Friday, October 31, 2008


Aaaah, MuranoI'm so not into the 
tchotchkes, but the chandeliers . . .

Thursday, October 30, 2008

church talk

I can't go into an Italian church without lighting
a candle—or taking a picture.  I found beauty in all 
of these: the candles in the Gesuiti in Venice,
the gilded ceiling of the basilica San Marco,
 the dome of St. Peter's in Rome,
 Titian's Assumption over the altar in 
Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari in Venice,

and the filigreed window of a 
small church in the Cinque Terre.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


At the get-together with Eric tonight, I met a NYC
blogger named Mame, who told me about a blog
she loves: by a guy in Scotland who puts up
pictures of boats, just boats.   I'll have to find
it and check it out; meanwhile, I'm inspired.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


We did a day trip to Siena and caught the
highlights, starting with the beautiful, detailed Duomo
and the Piazza del Campo, where they run the Palio.

This is a hillside city—

not a problem for these pigeons, who've found the perfect perch.

Monday, October 27, 2008

my favorite Venetians

I've never ridden in a gondola (except for the 
traghetto, which you ride in standing up, 
just to cross the Grand Canal).  But I'm 
fascinated by the gondolieri, who ply a trade
like no other.  Not such an easy job, and they have to
drum up their own business.  And a gondola needs
to be very well cared for if it's to last.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

hiking in the Cinque Terre

We did hikes at all levels—mostly easy and intermediate
in my case, but one day my brother David and his friend Cory
took off on a straight up, straight down killer (imho) hike. Cory's
wife, Lori (yes, that's right, Cory and Lori—great people)
and I took the (sort of) low road—thank you, Lori!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

street shrines

These are everywhere. According to one of my daughter's
Florentine profs, they exist simply to remind you to pray.

Friday, October 24, 2008


Took these shots in Murano (the man who 
delivers the all-important bubble wrap), 
Venice (a guy who's very much at home on his boat), 
Florence (a waiter with a great face), 

and Siena (I couldn't walk in those shoes 
on cobblestones if you paid me!).

Thursday, October 23, 2008

lock up your love

They're trying to stop couples from doing this
on the Ponte Vecchio, so the lovers have moved
a bit upstream to the Ponte alla Grazie to keep
the tradition going (you write your names on the
lock and toss the key in the water). 

Of course, in the Cinque Terre, on the Via dell'Amore,
 they're all for the lucchetti d'amore—and 
have set up a special place for them.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

from the ridiculous to the sublime

We encountered this newly engaged couple
near the train station when we arrived in Venice,

 and—on a completely different note—this
elegant bride and groom in Rome.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

9 hours in Rome

Hey, you can do a lot in 9 hours, especially if you and your
big bro are the two speediest people on the planet. 
Here's a sampling: Buzz through the Vatican, 

check out your fellow tourists (and a random
gladiator) in front of the Pantheon,

toss a coin (to guarantee a return to Roma) 
into the Trevi Fountain, 

then commune with the hottie Roman riot polizia
(I asked the cute one on the end what the demonstration 
was about and he said, "E contro il racismo" (it's against
racism).  So I said, "Hey, I'm against racism too" (in Italian, of
course) and he gave me a smile and a sexy Roman shrug.

Monday, October 20, 2008

reflections of Venice

I know it's a cliche, but still a beautiful one.
This is the Frari church, reflected in the canal
and seen from the window of our apt., 
one of my fave stores (on the Campo San Barnaba),

and a wonderful reflective wall on the Grand Canal.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

uno spritz a l'Aperol

ordering it in the States.

In Venice, everyone drinks it, at cafes . . .

   and also at bacari, where they serve
delicious cicchetti (the Venetian version of tapas).

Saturday, October 18, 2008


This is the island north of Venice famous for its lace
and colorful houses.  My best advice: Go early—the
hordes were arriving just as we were leaving—and
whatever you do, don't forget your camera!

Friday, October 17, 2008

real food

So you go to the market (which we did in Venice,
because we had an apartment with a great kitchen)
and buy fresh fish (I ask them to fillet it)
or chicken (I ask them to take the head off --!!) 

and maybe zucchini blossoms (fabulous fried in a light
then sprinkled with just a tiny bit of sugar).

Wash it all down with Prosecco and follow 
it up with fresh fruit—perfection!