Tuesday, May 31, 2022

The Nut View

We'll be heading home tomorrow, and wanted to highlight the changes we've seen in the seasons over the past 3 months. 
This is our longest stay in Italy...ever, and we've never been here this time of year. 
I'm loving it, but it's getting too warm for the two of us.

We arrived at the end of winter and it's really the beginning of summer now. Watching the landscape go through all the color and texture changes has been a pure joy. 

So, I've selected a bunch of photos I've taken from our little terrace. From sunrises to sunsets, I've run outside to capture the light. I'll really miss the view...

One of the first things I do with our 'little terrace with the big view', is arrange pots and plant pretty things in them...I figured I'd show this change, as well...These little color spots give me lots of pleasure while we're here.

Because I wake up really early, I've been able to get some great shots at all times of the day...

Looking to the left...from late winter, through this morning. The sun sets in this direction.


Also to the left, but more towards the forest...

The view straight ahead, over the fields and to the lake...this is what sold us on staying here at The Nut.

Johnny's studio looks out to this view, and the road that winds out to the farm house below has been an inspiration in many of his paintings

This year, the fields were filled with the bright yellow flowers of rape (rah-pay), a plant that makes seeds for oil. This was a real treat to see.

Finally, the sunrises and sunsets were incredible...

We plan to return later this year...We'll see.
Thanks, Dear Nut! See you ASAP.


Friday, May 27, 2022

La Zucca...Lunch In Venice

Back in late April early May, we were in Venice for several days checking out the Biennale. We try to make it every two years and love the opportunity to see so much amazing modern art. I feel exceptionally fortunate that we have made this happen fo so many years.

I love Venice. I know many people who don't, and that's fine. For me, Venice is just so beautiful and 'other- worldly' that I am more than happy to put up with the crowds and whatever other inconveniences there may be. I love Venice.

Ok. Back to this post, which is about food.

When we made our very first trip to Venice in 2007, I did my research and found out about La Zucca. It is well known and you need a reservation. We wanted to try it because it has a strong leaning towards vegetarian dishes and it has always had great reviews.

We hadn't been to La Zucca in a long time, so I was really pushing to have lunch there on this trip. We made a reservation a few days before, and we were ready to enjoy! (we did!)

I asked for a table outside. I was glad I did. It was perfect weather for dining "al fresco".

It was really busy, totally full and we did have to wait for awhile before ordering. It was all good, because the people watching is most entertaining here. The outside tables are next to a very bust walkway. 

We had ourselves a good time while waiting for our dishes...

They always do a nice bread basket.

We ordered the hummus plate as a starter, along with a nice white wine and water. The hummus was excellent. The flavor was a little cumin, a little garlic a lot of sesame. But not too much. The roasted peppers were a revelation here. I'm never serving hummus without roasted peppers! The texture was wonderful, especially with the scattering of seeds on top.

Next came our main dishes. Johnny had a vegetarian combo plate and I had to order their famous Zucca flan. We also shared some stuffed mushrooms.

I have to say, it was all very good. 

The flan is great. The flavor is kind of like pumpkin pie, but savory because of the salty cheese. There is nutmeg, maybe some cinnamon...delightful.

Mushrooms stuffed with a heavenly blend of mushroom, onions, cheese, maybe bread..

Johnny's veg platter was a mix of several of the contorni (side dishes) that were on the menu. It's a great way to have many tastes on one plate. He loved having a scoop of white rice to go with it all.

We took our time and enjoyed every bite. No dessert, but we did have espresso at the end. 

Job well done!


I would highly recommend making a reservation here if you plan to visit Venice. La Zucca is a little hard to find, but you won't be sorry!

Friday, May 20, 2022

A Recent Walk

Well, our days here in The Green Heart of Italy are winding down. Fast. Damn.

I suppose I am ready to get back to my other world, but not really. It's getting a bit too warm for our comfort here now, and it's going to get even hotter in a week or two. The coastal climate of summer fog sounds pretty good. Honestly, it went from chilly winds and grey days to 80 degrees overnight. Just not used to it!

Right now, we have to get up and out early to get in a good morning walk, but it makes for a nice start to the day, and it's certainly lovely outside...despite the high temperatures.

Johnny found a new walk that we've now done twice. It's way down in the valley on the other side of the hill. It's pretty flat, unless we choose to hike uphill, not many cars and just beautiful...

A favorite view on the way to our walk.

A nice row of iris blooming near where we park the car.

Can't resist a good Mirror Shot!

We try to get out between 7-8 am for our walks, if not earlier. The sun is up by 5:45, so we can enjoy a cup of coffee in bed before taking off. I like my routine.

This particular walk has so many shrines! I just love seeing them...

My favorite...


Poppies are all over the place now, and this is a classic scene.

We hiked way up the hill to a small borgo the first time we tried this walk. It was steep, but worth it. It's always fun to see something new.

A Mirror Shot from way up the hill, looking across the valley.
Johnny is pointing towards home...

There were some pretty details in the borgo...

Back down in the valley, we enjoyed walking along the small river. Lots of frogs chatting and fish swimming around.

I think we'll make this one of our regular walks, though we have to drive to get here. It's a nice long one, though!

Back to the car and the gorgeous iris....

I'll try to squeeze in time for a couple more blogposts before we head home...