Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Some Time In Rome 2016

  When we leave the states for our annual journey to Umbria, I always book a flight into either Florence or Rome, depending on the best price at the time. And, oh…BTW…flights this year are pretty damn sweet. I wish I'd waited a bit longer to book in. 
  This being said, we got a really decent price in and out of Florence for our upcoming trip.
  Last year, it was Rome. And the price was so great, we decided to stay in Rome for four nights before heading north to Umbria. It was a fantastic beginning to the trip, despite the rainy weather. I'll take rainy weather anytime…if I'm in Italy, I'm happy.

  We stayed in a sweet little apartment in Trastevere, the old part of town. The down side was arriving at midnight on a Friday, after a major soccer match featuring a major Roman team. It was mayhem trying to get to the apartment…young people by the hundreds were in the streets, making it almost impossible to get to our place. The taxi driver basically gave up, and we hoofed it the last few blocks. 
  Once we got settled, it was just perfect. We stayed up partying along with the hoards until the wee hours. Why not?

Our little bit of heaven for four nights in Rome.
That's our door…the white ironwork one on the left.

  Rome is awesome. Everywhere you look….there is something beautiful to gaze upon…

  It's silly, after awhile. Here, Roman ruins….there, amazing fountains…over that way, beautiful umbrella pines…then it just gets better.


  Fragments of old facades of buildings? Sure!

  Scenes of the Tiber River and her lovely bridges to dwell on…hey, I'll take it!

  I don't even mind the graffiti any more. It's taken me a few years, but now I see it all as street art, just adding a contemporary take on the ancient scenes…
  More on this in a moment-

  What's not to love about this city. I could spent an eternity just walking the streets, stopping here and there for an espresso or a glass of wine. The food is to die for, there are always fantastic piazzas to wander, outdoor markets are an everyday occasion... and on a good day you could see some of the best art the world has to offer. 
  Oh, and did I mention…every day here is a good day.

  Mr. is always happy to spend some time in Rome.
  If we don't spend several nights here, we at least take a few trips down from Umbria to spend the day. Seems there is always a show we have to see…or food we must enjoy...

Why is he smiling?
He knows something yummy is on the way...

Crispy fried artichokes are a must every year.

Also a must….Pasta Cacio รจ Pepe….

…and suppli. Especially from Supplizio!
Deep fried rice balls stuffed with cheese and/or red sauce?
Yes, please!

Sigh. I just like walking around and being gob-smacked by the little things along the way...

Our 2016 visits included an extra trip back down to Rome to experience the amazing installation, "Triumphs and Laments" by South African artist William Kentridge. We had read about it before we left, and just knew we would be making a second trip down to Rome to view this amazing work.

  A huge undertaking, the artist basically made the piece by removing the black fungus from the walls along the Tiber River, using large scale stencils and high powered water to create a running dialogue of the Eternal City and it's victories and defeats through time.
  Hard to describe, it is awesome in scale as well as execution.

  At first glance, the enormity of the project was so impressive...

These walls were dark grey with fungus…this is what is so cool…the removal aspect.
He didn't paint it on, he took it off…if you get what I mean.

  We were lucky to talk to some of the hundreds of volunteers who were dedicated to cleaning the nightly graffiti attacks that were ongoing while the work was being created. 

  Get this…the artist was ok with the fact that the piece would be tagged, but he wanted it clean for the opening night, which included a huge pageantry with music and giant shadow puppets, etc. After the opening, the artist was ok with the eventual degradation of the work…due to weather, as well as the nightly tagging. All part of the piece.
  But, until the opening night, they were working hard to keep it clean. 

  All I can say is…I can't wait to see what it looks like now, a year later. I will be sure to make a new post featuring photos of these images in 2017.
  Between the taggers and Mother Nature…should be interesting, to say the least.

At the time, about a year ago from now, I was digging the whole concept.
I have a feeling it will be pretty damn cool this year, when we return.

  Soon we will be back in Rome.
  Though this year we fly into Florence, I know Rome will be trip we make soon after we arrive. It's a quick train ride from our place, so the sooner the better. There's just too much food, art and history to revisit!

Let's go, Baby!

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Siamo Nello Specchio!

  Ah, yes...We Are In The Mirror.....
  If this was an old episode of 'The Outer Limits', or 'The Twilight Zone', we would be stuck in the mirrors...forever. Sigh. Not a bad end, actually...


  As we wander through various towns and cities during our annual jaunt to Italy, I keep my eyes peeled for mirrors. It's a great way to get fun pictures of Johnny and I together, sometimes just me, and it has now become quite a fun diversion.

  I try to find new locations, but always end up with some mirrors that we stand in front of every year. Why not? Some times things in life become classic. A few special 'traffic' mirrors we love have become us, anyway.

I just love these muted tones...

A classic. Morning walk, Paciano.

  Mostly, I try to get Johnny to join in the fun, and most of the time he's up for it....

Absolutely have no idea where this was.
It was in Italy, this I do know.

Up against the wall, Dude!
Mr. J does love the shady side of the street.

In the hills above Cortona.


Sometimes I'll be all by my lonesome self, just taking a walk and playing with my camera....

Out in the countryside, somewhere...

This was way out in the middle of nowhere...
Johnny was down the way painting...
It was a fun day of adventure.

The signs are there, I just can't read them.
Johnny waits, always patiently.

Again, Paciano.
Watching wisteria come into full bloom.

Same spot as above, but opposite direction....
Johnny wants that building in the background for his studio.

Outside of Panicale, another classic mirror shot.
Johnny paints in the background.

  Boy, the one thing I do notice here is that I wear the same outfit everyday, for the most part. I am getting good at packing light, I guess!

Ahhh...Back together again, just the way I like it.
Baby, don't leave me alone.

  I especially like finding mirror shots in unexpected places.

Used furniture stores are always good for a mirror or two...

...thrift stores are great, too...

...and you can't go wrong at a favorite watering hole.
In Florence.

  We go on day trips all over the joint, so there are lots of mirrors to take advantage of. Mostly they are traffic mirrors, since there are blind driveways and sharp turns everywhere. Good for me!

Getting a little fuzzy.
Maybe one too many glasses of vino?

  As I look at these now, I realize that I have no idea what so ever where many of these Mirror Shots were taken. All I can say is this...I really don't mind.

What's not to love?

Down yet another 'white road'....
Just where we like to be at sunset.

Somewhere on a hill....

In an Umbrian Borgo...
.....that looks really familiar.

Ok, I couldn't resist taking a shot from the car.
That's us, in the silver Lancia.
No idea where we are here.

  Ok, I do believe I know where the rest of these were taken. Maybe.

Morning walk, again, in Paciano.
Village of many Mirror Shots.

Typically Tuscan!

I don't know where, but maybe the morning walk to Missiano?

Bella Roma, in the rain.
Sigh. Two very happy, albeit wet, campers.

  Of course, the most classic, of all the classic Mirror Shots, is the mirror we see everyday, over and over and over again...
  The mirror we pass under on our morning walks to Paciano...
  The mirror across from the apartment where the nonna watches from her window, every day...
  The mirror that holds the view of Lago Trasimeno....
  The mirror that also holds the view of the benches and the  red chair, where the nonni sit and spend their sunny afternoons watching and talking...
  The mirror just outside the walls of Panicale.