Friday, May 19, 2017



This is a story that can be told in pictures taken on a drive through Tuscany's
Val d'Orcia  a few days ago and a walk though 'our'  Umbrian village of
Panicale this morning. Feast your eyes!

Roses with  Panicale in the distance.

Roses growing over  a small shrine.

Roses from Aldo's garden that he brings to Bar Gallo for all to enjoy.

And these roses can be found in the garden of friends here in Panicale.

Roses climbing a pergola. 
All I could hear was the buzz of bees!

I would love to have this beauty in our garden.

The sweet scent of roses compares to none.

The cool of white roses growing in the shade of a tree on a hot Tuscan afternoon.

Roses growing up a stucco wall with a hint of a view of the Val d' Orcia.

Roses draping over the Medieval wall in Panicale.

A dramatic backdrop of a palm creates a feather like head dress for  these roses.

When it is all about the right color combo, this gets it just right!

And the best part of the morning ..... finding roses  from James  on my desk this morning!

Monday, May 15, 2017

VENICE :An evening ride on Vaporetto 5.2


"It is a city of mirrors, the city of mirages, at once solid
and liquid, at once air and stone."
                                                         - Erica Jong

At first glance, some twenty four years ago, I was enchanted
by this city that seems to float on water.
Descending those steps from the train station down to the Grand Canal I was again mesmerized.
Venice grabbed me and I submitted to it, as did James.

James found Venice to be in constant movement,  as he said, "it is continually swirling."
 The rhyme set in motion by the movement of water, clouds, people and boats.

There are only two ways to view Venice, by boat and by foot.
An evening ride on Vaporetto 5.2 from Zattere to St. Marks
allowed us some memorable views of Venice from the water.

Keep in mind, taking photos from a Vaporetto is not all that easy considering you are on a moving boat and that at least during the day these boats are packed with people. In the evening, after
the day tourists have left the city things are quieter.

(Note: in our experience the Vaporetto # 1 can be like 
mosh pit motoring during the day!)

"There is something so different in Venice from any other place in  the world, that
you leave at once all accustomed habits and everyday sights to enter
an enchanted garden."
                                                           - Mary Shelley

James and I, along with friends Tom and Shannon, disembarked at our destination
St. Marks - San Zaccaria Vaporetto stop. We were meeting up with a small
group for an after hours tour of the Basilica of St. Mark.

It was only 8:30 but the the square was quiet, the crowds had disappeared. The sun was setting, the water shimmered. It was Venice at its finest.

I recommend a private tour of the Basilica of St. Mark. Truly, it is the the only way to visit this slowly sinking wonder and see close up all it's splendor.
 Venice was once a powerhouse of a city, politically, artistically, and financially. It was the link to the East for merchants.
Here, all the riches can be seen. The weight and power of this building can be felt as
you walk through the doors.
The floors, as the water in the canal, undulate beneath your feet. Look up and all is gold.
Mosaics of gold layered in glass cover the domes and ceilings.  It is almost blinding in brilliance.
The craftsmanship and labor stunning not the mention the wealth it
took to complete this majestic building.
Lots of deep pockets!

Venice at times whispers and yet often roars.
Listen and let it wrap itself around you.

When visiting Venice do plan an evening / sunset Vaporetto ride,
to exeprience a 'different' Venice and for the romance.
You might feel as you are playing a role in a foreign film!