Monday, November 21, 2011

Rome..The Trevi Fountain..

I was ten when this movie was made, and I actually went to see it.  We had a movie in our local War Memorial Hall at Matakawau every Monday evening. Or was it one Monday a month? But I remember well the coins being tossed into the fountain.
  This is my second time to Rome... so wishes do come true.
I just wish it was now as it is in the movie.. a handful of people and a beautiful fountain.  So many tourists now it rather kills the romance!
it always begins with a dream

an idea

it always begins with a small
seed of notion

a small inspiration

that grows
into plans upon paper
an itinerary
of dreams

i am
throwing coins
and wishes
a fountain

one for a secret
and two ..

to return

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Friday, November 18, 2011

To Pisa..

Travelling from Florence to Pisa on a blue-hazy day

I felt I was in Tuscany topiary heaven.

Miles of clipped greenery destined
for beautiful Italian gardens.

We passed corn fields and vineyards

and fields of sunflowers.
Unfortunately the flowers were past their best,
their seeds ripening in the sunshine.
A lovely road trip to Pisa..

and there it was, in all its glory..

that so familiar leaning bell tower of the Cathedral of Pisa.
Look too long and vertigo sets in!

Josie and I agreed it is indeed a stunning tower.
The pale stone and a filigree look reminds me of a wedding cake.

and the cathedral too is beautiful.

An awesome place is Pisa, like Florence, on the banks
of the River Arno.
Both Florence and Pisa have a proud history of merchant shipping on the Arno.
Old battles between the two cities still live in the hearts of the people of Pisa.
"Do not drink from the River Arno" said a Pisa Guide rolling his r's
with angry tones and gestures of disgust..
"Its waters come through dirty Florence!"

Italian has to be one of the worlds most beautiful languages.
So expressive and musical and passionate.
We can thank Dante, the power of Florence and the Medici, and of course the Renaissance,
for the Florentine Italian becoming the standard throughout Italy.

I remember my first time at Auckland University being entranced by the signs
showing the way to the School of Romantic Languages.
Knowing what I know now..
I wish I'd studied there myself!

Oh to speak Italiano!
I say.. with grand inflections and waving my arms in the air! 

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Thursday, November 17, 2011

a little doodle of wondering

connected to you
by some
ethereal angel of the

sit in my
homely hobbit hole

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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Tuscany.. the City of Florence..the next instalment!

When I think of Florence
I think of David.

There he is..David, standing on the hill overlooking this city.
Standing with his slingshot
looking for a Florentine Goliath.

 He stands too, in a city square..
and   in a city gallery 
the original Michelangelo's
waits to astonish the visitor.

Florence was originally a Roman city built by Sulla for his pensioned soldiers.
(I came to know Sulla in Colleen McCullough's Rome books I read before the trip)
This is an ancient place..
but today we think of it as the city where the
Renaissance was born.

There is evidence of this in the buildings and the piazzas
where renaissance statues and fountains abound.

In the Piazza del Duomo the beautiful cathedral

of white, green and pink marble is stunning..

with the ornate windows 

carvings and mosaics

and the fabulous golden door.

The Town Hall with its tall crenelated tower
was once the Palazzo Vecchio.

In  the Piazza Della Signoria,
outside the Town Hall,
we come across the fountain of Neptune.
His face is the face of Cosimo it is all about power and supremacy really.

Here too is Perseus with the head of the slain monster, the Gorgon Medusa,
from Greek legend,

and the stunning sculpture of the Rape of the Sabine Women
from the legendary history of Rome.
It is said the men of early Rome in need of wives
abducted the women of the neighbouring Sabines.
These statues are copies of the originals now housed in museums and galleries.

After all those naked statues, it was nice to see Pinocchio
was wearing the clothes made for him by Geppetto.
There are Pinocchios everywhere in the markets and stores of Florence.
This city is his home.
The home of his creator, Carlo Collodi.

Beautiful Florence.. Ferenzia

with the Arno River running through.
We loved you....
and your gelato was fabulous too!
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Monday, November 14, 2011

and daisies
and wild
shivery grass
picked by a seven year old..

a gift beyond price!
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Buttercup days

are happy days;

when the sun makes diamonds
down at the lake;

 water lilies shine;

and everyone seems happy.

Just the day for
making bubbles.

Little Two Years
is mastering the art

and big sister makes her laugh.

Happy buttercup days!
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Saturday, November 12, 2011

San Gimignano..

We walked through the old city gate

into the dreamy and oh so picturesque walled hilltop town of

San Gimignano.

We wandered about the narrow cobbled streets

just drinking in the ambiance,

feeling in awe of its history and age.

We found ourselves a table at a busy cafe
and ordered ourselves a drink.
Having had a limoncello the night before
we fancied trying this delightful beverage again.

Alas. Our Italian is sadly wanting,
and me mentioning the words cool and fresh
was not clever!

It looked great!
it was pure
freshly squeezed
lemon juice!!

How we laughed at ourselves!

We added some sugar and decided it was just right!!

We were successful ordering the rest of our lunch
and I can still taste this
simple and very fresh food.

The gelato we had later, sitting on the steps of the Duomo / church
was mm..mmm perfecto!

So too was the Duomo itself. This is both a church and a treasure trove of art
with its beautiful chapels, altars, paintings, freizes and frescoes.
This was a taste of things Tuscan.
Oh to return and stay longer!

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