Wednesday, June 30, 2010


 {mobile boutique}

I posted images of this same beach, during a windy day some time ago. What caught my eye this time was this bizzarre cart owned by the guy on the left. He sells bikinis and sarongs and pushes his movable lycra-fest along the shore. I don't know his prices, but they must be affordable, because these ladies bought 2 each.

When In posted and article on the " beach shopping" phenomenon HERE.

Monday, June 28, 2010


{...and send it soaring}

Last week if you happened in the northern entrance to Villa Borghese of Parco dei Daini–nearest the Via Veneto and Borghese Gallery–you'd have come across an interesting show. Exhibited parts of a disassembled eolian turbine, young girls handing out free whirlygigs, and children flying their own hand-made kites. 

Global Wind Day celebrated its 3rd edition June 15th, and for the occasion, kite-making classes were held for kids, nifty gadgets were offered to visitors, and an expert flyer launched a number of kites, including 100 lightweight frames connected to a main sail with a +1000ft line. You can see the main kite in the very far distance if you enlarge the image. The many shiny ones pictured here are only a few. The sky was filled with color at one point. It was beautiful.

The event also provided a bit of excitement when an unexpected stronger gust of north wind ripped the line to an orange and black sail anchored up at 400ft. It seemed lost, until it was later found by the adventurous kite-handler tangled in the antennas at the top of a building several miles away.

I like the wind.

Friday, June 25, 2010

in abruzzo

{in the far distance}

Majestic mountainscapes, sweeping rocky panoramas, swallows diving wide circles in the crisp morning air, and the smell of logs burning in a fireplace. I have packed these sensory memories in my suitcase, and returned home after a 4-day assignment in Abruzzo, high on Nature's beauty.

These photos were taken during my stay in Santo Stefano di Sessanio, a 40-minute drive from L'Aquila, the region's capital. Santo Stefano di Sessanio is a fortified medieval hamlet built on a pre-existing Roman site. Located at an altitude of 1250 mt (4100 ft) Santo Stefano sits perched on its limestone bedrock in the heart of the Apennines of the Gran Sasso and Monti della Laga National Park. 

Monday, June 21, 2010


{Arch of Septimius Severus}

This carved travertine marble masterpiece is one of Rome's many triumphal arches. It was erected in the year 203 in the Forum to celebrate the victories of emperor Septimius Severus and his sons Caracalla and Geta in the wars against the Parthians and the Osroeni in 195-197.

For an interesting and detailed description of this beautiful monument and its inscriptions, Click Here

{Senatus Populus Que Romanus
Incendio Consumptum Restituvit}

Gradual deterioration since the 4th century BC has left nothing but the Temple of Saturn's eight surviving portico columns and partially intact pediment, which displays the inscription, "The Senate and People of Rome restored what fire had consumed." 

Sometimes we Romans forget what it means to live here. What it feels like to walk on roads paved thousands of years ago, and touch the same sun-warmed marble that Emperors touched.

We are so fortunate.

Saturday, June 19, 2010


{they've got m@il}

This fairly large northern Rome apartment building, made up of 4 palazzine, has its mailboxes in the communal outside courtyard. Each walnut wood mailbox displays beautifully polished brass nametags and glass windows below each slot.

For more Weekend Reflections, visit Newton Area Photos.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


{windy day at the beach}

I had never seen so many kite-surfers all together in one place. The wind and big waves (big for central Italy, at least) delighted both the surfers and us watching.

In the first and last photo are two characteristic '70s Roman beach icons, a Tellinaro–man who harvests wedge shells (telline, or arselle) by dragging a tall and heavy strainer device with metal “teeth” through the sand of the shallows–and a Pattino, muscle-and-oar propelled leisure vessel; in many beach lidos like this one, it is employed as a lifeguard emergency vehicle.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

ponte Matteotti

Built under the Fascist regime, this bridge was initially called Ponte del Littorio (in ancient Rome a Lictor was an officer attending the consul or other magistrate, who bore the fasces, and executed sentences on offenders). But after the fall of the dictatorship, it was renamed after the socialist member of parliament Giacomo Matteotti, murdered near the bridge by an armed squad of extreme right wing activists.

For more images of bridges around the world,
please visit San Francisco Bay Daily Photo,
hosting the weekly Sunday Bridges series.

Thursday, June 10, 2010


{wake up and smell the caffé}

On the walking tours I lead of Rome's sweet and savory pleasures, the two coffee shrines Caffé Sant'Eustacchio and Tazza d'Oro are always on my itinerary. Not so much for their equally excellent espresso blends–which everyone enjoys, of course–but rather for the chance to witness first hand their coffee roasting procedure. 

You can smell it half a mile away. When a torrefazione (coffee roaster) is at work, you can't miss it.
So we walked in and I winked at the man behind the cash register. He smiled back and nodded, which is code for, 'yes go ahead.'

Behind the busy counter, in a small room in back, we found an elf-like gentleman busy at work; he was scooping shovelfuls of first crack beans* (which are a grayish shade of beige) in the rotating wood log-burning drum I photographed. As we saw the drum slowly turn and release the coffee's insanely good aroma, my group learned that each coffee is separately roasted, and later combined together in a percentage purposely studied to create the blend. 

When the elf saw fit, he scooped the batch of roasted beans out, weighing them in jute sacks. And then with fresh beans, started all over again, tirelessly.

We furtively returned to the front, and enjoyed our proverbially frothy espresso pretending we weren't in the know.

*For a description of the full coffee bean roasting cycle, Click here and scroll down to point 5.4

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

dal terrazzo

{Lungara citadel}

My friend J lives in a pretty astounding place. This is the view from his living room balcony. The larger terrace, where we customarily have lunch under a canopy of Virginia Creeper, enjoying the aromas of fresh herbs and the sound of birds chirping, overlooks another part of this gorgeous inner courtyard. 

Notice the many different shades of red: the typical Roman brick-red wall paint, the bright red geraniums, the baked terracotta of the roof tiles, and the fire engine red bougainvillea.

For more RUBY TUESDAY images, please Click Here!

Friday, June 4, 2010

volo di gabbiani


Ever wonder why seagulls fly over the Rome monuments? I understand why at night they feverishly circle the lit Piazza Venezia "wedding cake" or the Campidoglio, snacking on insects attraced by the powerful kilowatt lights. But even during the day they soar peacefully over the major monuments and sites. This is the hill behind the Vatican, beyond the ancient walls, at sunset.

For more SkyWatch© Friday images from around the world, Click Here!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

alba romana

5:36 a.m.

6:18 a.m.

{dawn in the ancient city}

Early morning light just begs to be photographed. Pictured in the two opening images, the Temple of Vespasian, Arch of Septimius Severus and the Temple of Saturn in the Roman Forum. Shown above is a shaft of dawn sunlight cutting across the Piazza del Campidoglio, on the Capitoline Hill.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


Today is June 1st and so it's once again a new theme day within the City Daily Photo community. The June theme is, "funny signs."

This poster I happened upon today–returning home from a guided walk–is plastered all over town. It's impossible to miss its loud furniture clearance sale.

The text reads, "Nerone ha bruciato Roma... e noi ABBBRUCIAMO i prezzi" which roughly translates to, "Nero burned down Rome... and we're (heavy Roman dialect and block lettering) burning out prices."

Fore more theme day photos of FUNNY SIGNS from around the world, Click Here!