Sunday, November 30, 2008

Christmas lights (and shadows)

Christmas shopping has "formally" begun yesterday, when all the Christmas lights were switched on. It is my impression that this year the lighting scheme was improved to create a more special atmosphere and attract more people to buy, in such a bad economical period.
It is also my impression that shops are still more or less empty, except for the people who hang about, browse, touch the merchandise and walk out. Only a few buy.
Shall we finally understand the real meaning of Christmas?

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Winter things...

The weather has dramatically changed, from sunny/cold to cold/rainy/windy! The sky was very dark and gusts of wind kept blowing up my hair and scarf as I was rushing home... It's such a relief to step inside and feel the warmth, prepare a cup of tea and put balsamic eucalyptus essence in little bowls of water on the heaters... Winter things...

There are many "winter things" I do, like cooking various types of cauliflowers (green, violet, white, dark green and so on) or lighting candles and incense sticks...

What are your "winter things"?

Friday, November 28, 2008

I crossed the river to the district of Veronetta. I was walking along the Interrato dell'Acqua Morta when I decided that this scene was going to be my post today. Nothing special, apart the very bright traffic lights. Veronetta is a very special part of town but this very spot has nothing remarkable, so it's the first time I don't feature one of the classic highlights of Verona...

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Eyebrows day!

I was invited to the party for the launching of the Benefit Brow Bar at Sephora's. The store is on two floors but it's not too big; it was packed and got really hot! The champagne helped us to wait and enjoy the crowded atmosphere... Me and my friend Elisa resisted and got our eybrows done to a spectacular result!
Wow, Verona has a brow bar now!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Work in progress at the Arena #1

...there has been something going on near the Arena for a couple of days.
I will post more work in progress till the work is over...

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Bank treasures

This is a bank's window and it shows the ancient roman remains underneath the bank premises. There are a few of such sites below the street surface: the roman city "layer" was about two meters down. Some of them are to be found in restaurants' cellars, shops' storage rooms, churches and so on....

Monday, November 24, 2008

Today's last ray of sun

I caught the last ray of sun today, on the corner of a building I like a lot. It was around four pm and the light was dramatically changing.

It's getting rather chilly here, as I walked, I tightened my scarf and put on my leather gloves.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Every day view

This square is mainly a just a parking. I walk here everyday, from home to the high street. Weather has suddenly changed in the past few days, it's much colder now and today there was a very special light. It was partly cloudy and partly sunny, thus creating that special glow that warms up colours and resembles to interior lights...

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Frescoes at home

Passing by these window I couldn't help stopping and snap a few shots. The beauty of this building is really remarkable. Every detail is special, like the marble ornate balcony, the light paintings on the façade, the architectural features.

But, most stunning of all, and here I must apologize for the poor quality of the pic, is the frescoed ceiling. It can either be a home of some lucky family or a very elegant office, surely it is a very special place.

Friday, November 21, 2008


This morning I walked on the other side of the river Adige, to Veronetta, a very pictoresque and lively district. The University of Verona is here, so this part of the town is always bustling with students. I went into a bar for an espresso and I spent a few minutes looking at this wall covered with photos of young girls and boys, obviously in this bar, obviously having a great time. I was particularly amused to see some handwritten and signed notes where this girl or this guy "declared" he/she would stop drinking for a month.
I liked these photos, they tell a story about being young, having lots of friends, having big times, living such a golden period of ones life, that will never come back. A time when your ways are all still opened and you look at the future with wide, curious eyes...

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Tomato sauce

This is a close up on the cherry tomato sauce I prepared yesterday and this is all I can post today.

Unfortunately the computer is having HUGE problems and keeps turning off every ten minutes. I cannot overload it with more photos, it's old and already stuffed to death.
I am so sorry I might not post in the next days....sigh!
But I will come back SOON!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Gastronomia Albertini

This shop has been here since 1939! Along with Gastronomia Stella, these are two of the three left in the historic centre of Verona and this one has a really beautiful framed door.

They already display the typical Chrismas cakes (you can see the boxes piled inside the shop on the right): panettone (from Milan) and the pandoro, originally from Verona, and above all, the Offella, considered the oldest and first version of pandoro. They are all so, so yummy!

