Category Archives: Italy

Garnered in a couple of hours

It doesn’t take long to find diverse scenes of street life as you wander around in the historic centre of Naples.

I had never seen a shoe-shine stand in the streets anywhere before.

The music they made was so cheery and energetic.

This reminded me of the street cleaners in Venice, except here the broom heads are made of plastic.

The boredom of a street stall owner, who has seen it all before.

A university graduate in Naples with her mother, aunt and friends. Gina has her degree in Languages (Chinese), and hopes to become an interpreter. Brava, Gina.

Leave the mail under the door. Thanks.

A voice over a loudspeaker brought me to the window, to see a vendor of fruit and vegetables plying his trade on the narrow street. And, he’s driving an Ape!

No digital scales for this fellow.

 

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Here comes the bride

Don’t you love it when you happen upon a significant event in someone’s life?

 

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Dear Barb

In anticipation of your visit, and not wanting to appear a total klutz when we head to the hydrofoil to go visit Karen and Mike in their new home, I decided to do a little trial run of getting to the correct place at the harbour. All I can say is “Such fun I had!”

I had read online all about getting there by tram, it sounded ever so simple. (When will I ever learn?) I walked to Piazza Garibaldi where I “knew” I’d be able to buy tickets and catch Tram 1. I finally found the tram lines and saw a sign that said “Fermata provvisoria”. I gave myself a pat on the back for being able to translate that to “Temporary stop”. Barb will be so impressed, I thought. I waited. And waited. And waited. Finally, I went into the train station, found the Tourist Information folks and asked them where I could find that darn tram. An indulgent laugh emitted from the young lady. She said “Signora, there USED to be a tram.” Now, I had the choice of a bus or the metro. So, Barb, you’re going to just love riding the metro, I promise!  Or, even if you don’t, my strong advice to you is to grit your teeth and say nothing. 

A person could get lost in this train station!

The progress I was making did feel snail-like

Barb, the metro station is about 4 floors below ground level. Are you okay with that?

My first view of Mount Vesuvius, in the early morning haze.

Just a few images from the waterfront. We can take a rowboat ride, if you want to.

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This shy fellow volunteered to have his photo taken, and was happy to be seen on my blog. Thanks, Francesco.

We can go here, if that is your wish, Barb.

I probably looked a bit like this when my mission was accomplished. Very pleased, indeed. 

So, don’t say you haven’t been warned, and don’t complain when I get us lost a few times!

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I finally saw one

This morning, I made my way to a street market I’d read about on Via Pignasecca. That name means dry pinecone, there must be a story attached to that.

Anyhow, I bought some nice fresh vegetables and a pair of light weight pyjamas there, and then I saw it, marching along like it owned the whole darn place, looking neither left nor right, stopping for no one. 

Street cat of Napoli

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Good day for a stroll

It’s always nice to try to find your way around a new neighbourhood, and that’s what I did today. Don’t expect me to explain in any degree of detail what it was I saw, but here are some images. You can make up your own stories about them.

“Welcome to Napoli” says Signor Dante Alighieri. (I didn’t know he spoke English.)

It seems that rubbing body parts ensures a bit of good luck. So, please rub Pulcinella’s nose.

And rub the skull of Anon. 

This statue is in honour of Domenico Martuscelli, who established a school for the blind in Naples. He was a nice man.

Which form of dance would you recommend for me? I know which one I fancy. But, my body says “No way.”

Just an obligatory view of a narrow street, backlit.

This bloke was clever. He sang from the comfort of his balcony, disappearing every so often for refreshments. He had a basket dangling from the balcony to collect donations. I don’t know how much he earned today.

These poor youngsters were struggling under the weight of the statue, and their eardrums were assailed by the vigorous percussion and brass sections of the accompanying band.

Not much to say about this, except I liked the shape of the window.

In breaking news, my search for Leocrema has had a happy ending. I have found a good supply of it, and have cornered the market.

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Lovely weather

The weather has been so nice, with blue skies, a touch of breeze and just the right temperature to walk beside the Bisenzio River.

This couple were getting an early start to suntans. You can hardly see him, he is very pale indeed.

This lovely stemma was on the former Church of Tau in Pistoia. This church belonged to the Regular Canons of St Anthony the Abbot, whose cloaks were decorated with a blue “T”, for tau. 

Photographs are not permitted in this former church, so for those interested, here is information about the edifice and the remnants of frescoes that can be seen.  saint-anthony-the-abbot-or-of-the-tau

( The church is part of the Marino Marini museum in Pistoia, another branch of which is located in Florence.) museo-marino-marini-florence

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Visiting Viareggio

What a treat this turned out to be! Viareggio is just over an hour away from Prato by train. (Except yesterday, when we were delayed by 30 minutes.) That was fine, there were interesting towns to be seen as we made our leisurely way.

Somewhere between Prato and Viareggio

The city, which is part of the Versilia Riviera, is tucked in between the Tyrrhenian Sea and the Apuan Alps which gives it a most appealing setting.

The day was warm and sunny, the people I met were friendly and helpful. In a pedestrian only street, a market with tempting fresh produce was in my path toward the beach. 

The well trodden sand was quite fine, lovely to walk on

The water was so blue, but a bit cool on this spring day.

The sky and the mountains reflected the blue of the sea.

This fellow is the symbol of the Viareggio Carnevale.

Two local policewomen directed me to the Villa Argentina, which is a lovely example of the Arte Nouveau (or Liberty) architecture. On the way, I passed a large public park. This peppy dog had scented something very interesting in the grass.

For those who are Irish, there’s a craik coming soon.

The villa is a beauty and there is free access to the first 2 floors and the terrace. 

This slide presentation shows just some of the lovely architectural features to be seen. (I like Arte Nouveau, do you?)

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On the ground floor, there is a glittering ball room. 

This is comprehensively described in Francis’s excellent post: tiger-hunting-in-viareggios-most-exquisite-art-nouveau-villa

 

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