Dec 31, 2010

Ending 2010 with somethings OLD

My love affair with the old things in Italy took me to an abandoned village near Bivongi in southern Italy. I see this group of homes every time we go to visit A's parents and finally, we crossed the river bank to see what was left behind almost 40 years ago.

Behind the ruins, the dirt road led us past an olive grove that has been in existence for hundreds of years. The trunks tell it all.

Orange groves lie between the two sides of the village. So no one wants to live here but at least someone still comes to take care of their orchards. The groves stand behind a protective stone wall as the river, almost non existent for most of the year, has been known to swell in the past to swallow up anything in its path. I don't think I'd mind living here. 

By the way, the oranges were jiuuuucy

Technology from a time gone by. In order to slow down the river, the wall was built in curves to turnthe current back into the flow. 

More recently, bars are built at the bottom. Between the two, the one with curves is certainly more pleasing to the eye.

Curtains on 2010. Looking forward to a new year of discovering more of the old. 


Dec 29, 2010

Italian Artist Giambattista Piazzetta

From the Chiesa di San Vidal in Venice. 

Giambattista Piazzetta 1683-1754
The Archangel Raffaele and the Saints Antonio from Padova and Luigi

What do you see in this painting? Courage, strength, peace, protection, direction?  Maybe all of them. 
And perhaps we interpret things according to what we need at the moment.


Dec 25, 2010

Merry Christmas from Southern Italy


At the end of every year, we join our feathered friends and head south in search of warmer weather. We arrived just in time for an unusual snow storm that almost reached sea level. I feel it's quite typical that the weather would change from 24 degrees C to 10, the day we arrived (!!!)

However, if the weather was a bit chilly in welcome, the southern hospitality made up for it. I don't ever remember going to a store in or near Borgosesia where they not only chatted you up, but also brought out coffee and drinks. This was our reception when we went to buy salami and cold cuts from the nearby butchers in Calabria. And they didn't even know us.

I was also surprised to see a van parked at the neighbor's door up the road, filled to the brim with plastic wrapped material goods. They still have door to door vendor service for household goods like sheets, blankets etc or produce. It's going out of "style" but the old ways still are hanging on in the south.

I don't hear very many Christmas carols here. It's rare. So it's even more special when they are played by the town's youngsters toting their trumpets, flutes and drums from store to store just to play for everyone's pleasure. A very nice tradition.

I wish you all a blessed Christmas, in the company of those you love and who love you. This of course includes furry family members as well.

Merry Christmas from A, Tala and me.