Monday, May 25, 2015

Venice in Photos NOT of the tourist sites

 I am again in Venice for the second time this month to meet with the woman who speaks to the beads.    A separate story on that event later.

There are many islands surrounding the main island of Venice that are not mentioned in tour books.  Not all of the islands are on vaporetto lines so visiting is not always simple.

My plan was to visit the small island San Lazzaro degli Armenia that years ago was used as an island for lepers.  The church on the island belongs to the Armenian Fathers. 

To reach the island I took Line 20 from San Zaccaria stop.  Tours are at 3:25 and do not need a reservation.  On the day I attended they had separate tour guides for several languages.  The tour shows you the church, the closister, the dining room for the brothers who live and work on the island and the museum.   
It has been unseasonably hot in Italy in April and May.   But the sea are and wind offset the high huminity
There is also a gift shop, WCs and vending machines if you do not wish to take water from the public water fountain.    This is a very peachful setting and there are several benches in the garden with great water views.
On my return trip to the island of Venice I had the boat to myself and totally enjoyed my Sofia Loren moment.

There are only a few 'boat' vendors who offer fresh vegetables to the residents of the area.

My day at SEA

The doors of Venice are varied and eye catching

Monday, May 18, 2015

Verona, Italy via Photos

A stop over in Verona on my way to Venice resulted in a town overflowing with runners!
A marathon was planned for the day after my arrival!

You can't plan everything so the crowds were larger, the wait for gelato was longer but the added benefit was a piazza filled with booths and music.  

Verona is a pedestrian city and it appears the entire town stroll along the shop filled streets from one piazza to the next.  

I found it a city of textures and colors.  The building are the monuments in this city.

The arena is the focal point of the central piazza and they start the famous operas next month

Looking up you can see the building behind you in the reflections

You forget there is a strong river running through Verona.  Strange there are no cafes or restaurants along the river front

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Home to Italy THANKS YOU

I want to THANK YOU!

As I crawl to my initial goal of 100,000 readers I want to thank all of you who have clicked a link or actually read a story!

I want to thank all of you recently or at the beginning of this long journey, for encouraging me or added a comment to a post

Thank you to the countless Italians I have annoyed over the years by asking questions, by speaking Italian as a 4 year old (at best), by always returning Home to Italy.

Thank you to the new groups and individuals I have met this year, who have helped me recreate my theme (see end of post)

Thank you to the first Italian who agreed to post on my blog 3 years ago.   Yle Sambati.  She now will have a new monthly feature on my site.  

Thank you to the supportive online FB groups who answer questions from someone who does NOT live with a tech support person!   

I even want to thank everyone who thought they were being helpful to tell me I don't know what I am doing and other bloggers have 100k readers a month.   You have given me the will (after a few days of crushed self esteem)  to prove you wrong.

Thank you to Al Floda for telling me about Juanita McDowell who introduced me to blogging.  Now she is my dream keeper and we * kick each other to reach our goals.

Thank you all.

I invite those who are not interested to unsubscribe.  

For those going on with this journey I will be focusing on story telling this year.  Telling the fascinating stories of the Italians I meet, who I contact online or though my NEW ASSISTANT who lives in Italy.

I am not a big blogger nor popular, nor skilled......but I am an Italian American who spends months each year 'living Italian' rather than wishing I could. 

If you also follow this outlook, post your story below and share.

Just some of the many who I have met on this journey:

Monica, Yvonne, Kelly, Tina, Yle, Olga, Mamma Anna, Mamma Guila, Sheila, Rachel, Sig Nardi, the 3 sisters in Naples, Sig Fiorentino,  Ada, Isabell, THE WOMEN OF MBX in Florence, Matthew, Italian Stories,

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Is this Italy or New Jersey?

    After 6 weeks on the road I often forget where I am but today when I reached the beach in Viareggio, Italy

 I thought it could be Sea Side, New Jersey except they have a concrete boardwalk!

Many shops and restaurants line the street that boarders the sea in Viarreggio and hundreds of people are walking the length of the paved 'boardwalk'.

I even found some games that we find on boardwalks in the USA with a slight twist.  The carousels are small and only for young children.

