Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Burano, Italy: The Colors that capture your attention

Living with such wonderful color in your life,

has to have an impact
It is just like a box of crayons

I wonder who selects the colors allowed ............is there a master color plan?

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Italy: Verona, a love story

Of course I visited Juliet's house in Verona
After countless trips Home to Italy I finally had an opportunity to visit Verona.
It was winter so I did not attend the famous opera in the amphitheater but I walked as much of the city in 2 days as possible
 The city is not difficult to navigate (a map would help) and on the second day I found the main pedestrian street that went from a large out door market to the library (I thought I might find wifi here).  Off to the left was a small entry that took me to what might be the most visited house in town.

 We all know about the locks of love found on bridges throughout Italy.  The idea is taken to the next level at Juliet's home.    There is an entire store selling all size locks and other memorabilia.  Notice the locks come in 3 sizes: sm, med, lg..............if you 'love' only buys a small lock does that mean he does not love you a lot?
There is a special metal grid that allows visitors to install their locks..............at some point them must cut the old locks off..............call the metal man.

But you can ALSO leave you love message on you used gum........I have not seen this before.  It was very unusual.    


If you don't chew gum then you can leave Juliet a letter in a private mail box.   I would love to read those messages.

 The court yard is small and there were two 'guards' or part of the police force to keep everyone from defacing the walls.    They designated the two walls at the alley entrance for messages.  I could read a few of these but next time I shall try to translate more of them.

I had to wait over 5 minutes to take a photo of the house without someone on the balcony.  For a fee you can enter the house and stand on the balcony........mostly young girls were taking part in this love activity 
On my way back to the center of the city I passed one of the many cafes that were packed on this Sunday.    I had to smile at the foursome  having lunch.   I asked the owner 'what is lui (he) having"?
The girlfriend did not think I was funny.............

And what will you have for lunch?

Having done very little research I arrived at the airport on a weekend when everything was closed.  A kind young woman working in the lobby told me where to look for the bus to the city center but more important was where to buy a ticket  The tourist office was closed at 5 pm so no maps, no money exchange, no information...............NEVER DO THIS UNLESS YOU ARE more courageous than I am.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Mondo Stray: a documentary on life of a stray dogs in different parts of the world

 Mondo Stray:   Stray dogs in the World

If you love dogs you must read about a new project being launched.to bring the plight

stray dogs around the world.

Find more details and photos at: 


 Fiona Cole and Carlo Cesario, and we are making a documentary film about what it means to be a stray dog in different parts of the world. The name of the film is Mondo Stray. 

In each country we visit, we will look at the national stray dog policies, explore cultural attitudes towards dogs, and zoom in on local dog rescue organizations that are making a difference. We will find out what’s working, and tell the stories of some of the amazing people behind these efforts. Along the way, we will also meet different rescue dogs with their own stories to tell.

Our goal in the making of Mondo Stray is to provide a roadmap of the central issues behind this global problem and, more importantly, to promote positive solutions for stray dogs everywhere. 

Our hope is that Mondo Stray will contribute to the growing international effort to reduce the suffering of millions of dogs. 

 August 2014

Fiona Cole shared a link via Mondo Stray.
Check out our Dogumentary Dance Video!

We are so encouraged by all the support and feedback we have received for our documentary film. Thank you to those of you who have contributed donations, 'likes' and 'shares'. We appreciate it so much... See More

 The fundraising has begun and I will try to post updates

as Mondo Stray gets closer to their goal.
One of the recue sites that shall be interviewed and filmed is:
Lega Pro Animale is a registered Italian non-profit animal welfare organisation, established in 1986 by
German veterinarian, Dorothea Friz. 



*THROUGHOUT 2014 AISPA will continue their 'Matched Funding', which means they will match any single donation of £250 or more, doubling your donation! *  Click here to read how.
















Pizza by the Slice, New Jersey style

Pizza is Naples gift to the world!
Pizza by the piece as the sign says in Lecce, Italy.  This store front
pizza take away, has reviews on several travel sites...

