Archive for the Italy Category

March 19 is St. Joseph’s Day!

Posted in Dessert, Digital Image, Holiday, Italy with tags , , , on March 18, 2013 by melabeemiller

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St. Joseph’s Zeppole, a cream or custard filled pastry, is the best part of this Italian holiday.  I’ve made them but would much rather buy them at a pastry shop or have this fresh, tasty, deep fried dessert after a delicious dinner at Torna a Sorrento Restaurant in Elizabeth, NJ.

St. Joseph’s Zeppole are available before the holiday but after the 19th you’ll have to wait until next year.

P.S. Don’t forget a hot caffè macchiato to complete the experience.


Florence, Two!

Posted in Architect/Architecture, Digital Image, Florence, Italy with tags , , on December 6, 2011 by melabeemiller

Our next adventure was a tour of the Vasari Corridor.  I’ve always wanted to visit the corridor which begins at the Palazzo Vecchio, winds through the Uffizzi Gallery, along the Ponte Vecchio and ends at the Palazzo Pitti across the Arno River.   The passageway was the idea of Grand Duke Cosimo I de’ Medici in 1564 and was motivated by the Grand Duke’s desire to move freely between his residence and the government palace without interacting with the people.  He commissioned Giorgio Vasari, the Italian painter, historian and architect, to create a design.

On the guided tour, we were told the corridor’s history and were cautioned by a Uffizi Gallery guard not to take any photos in or of the corridor.  She accompanied us every step of the way and only allowed photos taken out the windows.  Along the winding corridor, we saw an extensive collection of self-portrait paintings.

The Grand Duke appropriated private property for his corridor and built across the facade of the Church of Santa Felicita.  A corridor window looks into the church and the Duke and his family could attend mass and not be seen by the public.  Sorry, no photos through this particular window. It was fascinating to see familiar locations from a completely different vantage point.

What hidden treasures have you discovered in Florence?

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Siena, Italy

Posted in Digital Image, Duomo, Italy, Melabee, Melabee M Miller, Photography, Siena, Siena, Travel with tags , , , , , , , , , , on August 18, 2011 by melabeemiller

Our next excursion was to Siena, a very large city in comparison to my favorite town, Radda in Chianti.

Siena is well known for the Palio, a spectacular horse race that takes place in the center of the city twice a year.  But we were looking for a different Siena and found some unexpected things.  We were dropped off at San Domenico Basilica where, much to our surprise, we came upon the head and finger of St. Catherine of Siena ( 1347-1380  ).  No photos permitted in the church but, if you’d like, you can see her head here.

Next, we walked on Via Cittá and heard classical music.  Following the sound, we entered the courtyard of the Palazzo Chigi Saracini (This link shows a 180° view-don’t forget to look up.) which houses the Chigiana Musical Academy.   We sat on a bench and lost track of time while we listened to music, worked in our journal, photographed and watched people.

The most wonderful site was the crypt (cripta in Italian) which was re-discovered in 1999 under the Duomo (Cathedral).  I was disappointed because photography was not permitted in this space which was full of incredible frescoes and decorative patterns.  But I had an alternative to photography-my journal.  I made drawings of the areas I wanted to remember.  A whole new world has opened to me.  Now along with my camera, I travel with a notebook and pencil.

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