See Naples and die

“See Naples and die” are the famous words first spoken by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe in his Italian Journey (1786–88).

In this breath-taking episode of the PBS show, Dream of Italy, you will make pizza in Naples, hear why Naples coffee is the best in the world (hint: the expert thinks it has to do with the water and air of Naples), see the famous Neapolitan hand-made creche figures, and have a up close look at the magnificently dangerous Mt. Vesuvius.  You’ll learn about American grape stock providing Europe with a unblemished basis for wine production and how to make limoncello from the glorious limone that grow in this blessed region.



Un bello palazzo, Firenze

There’s a gorgeous, small (relatively speaking) palazzo across the street from il Duomo, and I walk by it almost daily. I always admire it.



This lovely palazzo is often overlooked;  it loses attention because it faces the Piazza del Duomo, where it is overshadowed by the razzle-dazzle of the cathedral complex.



October is a beautiful month in Firenze, the days are bright and sunny, the evenings are fresh and cool, and the crowds are much diminished.  The latter is the best factor of all!



The October sunshine shone brightly on this palazzo recently, making all of its delicate decorative features stand out in strong relief.


It is definitely work while to stop and take notice of the lovely features of this bello palazzo.

Living atop Florence!

You may look at the photo below and think, that’s not the best shot of Giotto’s Campanile that she’s posted recently.


And you’d be right!  It isn’t!  But, what I’m trying to focus on is the terra cotta chimney topper on the chimney in the middle of the picture.  See it?


This thing.  I’m talking about this chimney topper of 3 upside down V’s.

What I’ve noticed about living up high above historic Florence is that there are all manner of interesting and artistic chimney toppers.  I love looking at them.

For example, there’s also this one:


I know, you’re probably looking at the Duomo dome.  But I’m focusing right now on this thing:


It’s another cool terra cotta chimney topper and it looks like a little Roman temple!

Then there’s this:


I’m sure that by now your eye is trained and you can focus right on the chimney topper.  This one looks like a little barn with a rolled top.

I’ve yet to see any two chimney toppers alike!



I mean, just look at all the types in any one view!  It’s rather amazing.


And then I start noticing how people up at this level like to decorate their terraces.  Check out the line of matching ceramic pots in the picture above.  See them?


There.  You got it!