Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A quiet evening

A quiet, cold evening. 
The river Adige flows slowly. 
The end of the year is close.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Case dei Mazzanti #3

 Case dei Mazzanti, the medieval building on Piazza Erbe. This is my favourite bit, the corner on Corso S. Anastasia with this beautiful painting overlooking the square. I never fail to look up when I walk by!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Never too cold

We had a really ridiculous sprinkle of snow after lunch and I got really excited about it, although it didn't even show on the ground as there were at least 3°C. The good side of it is that it's never too cold here to prevent us from sitting outside a café and having a coffee or a drink, as far as we sit near this "fire" column. We were not alone, as you can see, in fact almost all the tables were busy.  A hot chocolate with cream and a champagne was our toast to the snow!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Roast chestnuts

Among the colourful kiosks in Piazza Erbe there are two veg stalls that also sell roast chestnuts. They work a lot when it's very cold, like today. I like the chestnuts smell and flavour, but, above all, I love to feel the warmth of the paper bag in my hands!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas home interior

This is our third Pandoro... The second, though, was an "Offella" and it's finished now... (so very yummy). It is considered the ancestor of Pandoro, going as far back as 1891 (see the site of the most renowned pasticceria that makes the best Offelle...).
The first Pandoro we ate was a Bauli, surely the most popular one, with its typical lilac box (italian children - me included, a while ago - play with this box. Parents cut holes for the eyes and the child wears it on his head, like an armour). 
This third is a "second choice" one, sold (only locally) in a clear plastic bag at a ridiculous price only because its shape is not perfect... We like to buy the boxed ones first because the the box is part of our Christmas traditions...but we usually grab a couple of these too...
Next one (and last...) will be a Paluani, of course. The red box is very festive and the cake is really really good!
So, after my lecture about our typical Christmas cake, you surely know what to seek for!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Urban Nativity

Nativity in the urban scene: everybody is too busy to notice.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Romeo's house

The brick house, that looks like a little fortress, dates back to the 14th century and, according to tradition, is where Romeo lived.  Many people, all year round, stop here to take a photo of this building, today it was my turn!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Street musicians in the sun

Lovely sunny morning. Piazza Erbe was packed with people browsing among the fruit and souvenirs stalls or sitting at the Cafes. We were having coffee when these two guys appeared on the scene, just in front of us. They played a pleasant tune and they looked happy and giggling. After the little "show" they came among the tables to collect a few coins. I like to hear music in the street, it makes such a lovely atmosphere... and lift the spirits!

Sunday, December 21, 2008


Desire    (di-zahy-uh-r) / noun

>a longing or craving, as for somethin that brings satisfaction or enjoyment/
ME desiren >OE desirer 

Friday, December 19, 2008

Back to the first century B.C.

Verona hosts one of the richest collections of Roman remains in Northern Italy.
This is the biggest roman excavation in town and I love it. I often stop by and admire the variety of structures, the shapes, the bricks and the huge stones and wonder how many hidden treasures there might be under my feet as I walk in the city centre.
I also like to observe the sophisticated architectural work that made the site perfectly visible from the street level.
This site marked the south-western border of the roman Verona, accessible through Porta dei Leoni which is a few steps to the left. 

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Gingko update

A soft, yellow carpet: that's what all the leaves of the Gingkos (there are two) have formed in the last few days falling down, helped by the continuous rain. 
This morning the sun shone for a few hours, bright and warming in the perfectly clean sky...until grey clouds were back in the very early afternoon...

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Such a romantic corner...

Heart of town, early evening. Soft lights to admire a lovely wedding gown.
Now, isn't it a most romantic corner? 
For the first time since I made this blog, I couldn't choose between two pics.
Let me show you both, for once. Which one would you choose?

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

It's raining again!

It's raining again
Oh no, my love's at an end.
Oh no, it's raining again
and you know it's hard to pretend.
Oh no, it's raining again
Too bad I'm losing a friend.
Oh no, it's raining again
Oh will my heart ever mend.
Oh no, it's raining again
You're old enough some people say
To read the signs and walk away
It's only time that heals the pain
And makes the sun come out again    (It's raining again, Supertramp)

Monday, December 15, 2008

Sicilian specialties

Yummy! I resisted the temptation to stop and buy some sicilian pastries today. I was in a hurry and there was a large crowd in front of the stall. But I thought I could afford to spend a minute for a couple of shots...
Marzapane, almond pastries, cannoli with ricotta, pistacchio cookies... mmmhhh...
Too bad that this enchanting stall is gone... All the Santa Lucia stalls packed up and moved...the festivity is definitely over...for this year. 

