Friday, December 30, 2011

A rose will bloom...

...and then will fade

If you had been at the great Stazione Centrale last night, an Art Deco masterpiece, you would have found me sunkissed, content and loaded down with shopping bags full of cheeses(yes it's true, Carrick), produce, speck, part of a gigantic panettone and other delights from my trip to the snowy Dolomites.  They were spectacular, something impossible to capture on film...but I'll talk about that trip next year.

As we travel into the next year, it's impossible not to think of the changes that have happened in our lives.  Can you believe it will be 2012?  No.  I can't either.  If we go back ten years, we were still living in the recent memory of the Twin Towers falling, I was in High School, hating life and everyone in it, wishing I was 10 years older. 

I can gladly say my outlook has changed for the better, but I'm also pleased that I've fulfilled what age 15 Daniel wanted in life!  If you had asked me then: Where would you like to be in 10 years?  I would have either rolled my eyes and continued reading my book, or I'd say, 'I dunno Italy, France, London? I'd like to live in Europe for sometime or New York.' 

It's nice to look back and say you've accomplished your goals, Lord knows there are about a million others unfulfilled.  I wonder what next year will bring you and I?  Let's hope it's another goal answered.

Images from my recent trip to the stunning city of Verona

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Artecchino moderno

I'm sick in bed, nursing myself with funny youtube clips, tea, and Strangers with Candy episodes, pondering how in the world am I going to teach for four hours tonight.  If I die on one of my students at least I'm going out the way I want.

This week I've officially made my residency here at the Commune, which means free health care (hello dermatologist!), I can now buy a car (I'm not), but leaves me a bit sad saying good by to my Yankee roots.  I'm being entirely overdramatic, but it all feels very permanent. 

It is the final step you have to make with the legal immigration process here, so I feel like I've not only won a marathon, but an Iron Man championship or the Olympic Gold in Male Figure Skating!  One or the other!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

winter is coming

source: unknown

Monday, December 19, 2011

In the meantime, in between time...

...ain't we got fun?

'The Great Gatsby' brings back a shudder of memories, namely my 11th-Grade English teacher's large underbelly popping out from an oversized Tweetie T-shirt (she ruined a lot of books for me), but I love the film!  Well almost...everything but Robert Redford (go ahead throw some tomatoes at me).  It was filmed near my house, in Newport, where Great Gatsby Sunday's would be arranged and we could all tour Rosecliff feeling very nouveau riche, sipping Veuve, donning the latest Molyneaux.  Some of that may be be a daydream, but to see the image above gives me such great hope.  I think Baz Luhrmann will really be able to capture my favorite era, and maybe create (to me) an even more perfect Gatsby.

Image found at my new favorite blog: Fox and Flyte

Friday, December 16, 2011

Mount Stuart

Today was thankfully the last day of school for the next three weeks, and after the five hour exam on Wednesday, it's greatly needed!  I passed (not as high as I'd like) and am now in level B1 but feel I'm at that infamous learning-a-language plateau, where you learn so much and then just suddenly stop, whilst everything jumbles around inside your brain coming out in an incorrect way.  I hear this is normal, but it's a bit frustrating.  I'll take the next few weeks to sleep properly and hopefully allow everything to find the right place in my brain.

I've been looking on Easy Jet and Ryan Air's websites on a daily basis, dreaming of places to go for a weekend.  My options are endless and all for 15 Euros, cheaper than taking a train to Bologna!  Maybe England, to London for a book buying binge.  Or Ireland beckons, where I can discover my Hibernian roots in County Kerry.  Copenhagen, Marrakesh, Berlin, Prague, Stokholm: there's so little of the world I've really seen.  Or Scotland, where I could have a Highland Fling, and visit an ancestral estate like Mount Stuart, home of the Marquess of Bute.

For more photos of this stunning place: HERE

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Studio Peregalli

[Photo by Aurora Di Girolamo © The Invention of the Past: Interior Design and Architecture by Studio Peregalli, by Laura Sartori Rimini and Roberto Peregalli, Rizzoli New York, 2011]

On a dreary day like today, I'd love to crawl onto my couch (see above), skip work, make myself a cup of tea and finish my book....if only.  And if only that really was my sitting room.  Instead it's the masterwork of Laura Sartori Rimini and Roberto Peregalli of the Milanese architecture and design firm, Studio Peregalli.  Isn't it just perfection?

The other day I found their book The Invention of the Past in a local bookshop and was instantly spellbound.  It's filled to the brim with photos of their designs, each unique and painfully gorgeous.  Have you seen the book?  Have you known about Studio Peregalli for years?  Have I just been living under a rock?  Their office is near my school, I'm thinking of going in one day during the break, throw myself on their desk and beg for a job.  Ms. Rimini wears her hair in marcelled waves...even more reason to love them!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Venezia e' un pesce

Venice is a city full of contrasts, especially the light.  As dark and brooding as the nights are, as shadowy the corners are, there are moments of truly luminous light.  You walk through a dark alley and are emptied out into a piazza overlooking the lagoon, where the light is so brilliant you must blindly search your bag for your Persols.

This photo was an obvious mistake of overexposure, but I love how it came out.  Sometimes mistakes make the most dreamy photos, isn't it true? 

Now walk around the corner and you had better take off your occhiali.  This is the cavernous galleria housing the fish market, where I found some of the most fresh fish I've seen since the back of my father's boat.  Maybe we can try a local Tocai at that bacaro across the street?

Let's duck into the inumbrated palazzo of the great Fortuny.  Even the courtyard reflects his almost ghostly sense of style...

Now let's end the day on Giudecca, the outer island of Venice, where the true Venetian still lives, and where you can still find fishermen picking through their nets like back home, and where the salty smell of low tide makes you painfully homesick for Point Judith, which is something you never thought you'd ever say.

As you can see, I quickly became infatuated with Venice.  But I think it was it's relationship with the sea which I loved the most.  And as I told my parents in their postcard, 'You can take the boy out of New England, but you can't take the New England out of the boy...'