Bringing Italy Home in a Sketchbook

 

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Trullo house sketch from Kerry’s trip in 2010

One of the biggest joys of writing for my blog is meeting others who love to share their stories and experiences in Italy. It provides me with a unique perspective that is truly a joy to read and enlarges my world of knowledge. I am always delighted to hear from my readers and continue to learn so much from them.

Recently, I received a comment from an English gentleman named Kerry Harris. He mentioned how much he enjoyed his visit to Alberobello, Puglia, to see and sketch the Trulli houses. He offered to email me some of his sketches, and as you probably guessed, I jumped at the chance to see them. Read more

What to Do on a Rainy Day in Italy

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Portovenere

We’ve mostly all been there….we wake up in a cozy hotel room with thoughts of getting dressed and meeting the day in an Italian city or village when we are met at the door with a gray drizzle. People outside rush about under umbrellas or towards the nearest overhang to stay dry. Passing cars splash through puddles already beginning to form.  You begin to feel a dampness creep up on you. This was not the kind of day you had envisioned, and your heart begins to sink. Read more

A Summer Religious Procession in Polignano a Mare, Italy

Italy has more public feasts to celebrate the saints, the Madonna, and sometimes Jesus, than any other culture. The feast of local patron saints is often the major event of the year in many villages, especially southern Italy. They are usually marked with religious processions in the streets upholding their patron saint, marching bands, fireworks, costumes, food, and special markets. Elaborate staging and lighting are often used to enhance the effect of the festival. Read more

8 Hot Weather Treats Italians Love

I’ve often wondered how Italian mammas could endure boiling pots of pasta in their kitchens during those incredibly hot summer days. Surely they had an escape plan guaranteed to bring smiles to the faces of their families at the dinner table. So what did they prepare? How did they escape the heat of their summertime kitchens?

The answer is surprisingly similar to our own methods. With a little thought and creativity, the Italians have mastered the art of delicious cold meals that move them through the hot time of the year without any sense of compromise.

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Caprese Salad – Who hasn’t enjoyed a fresh Caprese Salad. Juicy sun ripe tomatoes sliced with fresh mozzarella cheese topped with basil leaves and lavish amounts of local olive oil are a favorite. Add some bread for a delicious panino, an Italian sandwich, and you have a complete meal. Read more

Girasole, Italy’s Magnificent Sunflowers

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It was fifteen years ago that I first visited bella Italia. One of my best memories from that trip was standing in a huge Tuscan sunflower field. We had rented a car and decided to cruise through the countryside. It was a great mode of transportation, allowing us to get close and personal with the environment. We parked the car and took a short walk out to a sunflower field. I found myself delightfully surrounded by expanses of bright yellow faces, all gazing up at the sun. I discovered that they follow the sun all day long, every one of them. At night they droop a bit but when the sun rises out of the east at morning tide, their cheerful little heads lift to gaze upward once more. Read more