When is a bee not a bee?

When it is an Ape, of course.

Another little Italian lesson: ape is pronounced ah-pay, and means bee in Italian.

They are tiny 3 wheeled vehicles, nowadays seen less frequently in cities of Italy, but still found in small towns and the country. And now, I’ve discovered someone owns 2 of them in Myrtleford. He uses them out on his farm, they’re not registered for road use.

This little fellow was at one of the local garages, having some maintenance work done. 20161206_143006

The motor is a whopping 50cc! The driving controls are smack in the middle of the interior, which doesn’t leave much room for a passenger. This model boasts a motor-bike type of control, with the throttle and gear shift on the handles. 




Oh, okay, I’ll get out if you insist.



Filed under Australia

Pistoia : cots of arms of noble families from Pistoia

Miky has provided more information about one of the stemme I found in Pistoia. Thank you for this, Miky!

I’ll be in Pistoia in March, so I hope to find that mysterious second stemma, and show it to Miky. The 2 stemme in question were first introduced to you on this post: frustration





As promised to my blogger friend Yvonne who visited Pistoia some months ago & asked me the meaning & the belonging to two cots of arms she found in Pistoia during her walks , here it is the first she met : Cancellieri family one of the most powerful family of Pistoia since 1200 .

These photos come from a book titled : “Grandi famiglie Pistoiesi - I Mercanti Banchieri -” written by Dario C. Barni – photo by Claudio & Luciano Gori – edited in 1994 by Banca di Credito Cooperativo di Chiazzano – Pistoia.

The Cancellieri family was together with the Panciatichi family one if the most powerful families in Pistoia since 1200, they were bankers with no noble origins.

On the cots of arms there is a pork as the Sinibaldo Cancellieri was called “porcone” ( big pork in English) maybe because he was a big eater!

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Filed under Uncategorized

Myrtleford, Australia!

This is a fun, fresh blog that I follow. Maybe we can find world-wide shopping lists for Paul to share.

Do visit his blog, it’s interesting to see what he finds, and what he interprets about the people who wrote the lists.

Paul would love to receive lists from around the globe, so if you feel like being part of that, here is his email address:

Hi, Please send any lists to addresstogiveaway@gmail.com saying where and when you found the lists and I will post them on the blog. Many thanks!

The Shopping Lists - A Collection of Found Shopping Lists

The international debut for http://www.theshoppinglists.com

This list was VERY kindly supplied by Yvonne, she says:

“I found this list in the Coles Supermarket, Myrtleford, Victoria, Australia on 22 September. Looks like some hearty pea and ham soup is going to be on the menu!”

Cheese, cream, apples, veg’s, dinner, ham hock, split peas.

Thanks Yvonne, if you find any more lists, please keep them coming!

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Filed under Uncategorized

In which I’m given some answers

Thanks to Miky (*)  who writes a most interesting blog, we now know what this stemma I saw in Pistoia represents. 


The pig/swine is the attribute of the Cancellieri family, who once figured in the political life of Tuscany. This particular depiction can be found on the facade of the palace that bears their name.

If heraldry is of interest to you, follow this link and run the Italian through a translator.  Cancellieri

(*) Miky blogs at https://passion4food4fashion.com/  She is trying to find some information about the other image shown on my post  frustration That’s over and above the call of duty, I reckon!


Filed under Italy

Door of the Stock Market building, Venice

Interestingly, borsa means purse (or bag) in Italian. That led me to think about the word bourse, which describes a stock exchange, especially one in a continental European city. And, that word in French also means purse (or sac), and is derived from the Latin bursa. What started as simply a couple of photos took me further afield than I expected!






I found out more that I actually wanted to on this site:  history-of-the-stock-market  including this reference to the early influence of Venice on the economy  “Later on, the merchants of Venice were credited with trading government securities as early as the 13th century. Soon after, bankers in the nearby Italian cities of Pisa, Verona, Genoa, and Florence also began trading government securities.”


Filed under Venice

Spaghetti All’Amatriciana —A tribute to Amatrice.

When in Italy don’t ask for a plate of ‘spaghetti bolognaise’ (don’t even dare to say ‘spag bol’). The dish simply doesn’t exist in this country but is a concoction made abroad (and, I believe, actually sold in tins in the UK!). Ask instead for ‘tagliatelle al ragù’. The ragù is a sauce generally made […]

via Spaghetti All’Amatriciana — From London to Longoio (and Lucca and Beyond) Part Two


Filed under Uncategorized

Basilica San Marco Venice

We’re all familiar with the appearance of this famous Basilica, thanks to  TV documentaries, newspapers or holiday photos.


Photo sourced online

If you climb the steep stairs to access the museum of the Basilica, and then go out onto the loggia, you’ll be treated to a close up view of some of the intricate details of this place of worship.


What lucky workers were chosen to place the highest of the statues? Did they enjoy their work? Were they paid danger money?

To my knowledge, I’ve never heard this bell ringing. Has anyone else?


At the risk of a very stiff neck, there are a number of mosaics to admire as you walk around the loggia. 


I wonder how many pieces of mosaic are in just this one work? And, who put them all into their proper places? And, why couldn’t they have been put at eye level to save my neck?

Not on the Basilica, but visible from your place of elevation, is this rooftop with a splendid example of an ancient chimney. I know some of you will be able to identify the building that’s under that roof. 



Filed under Architecture