      A version of authentic pizza is offered all over the USA.    But all pizza is not created equal.   And not all pizza across the USA is offered by the ‘slice’.

     Having a slice, stopping for a slice might almost be a daily activity in towns with large Italian American communities.

    What better place to search for the best slice’ than New Jersey?   I chose a small section of Rt 9, which runs North to South  darting in and out of the shore corridor,  south of the Seaside Park area.

I was in NJ for a week allowing me to spread the sampling over several days, but still it was a LOT of pizza to consume.

   There may be more pizza outlets on Rt 9 than there are Wa Wa ‘ s or Dunkin Donut stores, so to narrow the search to a reasonable number of restaurants, I asked the locals for their ‘favorite pizza sources’ for a slice.

 Espo’s Pizzeria Italian Grille 
 629 North Main Street (Route 9) Lanoka Harbor, NJ  www.espospizzeria.com
Located on Rt 9 south of Toms River, NJ

Pizza is often sold at a counter so you can ‘take it out’, to be eaten at home or more often in your car as you drive off.   The location is in a small shopping center.  They offer tables if you wish to eat ‘in’.  In addition to pizza Espo’s offers subs, cheese stakes, calzone and Stromboli,wraps, Panini's, salads and even burgers.      If a slice will not satisfy your hunger try one of 16+ Italian entrees. 
Slice review:   Several ‘pies’ were already made and ready to be heated.    Today I tried sausage.   Each slice is heated in the oven and served hot.  Slices are never as ‘hot’ as a fresh pie, but heated through.
Often pizza can be bland, just cheese on bread.  Espo’s sauce has a nice bite to it, not extra spicy but with a good taste.  Mild Italian sausage is used and mozzarella cheese, the more the better to suit me.   The crust was crisp, browned on the bottom, chewy without the gummy texture found in frozen or packaged dough.  *** Stars

Mangia’s on Rt 37, Toms River, NJ
Advertised as a brick oven pizza I was eager to try this version of a slice.
I was greeted by two very friendly servers. A very nice change to the usual 'what do you want' or worse,  not being noticed at all!   This may be a function of my age group............

Slice review:
I tried sausage pizza here as well (it is my favorite combination of                                                        
Again a large variety of pizza was displayed on the counter.  Each slice was put into the gas oven to be heated.      I was told all the pizzas were baked originally in the brick oven.   I asked that the slice be very hot and it was delivered hot.   The brown bottom of this slice was different that others that I had sampled
that week, leaving the crust crisp on the bottom as well as the circular crust.

JoeyTomato's Pizzia  201 Lacey road, forked River, NJ 08731

Slice Review    I arrived late in the day and did not want to wait for a sausage pizza to be baked, so I tried ricotta and meatballsls, a combination I had never tried before.   This was the first slice I received with a side of sauce.  It gave me an opportunity to taste the sauce.    The sauce had a good flavor that resonated of fresh herbs.   The slice was more like a meal because of all the cheese.

I returned later in the week to try sausage and cheese and to talk with the owner Joey.   Busy owners often have no interest in chatting about pizza but  Joey took the time to tell me about a long tradition of his Italian American family and the restaurant business.    Grandma's pizza is apparently a very popular option in all the pizza outlets in the area I  visited and Joey explained the origin.   I shall be writing a separate post on our meeting and everything I learned about PIZZA.

I sampled pizza at the 3 Brothers on the boardwalk in Seaside Heights, NJ and two other sources that I am not reviewing.

1.  Espo’s located at 629 North Main Street (Route 9) Lanoka Harbor, NJ  www.espospizzeria.com     On their menu you find:     “eating well is to live well”.
2,  Mangia located at Rt 37 at Hooper Avenue.  http://www.mangiabrickovenpizza.com/  This site was recommended by hairdresser.
3.  Joey Tomatos on Lacy Road, Forked River, NJ. http://www.joeytomatospizza.com/   was recommended by a volunteer at the Lacy food bank.

                            This video shows you how pizza is made in a very well know location in Rome, Piazza dei Fiore.................just follow the wonderful smell, go in the door on the left and select the type you prefer and the size you want.