A certain smile

In a tiny street (Via Sguazza) in the Oltrano, quite high up on a wall, you will spot this tribute to Mona Lisa. It is purported that she was born in a dwelling that existed on this spot. There, I’ve saved you a trip to Paris and having to be squashed by crowds wanting to see the tiny painting.


Bear with me, sooner or later I’ll run out of wine windows. However, a couple of you had suggested uses for these apertures, nowadays. I found this one which has been adapted to frame the doorbells of the folks who live here.


And, this one which was used to post a “Lost yellow bird” notice. I hope it has been found.


Poor Florence. Since I’ve arrived we’ve had heavy rain, a nocturnal earthquake and a strong cold wind that reminds me of the bora from Trieste. What next? Surely not a tsunami?



Filed under Florence

Venice has the pissotte, Florence has the wine windows

In olden days  in Florence, many of the owners of palazzi also owned vineyards and produced wine.

Ordinary folks (that would be you and me), could take their empty bottles (or whatever they used to hold wine in those days) to the palace of their choice, and put the empty container(s) and money into the little openings designed especially for this purpose. The lord of the manor, or more likely one of the servants, would replace the empty bottle(s) with wine from their vineyard. And, leave any change owing, I hope.

You can spot many of these former wine windows as you walk around in Florence. They really are like those pissotte in Venice, once you see one, you start to spot them all over the place. So, along with towers and tabernacles, you can look forward to being introduced to these little fragments from the history of Florence.

Here’s a little sample found in about half an hour this morning, in the Oltrarno (the ‘other’ side of the Arno River).


I didn’t see many with the original little door present. Here’s one of them.


I don't think the original had this piece of glass, a selfie of the photographer and a lost glove.

I don’t think the original had this piece of glass, a selfie of the photographer and a lost glove.

Oh, good, a place to leave some graffiti.

Oh good, a place to leave some graffiti.



Filed under Florence, Venice

From the city of Renaissance art, I bring you this first offering

Now, wasn't that worth waiting for?

Now, wasn’t that worth waiting for?


Filed under Florence


Soon, I’ll be treading the precarious pedestrian pathways of this busy city.

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Soon, I’ll be trying to find more examples of the works of this particular street artist.

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And, I’ll be wishing I could give rejects like this a new home.

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I’ll be visiting this city’s own Piazza San Marco, complete with a Venetian lion.

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And, soon I’ll be seeing this dear little girl, who will now be a year older.

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Filed under Uncategorized

The colour red

I don’t know about you, but I’m a sucker for this primary colour.









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Filed under Venice

Yes, it’s donkeys, again!

But, only so I can introduce a sketch created by Andante. She was inspired by Michelle’s remark about donkeys on the bridges of Venice having to wear slippers to muffle their noise.

First, the Herberton donkeys enjoying some shade after a busy day of standing around being admired.

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And, here is the very quiet little donkey, traversing a bridge in Venice.

Donkey Scan

Thank you, Andante

This photo has nothing to do with donkeys, or slippers or Venice or Andante. It’s specially for suchled and his Grandpa.

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Filed under Australia, Venice


These donkeys were part of the scene at the Herberton Village museum. They didn’t have much to do, except look docile and cute.

This nice little fellow got to pat them, and sit on the white one. I like to think that this may have been the start of a lifelong love for donkeys.

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Filed under Australia