What is your Christmas cake?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Workers on the Arena

This afternoon I spotted these guys mounting scaffoldings to the outer circle of the Arena.
There was a lovely sunset light and my first thought went to the roman builders of this magnificent amphitheatre. About two thousand years ago, probably with no safety devices, working hardly to put stones over stones, to create a stunning structure that would last for ever...

Over the last few years the Arena has been cleaned thoroughly. This is the last bit that is going to be restored. The marble stones, now bearing a grey-sh shadow due to pollution and natural mold (I guess what the darker bits could be), will be brought back to their original white-pinkish shade.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Fairy tale castle

A lovely, sunny sunday... We drove in the countryside and reached Borghetto, a tiny, pictoresque, old village on the river Mincio. I am not showing you the village, though, but the fairy tale castle that overlooks the river from the top of a hill.
After lunch we came here, on this road that runs near the river and had a nice walk.
You may see more photos on my other blog, hopefully tomorrow evening...

How did you spend your sunday?

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Waiting for Christmas

Christmas lights have been hanging everywhere for weeks now, but they haven't been lit, yet.
I walked down Corso S. Anastàsia today and a beautiful sun warmed up the brown facade of the biggest church in town: Chiesa di Santa Anastàsia.
The sun was low, on my back, and people cast long shadows on the pavement...

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Ginkgo on the corner

You know, I love trees. After the Heavenly Tree, here is the Ginkgo Biloba, right in the heart of Verona. It is a huge, beautiful leafy tree. It is still quite green now but soon it will become completely yellow. I read that Ginkgos have an extreme urban tolerance...

"Ginkgo biloba is the oldest living tree species.
A single tree can live as long as 1,000 years and grow to a height of 120 feet"

(University of Maryland Medical Center)

I liked this angle rather than showing you the entire tree, though. It seems to me that, beyond the beauty of the plant, this corner concentrates Verona's typical features: the medieval brick building, the red house with marble balconies, the narrow street (a few steps ahead, on the right, there is Romeo's house!) and a tiny detail in the middle of the photo: an wrought iron flag holder (at least I think that's what it is...) bearing the medieval town's sign, a stair, scala, from the Scala family, the Lords of Verona from the XIII century.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Fire escape?

When I saw Ming's yesterday post I automatically thought of this photo I had taken a few weeks ago. The building in Ming's photo is obviously new and this is not a fire escape... but...

This is the back of the Case de' Mazzanti, the medieval building overlooking Piazza Erbe (see my older post here). While the facade on the square is beautifully painted and quite "regular" in its features, the back shows all the charm of a very, very ancient building with its imperfections, its added features, its bricks... I think I like this side more than the "good" one on Piazza Erbe...

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Vintage dresses shop

Ok, the Fieracavalli is really over. I promise I won't post photos with horses for a while...
So, to change subject, totally, I want to show you one lovely vintage dresses shop: Cécile. I think the lady who owns it is french and she has recently opened a french-style vintage furniture shop just opposite this. I like browsing among the cocktail dresses of big designers, such as Valentino, Chanel, YSL... I actually don't go to any cocktail parties....but, you never know. So far, I haven't bought anything in this shop, but I like it!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Carretto Siciliano

Horse, again! I took this photo a few days ago. The Fieracavalli is now finished but last saturday many, many carriages came all the way from the Exhibition Centre, to Piazza Bra. It was a great show, believe me. My daughter's favourite one was this, the Carretto Siciliano: the most typical sicilian cart. I don't know the history of this sophisticated mean of transport but I can say that it has a very peculiar paintwork that includes the wheels! It is stunning!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Horse and carriage/#2

I already introduced the Horse and carriage that carries tourists through the town centre, but I I think you should see this one I took in Piazza Bra. It's soooo romantic!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Framed details

I took this photo from the beautiful home of a dear friend. I liked how this huge window frames the view, which, although limited, offers a variety of elements and details...
Just stop for a minute and watch!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

