2010

As the day ends .

SAM_2783 This photo is of the sunset our last day in Frascati but it works for expressing my last days here in Italy as well.  A beautiful three weeks.  Full of color, texture, tastes and experiences. 
I still feel so full that I don’t know if I will be able to do justice to just one more SAM_2830 story about food but I will try.  Today Mira (Camillo’s sister Mirrella) suggested that she drive us to a small town outside of Rome called Monterotondo, (round mountain), for lunch in a little restaurant that she had found by accident.  It was to be about an hours drive, it took over two – I am pretty sure she got lost while trying to find this restaurant on purpose.
It was worth the drive – the little “La Locanda di bacco” offered food of the day, no menu, a wine list with prices from  8 to 150 Euro and a family atmosphere.  A perfect end to our effort to find ‘Italia Profunda’  [Piazza della Libeta 9/11 – tel 06 906 22366]
I chose Fettuccini con Tartufi and Mira had gnocchi with Parmesan Crocanti – To top off the whole experience I had a ‘frutta di Bosco’.  Only pictures will tell the whole story. 
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See you next week back in Rio.

Friday, September 17, 2010

The Road traveled -

Tomorrow will be our last day in Italy.  Today Paulo and Lenira will leave for the airport for an early morning flight on Saturday – we leave on Sunday mid-day, flying to Paris then to Rio.  We have seen so many little towns, and driven through many more.  We have eaten very good food and some not worth the calories – we have enjoyed many of the local wines eaten with the local flavors. 
I started out taking nearly 400 photos a day, then around 300, into the 200s and the last two days I’ve not taken any.  I haven’t even looked at them all – just pulling a few here and there to spotlight on my header or to insert into the few posts I have managed to write. 
At about 10 towns, they all seemed to look alike but I still managed to find one small thing of beauty in each.  One moment of happiness at seeing something exceptionally beautiful.  I thought today I would make a list of places and show you one photo from each place…. well maybe not each place but will try for the major stops...  A summery of the drive through Italy.
Verona, northern Italy SAM_1282
Lago Garda DSC_5247
Arezzo DSC_5474
Anghiari DSC_5721
Cortona SAM_1812
Lucca DSC_6330
San Gimignano DSC_6510
Volterra DSC_6449
Siena SAM_2268
Montalcino DSC_6666
Montepulcano SAM_2530
Assisi DSC_6761
Civita DSC_6881
For now this is as far as I can take you.  I got this far and realized I’ve not yet download my photos from Frascati and Rome Area.  There are not many because being here is like being at home – like I’ve seen everything before.  I will write some thoughts about Rome soon. After we’ve returned to Friburgo perhaps.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Good Morning from ASSISI

DSC_6709 The hotel room is still dark and quiet, Camillo is just stirring and I am ready to go down for breakfast.  It is astonishing that I can even consider being hungry but I am and I really need my cup of coffee to get going in the right direction. 
The schedule that I posted on Sunday has been changed – modified – to meet the needs of our travel companions, Paulo and Lenira.  They want to see Pompeii – so we have given up Gubbio and will travel today into Roma and on Wednesday they will go to Pompeii.  We will stay in Rome with Camillo’s sister.  It is a good trade off. they get to see more and we get to rest and visit.
Here we are in our final week in Italy and I am going to backtrack again to Arezzo.  We have seen so much, so many small towns, each with something really special to talk about that I don’t want to go out of the Arezzo area until I have given you all a good overview of the area.   
For example, one afternoon while in Arezzo we  drove about 30km to see Anghiari – we had lunch, walked around for several hours, then drove back to Arezzo.  This town is definitely worth seeing – the view of the local countryside is spectacular and we (I) had a superior lunch.  I will give the details of the lunch and then just show you photos of the town and area.
DSC_5675 DSC_5668DSC_5685SAM_1741 DSC_5682   LUNCH in the Alighiero Ristorante: we ask for a mixed antipasto highlighting tastes from the area.   Silvia, the German owner since 1991, made us individual plates which included (in small portions thank goodness) Tomato / Bread soup, Radicchio / liver salad, Crostini (toasted bread) with liver pate, ham (etc.) selection, Ricotta with Tartuffi sauce.  I am so bad at taking notes so I don’t have down what everyone else ate but I chose an Orange Salad made with arugula/fennel/small orange wedges and parmesan cheese – and to top it off, no one else wanted to share a desert so Silvia made me a small portion of a dark chocolate mousse.  For me a perfect end to a perfect lunch. (no picture – I just ate the whole thing – Silvia assured me that it was not fattening. ;-))
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(Just found a bootleg internet connection so I could post – written on Monday morning. Spent 2 days in Frascati, buying bread and roast pork, sweet olives, and fruit for a picnic at Tuscolo.  tonight one of Mirella’s famous dinner parties, and on Sunday we return to Rio.)

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Third Week: Italia Profunda

MoMONTALCINO/GUBBIOSee "Medieval Tuscany and Umbria" Assisi
WeGUBBIO - Bagnoregio - Orvieto  - ROMA
ThGrottaferrata (Camillo’s hometown)Picnic in Tuscolo - Visit Nemi-Castel Gandolfo etc.
SuROMA/RIO AF 9845 Leaving at 15:30 arrive Rio Monday 9/20 at 05:20

Friday, September 10, 2010

Back up a few days….

DSC_5496 I am writing this with no real hope of posting for at least two days.   No internet connection here in Montalcino (Mont al chino).  I have a fantastic view out my little window, but no elevators, no internet and, the true test, tonight we will start DSC_5503at dinner time with tasting the local wines. 
I need to back track a bit – 5 days or so actually – and tell you more about Arezzo and the Joust – Giostra del Saracino – This years was the 120th festival - 2 a year for 60 years – restarted in 1930 these are re-enactment of joust from the 12 – to 1500s.  There were three days of functions – activities like the qualification of horse and Knight, and the prayer at the Duomo to ask for their protection.













I want to say that this was  Fun, fun, FUN.  Arezzo is beautiful, has some nice restaurants (Ristorantes) and the pageantry, costumes, seriousness of the fans - helped to make us feel that we were truly in medieval times.  The city is divided into 4 quadrants.  Each has its own colors, flags, banners, two horses, two Knights, a marching band (drums and trumpets), and friends and family that come out in full dress to support their knight.  One full day was taken up with meetings within the quadrants of all fans for the knights and the colors.  Regular tourists - like us - choose a color to cheer and wore shirts

and /or scarves with the colors or banners clearly shown.  Leneira chose the green and white and I the red and blue – because I liked the horses of the red and blue and as luck would have it My TEAM Won!!!! lah, li, LA, lah, la, LA!!!
Sunday afternoon, just as the sun was setting behind us the main piazza filled with cheering crowds and the games began.  hope you enjoy the photos -
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I tried to select special photos – but there were so many – I think I took 600+ photos of this pageant and do not have my computer to look closely at them, so  I hope these look okay when you see them on your computer. 
***It didn’t take two days – I am stealing internet connection  - probably from the expensive hotel just to the west of us and our ‘normal’ peoples B&B.