Month: October 2011

villa in tuscany if only for a week

I just can’t snap out of it, I know I have said this before, but it really is difficult to go to Europe, even for two week, then come back to the states and adjust to the every day norm. While I was in Tuscany, the day tour I took drove through some of the most beautiful landscapes in that part of the world and the guide pointed out numerous villas perched up on the hillside. Of course, every woman on the bus awed and oohed, while the husbands rolled their eyes or laughed at us for fantasizing  about owning one. Now, I for one, have always dreamed of moving to Paris some day but in addition to my fantasy of living in Paris, I wouldn’t mind owning a Tuscan villa just for the summer months :).  So, to make my day less gloomy, I found my villa of choice from here.  Happy Monday.

halloween et al

Being away most of October somewhat threw me off with the upcoming holiday season. I couldn’t believe that we are almost done with October and heading to the month of November, which is probably the most stressful month of the year, on so many levels, for probably most any woman in America. But before I begin discussing the next two months, I wanted to take a moment and share with you some of my favorite finds for Halloween. Enjoy and have an amazing weekend celebrating. Please don’t drink and drive and use flashlights for your children while they go trick or treating.

wool and other blend sweaters for winter 2011

Finding just the right sweater for Winter is probably the most challenging, in my opinion, since there is always some sort of drastic temperature change going from outdoors to indoors. I, for one, would prefer to dress in layers just so I can peel them off when it’s too hot indoors and put everything back on when it’s too cold outdoors. But once in a while I do enjoy wearing sweaters throughout the entire day, no matter how hot or cold I am throughout the day. For that, I have selected some of my favorites from here:

french kitchen table

I just can’t snap out of it yet, but instead of dwelling, I decided to just focus on what makes me smile. But yesterday while I was recuperating from the strenuous Sunday travel back to the U.S., I had to make a run to a mall for a split second in between picking up my dog and doing laundry just to replace  a broken kitchen tool. So, as I walked through Crate&Barrel, one of my favorite stores, in search of my the broken utensil I needed to replace, I came to a screeching halt  when I saw this kitchen table/center island so neatly arranged on their showroom floor. I smiled because it reminded me of a similar table in a tea room  (Salon de The)  in Paris. I think that five minutes I spent staring at the table, made up for my sad state on Monday. {photos: Courtesy of Crate&Barrel)

como italy by local bus

I can never pass up a stop in Como Italy when I travel through Italy. Normally I spend two nights in Como, but  I figured this time since it is Autumn, I would stay in Milan and take a day trip to Como on RailEurope or in this case, the shuttle train from Milan  to Como S.M instead. It was about an hours ride, a bit uncomfortable and long since it made alot of stops along the way, but it was a reasonable cost. 4.50Euros each way, so I couldn’t complain much.  When I got to Como rail station, I noticed, like I did before, a bus labeled Bellagio, which was the area around the lake I wanted to visit. Since it was freezing outside, I decided this time to give the bus ride a try, I knew it was going to circle the lake and that it would take an hour, but I figured I had done the ferry thing about a dozen times before, why not try something different. Well, I must admit …

a day trip to venice, italy from florence

Since I had been to Venice several times over the last 2 decades, I decided this time around to take just a day trip  from Florence, via train and walk about the streets “outside the high tourist season” being that it is mid October  Well I was wrong, Venice, from the looks of things, probably has no down time from tourism, so walking the small streets from the train station to San Marco Square was, once again, very challenging to say the least and took more time then I expected it to. However, putting that aside, Venice is one of the most photogenic , if I may use the term, travel destination for any photographer. I can’t imagine anyone returning from Venice with bad photographs. Anyway, although I entered a few stores to appreciate the Moreno glass neatly displayed everywhere, I spend the majority of my time taking photographs. I even wrote the boat taxis up and down the canal just to get photos of every nook and krany of this marvelous city. Here are …

most memorable photographs of san gimignano, italy

There are some places in Italy I have wanted to see for a long time but didn’t dare to rent a car, so this trip I decided to take a day tour just to get a glimpse of the small villages throughout Tuscany. After Siena, we headed out to San Gimignano, which is situated on a hilltop somewhere in Tuscany, click here if you want all the statistics and other vital information.  After given a brief explanation of what to look for, we were let loose to wander about the village. Which is exactly as it should be during a bus tour. Brief explanation and alot of time to be on our own. From San Gimignano, I took away the following: {photos are the property of}  

marble decor in siena, italy

I have always had an admiration and appreciation of design with marble and because of it, I enjoy my trips to Italy even more since I get to see the best of the best marble decor mostly in their churches or cathedrals. So, while in Siena, of course outside of Piazza del Campo,  I drifted away from my day tour and walked into Sienna’s most famous Cathedral (Santa Maria Assunta) in order to get time to see the mosaic marble decor.  Lucky me, apparently the floors of the church are kept covered for most of the year but this particular year they decided to open it to the public during the month of September and October, so I got to see the most amazing marble mosaic works in all it’s glory. Here are five out of the 50 plus photos I took just inside the cathedral 🙂 Enjoy! {photos are the property of}

gilli delight in firenze, italy

It’s amazing how we are drawn to some things in life. Like for instance, when I walked about Florence yesterday on my way to the Uffizi Museum, I was immediately drawn to a corner bakery, Gilli,  simply because of the picture above. I had seen the photograph throughout most of my adult life and wondered where it was taken? I knew it was somewhere in Italy during the 40s or the 50s but wasn’t exactly sure where in Italy. Well, it was apparently taken at the very corner of the street where a delightful cafe, simply referred to as Gilli, is located in Florence or at least that is what I was told. As I sipped on my cappuccino and nibbled on fresh baked  butter cookies at the coffee bar inside, I stared out the window at the corner where the photograph was taken in an attempt to interpret the contents. I wondered was the picture an authentic reaction of a women, while being aggressively propositioned by the men of that era or was it …