By June this resort town will be open for business.  In August when all of Ialy goes to the beach, there will be no space for another blanket!   Adjacent to the stone pier are many boat warehouses, perhaps for repair, construction and sale.  But what caught my eye are the massive yachts moored in the harbor.    I wonder who owns these 'ships'.

                     What boardwalk does this remind you of?

Far out on the stone 'pier' there is a statue with the moutain view in the background

Read that this was a great fish and chips food "boat" and I agree!  Laughed with the 2 ladies frying and serving a variety of fish and potato dishes when I ordered via Number as per the sign, NO ONE ever does that!

Private beaches line the  promenade and you PAY for a chair and an umbrella, each company is designated by the color of the rental items

 Very small strip of FREE sand for anyone to use.

 The  yachts
  in the harbor.  Where will they sail next?

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

The women of Mailbox Etc, Florence Italy are there to help!

While on an extended trip throughout Europe the women at the Mail Box Etc office on Via Della Scale, Florence, Italy saved the day.

I used their locaton for deliver of a train pass with Rail Europe, a reorder of business cards from the UK and storage for items I didn't need for the second month of travel.

Bur more than their usual services, the woman were a great help in finding a solution to my lack of wifi connection.

In the past they have given me suggestions on what to take for th flue I always contract during the fall, or the best places to find a special item I need, printing etc.

They are the support group you often need when traveling solo.
They are just like family.

Store your luggage with them while you travel
Instead of paying the airlines for an additional bag, have MBE send your new purchases to your home to arrive when you wish.

I never plan a trip Home to Italy without a stop in Florence to visit MBE 212.  

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Sunday, May 3, 2015

Italian Cooking, Italian Food

Aug 06, 2015
Italian Vegetarian Cooking from Cook in Puglia. Our contributor Ylenia Sambati the CEO of shares another great vegetarian recipe. In Italian as well as English! Yle shall share vegetarian recipes from her Italian ...
Jul 08, 2015
Puglia, Italy. Yle Sambati, CEO of was recently interviewed by. Lee Laurino, Editor/Writer of Home to Italy about her Cooking and Wine School in Puglia, Italy. Participating in a cooking class may be one of the top ...
Jun 16, 2013
Mamma's Kitchen: Italian cooking in Puglia. OLIVA: WELCOME IN MOMMA ANNA's KITCHEN. ….. in an Oil Mill another great post from Yle with learn italy. Mother of four, sweet and lovely, her smile is conquering ...
Jan 26, 2013
Our expert in Puglia, Yle Sambati the owner of ( has created the perfect culinary experience for chefs and would be cooks to experience food preparation from the hands of an expert: Mamma!
Jan 26, 2013
A Mediterranean diet has been declared a healthy way to live and as I encounter Italians of an 'advanced' age who look vital and younger than their years, I have to believe there is something to this. Our expert in Puglia, Yle ...
Jun 23, 2014
On this visit Yle, the CEO of, a custom travel consultant, arranged an interview with Mamma G and for me watch her make her signature focaccia and talk about her thoughts on healthy Italian food.
Feb 05, 2015
Italy: Only cooking and wine school in Puglia. Cooking and Wine School in Puglia a new venture with For the past 15 years countless travelers have had memorable vacations created by Yltour. Short or long trips ...
Sep 09, 2014
Anne Robichaud - An Umbrian tour guide in Italy most of the year, Anne also teaches Umbrian rural cuisine in private homes in the U.S. in February and March lectures. Anne and her ...

Mar 17, 2012
Yle is giving us a wonderful look inside the kitchens of some of the best Italian cooks in Puglia, a mamma! Yle offers amazing holidays that can include hands on cooking with an expert. I can vouch for an incredible experience ...
Aug 04, 2014
... asked my best sources in Italy. Monica Cesarato in Venice and Ylenia Sambati in Lecce, my Italian sources, are proficient cooks who offer cooking classes in Venice and Lecce. Where did Italian Americans learn to cook?
Aug 10, 2012
A mother of 4, Yle included – the Puglia Travel expert – Mamma Anna embodies the sweetest image of the Italian Mamma. We know she loves textiles, perfumed body creams and peasant cooking from Puglia . Let's get to ...