Friday, November 1, 2013

Fare Una Paseggiatta

Today while I was in the park doing laps on my bike I was overwhelmed by the crowds of people taking a passeggiata.  It's All Saints Day, or more accurately la Festa di Ognissanti. Wish I had taken photos.

It made me think of how in America we don't slow down enough to take walks.  We run, we hike, we power walk, we must sweat, we have to be in a rush, as we have another appointment. We never have time to stroll, we in fact abhor the very word. We see it as a negative thing. We don't know what the world pause means.  We really don't understand this passtime of just strolling and letting loose.  We're in too much of a rush to do...I don't know what.

If you're depressed or just want to smile and see life from a different perspective, go to the park and give in. Take a stroll and change your life. You can see deeply into people's lives this way.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Welcome Back, Florence

What a great sight to come home to.  The baby carriages are back in the building.  The streets are alive again. Men in business suits, mammas toting kids on the bikes to school.  it was like a bomb hit Florence, never thought it would come back but it does.  Still cannot believe how a city that was completely stagnant, silent a couple of weeks ago can be so filled with energy and passion.  So glad that everyone's home again.  Chatter out my window. The lights are on again, traffic, motorini.  Summer is over.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

O Christmas Tree

O Christmas tree, o Christmas tree! Thank you for letting me find you. Thank you for staying with me during this great Natale.  Thanks for making me happy, thanks for spreading your arms wide, for so elegantly suspending my little trinkets in your graceful hands.  Thanks for warming up my new home and for making me and my friends happy. Thanks for being so brilliant and sparkling. 

I cannot wait to see you again when I come to Siena to celebrate Pasqua. It will be spring.  You will be shooting new branches with exuberant birds chirping and playing around in your branches.  You will live and live forever, way longer than me, in the beautiful countryside of Tuscany.   Buon viaggio bello. Ci vediamo presto  presto ! .

Thursday, January 3, 2013

I Propositi per L'Anno Nuovo

Ride more
Play more
Love more
Learn more
Fantasize more
Be incorrect more
Be me more
Be here now more
Relax more
Spend more time with friends
Sleep less
Non preoccuparmi cosi' tanto!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

My Capodanno 2013

This year for the first time I hosted Capodanno and celebrated with a group of friends from Prato who insisted on buying and cooking all the food. After forcing me to abandon my porcelain in favor of paper plates,  they furiously took over the house like a crew of professionals,  What's cooler than eating caviar off disposable dinnerware?   The men were in charge of the kitchen....what a performance.

It reminded me of how I once so incorrectly believed that Italian women did the cooking while the men got served.  Maybe in yesteryear, but certainly not true today. Italian men, thanks to their mothers and their ever-more liberated wives, they can whip up an amazing meal faster than an Americana can nuke a frozen dinner.  

At 5 o'clock, the men arrived carrying the food, from caviar and prosecco to Mantovana and Vin Santo. Dinner commenced with salmon and caviar bruschette followed by tagliatelle al salmone.  For the secondo piatto, shrimp served in a broth laced with olive oil, lemon, wine, black olives and pepperoncino.  
Although it was a seafood dinner, before our dolce, we ate lentils and sausage, a traditional New Years Eve dish, believed to bring good fortune in the coming year.  Follwed by Torta Mantovana which they brought from Pasticerria Antonio Mattei, the famous Pratese bakery that created the recipe in 1858.

We cooked and played all night long, danced, sang and were having so much fun that we decided not to walk over to Piazza Signora to see the concert and fireworks at midnight.  We brought in the New Year by counting down with Carlo Conti, popped the cork singing with Gigi d'Alessio, and the party went on into the wee hours of the morning. Then like magic, they cleaned-up everything, including the floors, in a flash.

After dancing throughout the house, we were joined by other friends and at 1.30am decided to take a passeggiata.  We ventured out into the packed streets which were loud with fireworks.  Every hotel in town was booked and it was obvious.
The streets of Florence have become rowdy on New Year's Eve, it's not the intimate and silent city it was on my first New Year's Eve here.  I can see that from now on I will be spending my Capodanno in the company of good friends, doing our own wonderful thing. Buon anno tutti!  Below a photo slideshow.