The Fieracavalli, International Horse Show

This week a huge event is taking place in Verona: Fieracavalli, the International Horse Festival. Along with Vinitaly (International Wine Exhibition), Fieracavalli is the biggest event hosted by the town exhibition centre. It has a very long tradition, in fact, the first edition coincided with the foundation of the Verona Exhibition Authority, in 1898!
I saw lots and lots of horses today, but I want to show you the butteri (I really suggest you click this, it's really interesting!), as they come from my land, southern Tuscany (as well as northern Lazio, to be fair). They are our "cow-boys" as they work with the vacche maremmane.
These signori were queuing at one of the maremmano food stalls to order their lunch (acquacotta, ravioli, cinghiale, etc.).

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Roman guards

If you pass by the Arena in the morning, you may stumble in two funny characters. They are dressed up like roman guards, the centurioni and hang around inviting tourists to stop and have a photograph taken with them, but not for free, of course!
So many times I have tried to photograph them, but I didn't want them to spot me and maybe ask me money! A few days ago they seemed less concentrated on the people around them, so I snapped a shot!

Friday, November 7, 2008


The Lago di Garda is the biggest lake of Italy and it is a few kilometers from Verona. We often drive up there for a walk in one of the lovely shore villages: Bardolino, Sirmione, Peschiera, Garda, Torri del Benaco, ecc. One of my favourites is Malcesine, further north, where the lake gets narrower and it is surrounded by high mountains.
This photo was taken in Malcesine, on a beautiful path that goes out of the village towards this little tower overlooking the clear waters.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Maria Callas in Verona

Maria Callas arrived in Verona from the USA in 1947. Here she will meet her future husband, a rich veronese with a superb villa in the country village near Verona. They got married in a little church in town and lived happy years here whilst her brilliant career took off at the Arena. In 1959 she met Aristotele Onassis and left her husband and Verona, starting that difficult relationship that ended so badly both for her private life and her career.

This building is very close to where I live. You can see a marble plate claiming that Callas lived in this corner flat, during her early stay in Verona, before she got married to Giovan Battista Meneghini.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Neon lights

Rainy evening, I am going home and walk on the wet cobblestones. This is Vicolo Tre Marchetti, you can see the Arena at the end of it. There are at least three small hotels here and a couple of restaurants. There are no shops, in fact on the right there are the back windows of the shops on Via Mazzini, the "high street". The Vicolo is short, not really attractive but pictoresque in its way and I have always thought that if I were a tourist I'd love to stay in one of these hotels...

Where would you stay if you were a tourist in your town?

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


On Via Sottoriva, a few steps from S. Anastasia Cathedral, there is this antiques shop. They have a variety of pieces, not luxury stuff, just very plain things. They specialize on wooden frames and occasionally they have paintings too. I was, in fact, captured by the painting and the print behind the window... I must go back and take a closer look...!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Autumn wind

A sudden gust of wind,
leaves flow everywhere,
whirling down on the cars and on my head.
Late afternoon in Verona, a few days ago.

Sunday, November 2, 2008


For the first time since I started my DP, I entered the theme day as I had been inspired by this book shop. But I forgot to post the photo yesterday! I was so disappointed when I realized my mistake but I couldn't change the post. Apologies.
This is an old bookshop off Piazza Bra. It is a very special place because it is also an art gallery, as they also sell paintings of local artists. I really don't know how they can find the books, they must have a method to keep in mind where they put each author...

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Italian Halloween?

We italians don't really know what Halloween is. I had a faint idea so I went on the web and searched the history of this event. I found it really interesting. The season change, from summer/light to winter/dark was a big issue for the people, centuries ago, and it is totally understandable. Irish and scottish myths related to the season change took over to the the US, with immigration, I guess.
We celebrate all Saints today and the dead people tomorrow but this is all about going to church and to the cemetery, no parties and spooky things to scare the spirits of the darkness... Although Halloween is breaking through in Italy as well, for now it remains on the surface, a matter of big commercial event.
My daughter (3 years) is so enthusiastic about Halloween, maybe they did something at school, she understood it is something about pumpkins, fairies and spiders!

Did you do something special for Halloween?

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