Monday, March 30, 2009

Moka Bialetti

Every italian home has at least one moka. This is the iconic Moka Bialetti for the best coffee at home. It's brand new, I bought it just a few days ago because the old one, for mysterious reasons, didn't work well any more.
You know that I love coffee, and coffee making is a little daily rite. I keep the ground coffee in an Illy tin box on the shelf. I put tap water (no higher than the valve - you can see that bolt on the left of the moka base) and a few teaspoons of coffee powder in the filter, until it's topped and then close the machine very tightly. Fire should not be too strong and the flame should never be bigger than the base of the moka. The photo shows the coffee coming out: just a few seconds before I turn off the fire and the foam comes up. 

Do you have a moka at home?

Sunday, March 29, 2009

A bit tired!

I am a bit tired today... I feel all the weight on my shoulders..!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

School trips

Verona is a popular school trip destination, for both italian and foreign pupils. Here the students are gathered at the Scavi of Porta Leoni while their teacher is giving them hystorical notions about the roman site. Their next steps will probably be the Arena and the Teatro Romano.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Osteria Reboano

It's not a page from Elle Decor but one of my favourite bars near home! A friendly chat is an important ingredient for an enjoyable midmorning coffee and the friendly staff here make my coffee taste even nicer!

I like the black-red-white colour palette, it gives a lot of character to the eclectic ensemble of furniture and decoration. The glass door leads to a super tiny garden where in the spring-summer months you can sip a refreshing drink under a white canvas umbrella.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Monumental Cemetery

This morning I visited the Monumental Cemetery. The structure was designed in 1828 by Giuseppe Barbieri in Neo-Doric style. It has a square shape, divided by two paths which split into four sections. 
It was sunny and quiet and I slowly walked among the graves. The magnificent colonnades host the tombs of the wealthy and noble families. Some of them are real pieces of art. Many of the older sepulchres were a bit gloomy but the statues were simply beautiful...

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Under the arch

A few steps away from the green door (see post yesterday) there is a little portico, a very ancient one: it is, in fact, the back of the Domus Mercatorum. The little red bricks, the wooden beams and the variety of faded paintings make this place absolutely stunning. 
So far, the portico is used as a ... parking for motorbikes. Whoa!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

The moon and the tower

A couple of weeks ago the full moon enlightened the dark sky.
Piazza Erbe was a hot spot that saturday night...

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Spring blooms at S. Niccolò

I can't help posting more flowers... 
There is a connection between the classical features of the Church and the blooms...

Friday, March 20, 2009

Fairy tale village

Borghetto is a tiny tiny village on the shores of the river Mincio. We come here every now and then for a walk or for lunch. On week-ends it is impossibly crowded and it is also a very popular spot for wedding photos: one day in May we counted 6 couples in an hour!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Dancing in the sun

This photo was taken a few days ago in the square of San Zeno. The couple on the left was reharsing a dance. The guy was suggesting her the steps and she sounded annoyed because she couldn't remember the right sequence... It was sweet...
Please note that the facade of the Cathedral is covered with a cloth on which are printed the features of the church. The cloth hides the scaffoldings on which the restorers work.
The moment was so quiet and enjoyable... We took our midmorning coffee at the café on the corner.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


In my post, yesterday, you may have noticed the corner of a beautifully painted building. 
Here is the rest of this very peculiar artwork!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Ancient roman

Via delle Fogge, near Piazza dei Signori. Bright sunny morning. I was focused on these buildings when this "ancient roman" passed in front of my lens... I couldn't resist and pressed the button twice... 
Some time ago I posted a photo of two centurioni near the Arena...they looked a bit funny...!
This guy, instead, looked so serious in his costume, so well put togheter... I think he might be a senator...!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

BICYCLES The postman's bike

I have been photographing many bicycles lately. They steal my attention, especially if they are old looking and black or if the setting is interesting. 
I have long been thinking about starting a series starring this fantastic mean of transport and why not doing it today with this nice shot!
I took just this morning in the sunny Piazza dei Signori. The postman had just arrived and gone into the restaurant with a handful of mail to deliver. I quickly shot and soon he was back to ride his yellow Poste Italiane bike...

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Supermarket delight: the banco

This morning we went to the supermarket rather than shopping on-line, like I usually do. Yes, we felt like going to see, choose, browse...because the limits of the on-line shopping is that you end up buying the same list, more or less... 

