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Travel

Martedì Grasso & Hiking trip in Casale

Buon Martedì Grasso! Or in English, Happy Fat Tuesday! Carnevale (Mardi Gras) is a big deal here in Italy. This past weekend there were parades everywhere around the country. Children throw confetti at each other in the streets as people in costumes dance around the floats going by. Bakeries filled with fried treats to celebrate the occasion. In Tuscany they can be called “stracci” Pictured below are some stracci E’s grandma made, she fills the dough with a sweet ricotta filling flavored with lemon zest and fries them. I recently learned the reason behind the colors of Mardi Gras. Purple symbolizes justice, gold symbolizes power and green symbolizes faith. I’ve blogged about Carnevale before so I won’t go in detail about it. I indulged and had a few stracci this morning accompanied by a nice espresso.

Saturday I was invited by my friend Giulia to go on a hike through the Tuscan town of Casale, 10 minutes away from the town I live in. Believe it or not it was my first time in the town which is shocking seeing as how close it is to my house. This place never ceases to amaze me. 

Travel

Ritorno in Toscana

After three months in the United States traveling (that travel post to come) and spending time with family and friends, I am back at casa mia in Toscana. It’s been a busy month so far. E has been away traveling a lot and I have been staying busy at home with things such as tutoring English, traveling solo around Tuscany (or with E) and working on new recipes. 

Travel

Hiking Giannutri island 

One thing I enjoy doing is going hiking, I love to be outside walking around in nature. There is a sense of tranquility that takes over when looking around at all the natural beauty surrounding you, sans cars and buildings. Although there is beauty to find in those as well. The world is full of beauty, art of its own kind, anywhere and everywhere you go. I get inspired as much on a tropical island as I do getting lost in the streets of New York City. The key is to take the time and stop, put your phone away and become aware of what is around  you. (while still snapping awesome shots of the journey) 

Travel

Weekend in Siena & Carnevale

 

Italians take their traditions seriously and have many ‘holidays’ throughout the year. Carnival, which can also be known as mardi gras, is a party with ancient roots and still celebrated today in a big way all throughout the country and in different ways. Carnevale which comes from the Latin words carne vale which means ‘farewell to the flesh’ and it is 40 days before Easter with a final party day, ‘Martedi Grasso’ which is translated to ‘Fat Tuesday’ in English. In Venice they throw huge parties where people dress in costumes and throw masquerade balls. In Ivrea they celebrate  with a ‘battle or oranges’, allegory of struggle for freedom, where they actually throw oranges at each other in the town square! Viareggio is a town about 1 hour from where I live and is one of the most famous Carnivals in Italy. They celebrate Carnevale with a month long full of parties, parades, dances and entertainment. It is also common for children to play tricks and run around throwing confetti in the air.

Travel

So Long Sweet Summer

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I have been reflecting on what a wonderful summer it has been since the weather has been changing into the autumn season. What sweet summer memories…
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June we went to Portofino, the pearl of the Mediterranean, for a weekend. It is the most famous harbor in Italy known for it’s elegance, yachts and for being a popular celebrity vacation spot. (Elizabeth Taylor to just name one!) 

Travel

Postcards From The Concrete Jungle

Last September we embarked on a two month journey in New York City. E would work in the mornings and sometimes had business meetings to attend, but for the most part we were there together enjoying all the big apple had to offer. This wasn’t our first time in New York City for either of us, especially E because he goes often for the wine business, but it was our first time staying for such a long period.
 

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We booked a beautiful, modern apartment off of Airbnb.com in Nolita. Small, of course, like most places in NYC unless you are a billionaire, but the size of the apartment didn’t matter to us because we were out exploring the city each day. The area was perfect because it was North of Houston street – (fun fact; not pronounced like the city in Texas), East of SoHo, South of NoHo, West of the lower East side and North of Little Italy. The area was not over populated with tourists and far from Times Square, which was exactly what we wanted. We wanted to emerge ourselves into the true culture of Manhattan.
Recipes Travel

Canazei & chicken pot pie

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Living near the sea is a dream come true of mine. But we do lack snow topped mountains and sometimes you need a good dose of snow. Fortunately we are able to drive up North a few hours and enter a winter wonderland. Our friend’s family member has a cabin up at Canazei, Italy and we were lucky enough to be invited to join him and his girlfriend in a wintery weekend up in the Italian Alps. We had a late start driving so when we arrived I wasn’t able to see anything except black shadows caused by the moon’s brightness. I didn’t know what to except but I never doubt Italy’s ability to constantly surprise me with it’s beauty.
I woke the next morning, quickly opened the drapes and my jaw dropped…