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Santa Lucia

Every 13rd December Verona celebrates Santa Lucia. Children receive presents (as well as Christmas...) and the typical stalls sell a variety of handicraft, food, toys, tools... the list goes on and on. 
It's a very old tradition and the veronesi are really fond of this festivity that is observed only in Sicily and in a few other towns here in the north.
The first poem that my daughter, aged 3, was taught at school is dedicated to this beloved Saint!

If you want to learn more about Santa Lucia festivity, my friend Antonella wrote an interesting piece, look here!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Rain, rain and more rain!

It's been raining for at least three days... We are completely soaked, luckily not flooded, like it is happening in Rome..., but still...!
I avoided posting "rainy" pics, but today I just can't skip it!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Windows, arches and other details...

I took this photos standing on one of the few staircases in town, in fact, you can see that my view is higher than the street below. I liked this view because it contains a huge variety of windows, arches, columns and oter interestning details. 
As I often suggest, just stop for a minute and look better!  

Ps: I took this pic a few days ago, when there was a bright sun. Now it's grey and damp: it's been raining for two days and more rain is coming...

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Wrought iron

Merlons, marble columns, arched windows, beautiful frescoed rooms... This is the medieval Palazzo del Podestà that hosts the administrative offices of the Province of Verona. 
The Palace, faces Piazza dei Signori, while the back side runs along Corso Santa Anastasia with
its courtyard enclosed by this beautiful wrought iron fence that never fails to attract me whenever I pass by...

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Morning coffee and newspaper

You already knew that I love to go out in the late morning and have a nice, warm, tasty black espresso...
A couple of days ago I found out that where once was a store, a new café is to be found, so I entered to check it out!
It's a Loacker café, the brand of a very popular wafer biscuits based in Bolzano, up in the Dolomiti Mountains. In fact here you can find the complete Loacker range that is absoluuuutely yummy !
The coffee was good and I enjoyed being served in this rough, sud-tiroler style huge table: I was, in fact, sitting on a high stool, and sharing the table with some other persons who sat on the other end... 

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Monday, December 8, 2008

Christmas market in Piazza Dante

A lovely Christmas market arrived directly from Nurnberg, Germany, into Piazza Dante. The kiosks display a huge variety of handmade wooden toys, decorations for Chrismas trees and various other beautiful items. Loads of people browsing about, but the food and beer stalls were the only ones to have long queues... 

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Just married

The newly wed took a walk in Piazza Bra and had a complete photo shooting on the Merry-go-round, then near the Comet Star, then with the fountain and so on...
I so felt for the bride, she must have been either freezing or too excited to notice the four degrees in her chiffon wedding gown!

The quality of this photo is quite poor, although I decided to post it because I think it emanates good vibes... ;-)

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Round sign

I noticed this round sign this morning, next to an old style neon sign. It was raining a bit and I struggled with my umbrella to take this pic ;-) 

Nowadays, as everyone has one (or more) mobile phones, most of the public phones have been removed. I thought it was nice to see the old "phone" sign, as it is a reminder of how we used to be and how politely it told us that a phone was available in the bar... 

Friday, December 5, 2008

Secret corner

Another sunny morning gave me the chance to photograph this secluded corner in the heart of town. I had just sipped my coffee in a new café and bought some lovely bread. Next to the panificio a little marble staircase leads to a tiny square from which two little roads depart. 
This is one of them: it is narrow and bends twice among the ancient houses built on roman remains (some of them visible in a few public places), and leads, in a few steps, to the Corso Portoni Borsari.

I love the monochromatic paintings, the rounded shutters, the white flowers: I find enchanting every detail of this close up and every step of this vicolo... 

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Sunny morning

A very sunny morning. Piazza Bra is ready for Christmas: the Comet Star on the Arena (you can see the higher bit behind the trees), the merry go round (red and white pointy tent) and the Christmas tree (actually, two), and, finally, the sweets kiosks, just arrived. Passing by, you can smell the "croccante", the "zucchero filato" and "torrone". 

A flock of pigeons clearly smelled some bits that had been spilled on the pavement and flew down. I was a bit late with my camera and "caught" only one of them!...

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Say a little prayer

A little corner for prayer and devotion right in the whirl of sparkling lights, jewellery shops, bars, big cars... and so on... 

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Reflection in a puddle

Surprise in a little puddle in the middle of the square...
The big Christmas tree top reflects on the typical "Sanpietrini" pavement.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Shining star

Remember this work in progress? This is the stunning result! I went to take some photos and I found the most sparkling views I have ever seen here in Verona...

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