This is the "banco" where you can choose among a huge variety of cheeses and salumi (prosciutti, salami, mortadella, coppa, etc.). We got some pecorino from Manciano (close to my home in Tuscany) and prosciutto toscano which, compared to the Parma, has ground pepper on the skin and has a longer seasoning, so it's a bit dryer and has a sharper flavor. We also found a rather nice red wine, the Morellino,  from the same area.
Lunch was ready in a jif, today!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Archeological Museum at the Roman Theatre #2

I took many photos at the Archeological Museum. I don't mean to bore you lingering on the same subject for days...but there are a few pics I am sure you will appreciate.  
This is one of them, the Emperor's statue: I think it is simply magnificent...

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Archeological Museum at the Roman Theatre

A few days ago we visited (for at least the third time) the Archeological Museum at the Roman Theatre. The collection of statues, carved stones, heads, mosaics, is certainly beautiful, but the main characteristic of this site, for me, is the unique setting of the Museum, hosted in the XIV century Monastery of St. Jerome. The structure is perched on the side of the hill overlooking the Roman Theatre and Ponte Pietra.
There are little rooms overlooking the river, the refectory with imposing statues, the cloister with carved stones scattered everywhere, the belvedere with more stones, columns and arches. It's a real dive into history!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Arena on air

This morning  Piazza Bra was "on air" on Rai2, the second channel of the italian public TV.
The topic was about the veronese carnival: 479 years of history. The morning show "outdoor" presenter (in the orange jacket) invited some representative masks and the president of the carnival committee. In this photo she was interviewing the two helpers of the "Papà del gnoco", (father of the dumpling, standing behind with the big white beard) the main carachter of the carnival. The other masks were: the Duca della Pignatta, the King of Gold, the King and Queen.

I am always surprised to see how many people work for the production of even the smallest scene of a commercial or an airing like this...

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


Waiting for a table at Ristorante Olivo in Piazza Bra. Don't be fooled by the mirrors...!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Trip to Mantua #2

This is one of the main shopping streets in the heart of Mantua. There are so many beautiful little shops here... and many bicycles!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Trip to Mantua

Last monday we made a short trip to Mantua (Mantova) which is about half an hour drive from Verona. Once home of the Gonzaga family,  Mantua is a beautiful little town with many "treasures". Museums, palaces, a beautiful park, unique landscapes (it lies on a sort of island on the river Mincio) and many special events throughout the year. 
While Verona is quite busy with tourism, Mantua preserves a very cosy small town feeling. Food is delicious here with many typical trattorie... and shopping under the porticoes is really tempting with so many shops, many of which are independent.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Palazzo Verità Poeta #2

I cannot keep myself from posting another photo from Palazzo Verità Poeta. 
This is such a fine painting that has recently been restored by our friend Giovanna. It is one of the frescoes on the staircase. At first glance I was struck by the dog and the countryside view. At second glance I noticed the skorpion...

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Palazzo Verità Poeta

Yesterday morning me and my husband were lucky enough to escape the rain and visit a spectacular historical palace. Right in the heart of town, the Palazzo Verità Poeta is a fine XVIII century building, home of one of the oldest noble families of Verona. 

Emanuele Bevilacqua, offspring of the Verità Poeta family, has thoroughly restored the palace to its original splendour with the help of a mutual friend, Giovanna, a skilled art restorer. Today this noble mansion is no longer inhabited  but it is a renowned venue for the finest receptions: dream wedding parties, classical concerts, special meetings and so on. 
He invited us in to see the latest works being carried out by Giovanna in the ancient cellars where a roman wall is still to be seen. 

After about an hour spent chatting in the Salone delle Feste (while the fabulous cotto tiles were being polished to reveal a glossy surface) ...I began to daydream... I saw our furniture scattered in this 120 square meters salon...and it was time to go... Wake up Valeria!


Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Museo di Storia Naturale

Yesterday we visited the Natural Science Museum. It's not too big but it has a long history and quite interesting collections. Francesco Calzolari, a veronese chemist, was among the first in Europe to establish a small natural science museum in the sixteenth century. Throughout the centuries other naturalists continued to care for and improve the original collection.
There is a huge collection of fossils from Bolca which show that millions of years ago the whole Pianura Padana was sea! 
This photo shows another stunning piece: the skeleton head of a huge Mammouth found a few km from Verona!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Rally Storico Due Valli

If you were in Piazza Bra yesterday afternoon you would have seen the start of the "Due Valli" classic car rally race on the hills around Verona.
I liked this Fiat 124 Abarth more than the Porsches... My husband used to have one: I loved to drive in this car: it made any places we visited more romantic and added a special quality to my memories.

Theme day: GLASS

The loveliest, little and colourful antique glass in town. They sell a huge variety of typical Venetian glass, manufactured in Murano.
...and what about that small back door with the beautiful green leaves?...

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