Thursday 28 November 2013

Dawn's 15 Minutes Of Fame

I was up rather late for me - just in time to 
capture these shots of the dawn skies over a
period of 15 minutes....

Dawn blush above the mountains
The merest trace of pink above Il Mulino

Clouds change hue as the sun rises
Leila's Mountain silhouetted against fiery clouds

Skies aglow Clouds aflame

Wednesday 27 November 2013

Snow On The Amalfi Coast - I Kid You Not!

When one thinks of the Amalfi coast, one thinks of
prettily coloured buildings tumbling down hillsides to the sea...
brilliant sunshine reflecting off the ceramic tiled domes of
Praiano & Positano....beaches with regimented rows
of ombrelloni in the height of summer....Amalfi's Duomo....
one does not think of snow!
Il Duomo, Amalfi
Yesterday morning I was again awake at 'silly o'clock' and had to
wait a good 2 hours for the dawn to break. It was quite a
beautiful dawn when it finally happened - well worth the wait....
November dawn
But as it got lighter, it became obvious that there had been
snow along the Amalfi coast overnight....not as much as
the first time we'd seen some, back in 
February last year, but definitely a dusting that remained
throughout the day...
Yesterday's 'dusting'
So, of course, I've cajoled hubby into finding his photos from
last Winter - I'll never forget waking up on
2nd February 2012 & gasping in amazement
at the sight...
February 2012
In fact, if I hadn't seen it for myself, I'm not sure
I'd quite believe it
A snow capped Costiera Amalfitana

Monday 25 November 2013

The Art of Serving Coffee

Un caffè e un tè a Torremaggiore
Whenever & wherever one goes into a coffee bar in Italy,
there is a preset ritual which is usually observed: 
order your drinks at 'la cassa', pay, pick up your receipt
& take it to the barista, who will then set out
a saucer complete with spoon, followed by
un bicchiere di acqua. He will then prepare
your caffè and set the cup in the saucer with a 
flourish & a smile.

There's no need to ask for the water - it's a generations old ritual
& part of coffee drinking etiquette....but not if you're
'stranieri', as hubby & I discovered at MaxiMall yesterday.

We'd eaten lunch at Apollo & called back in for a coffee at the end
of our shopping trip. I took the receipt to the barista & asked for
'un caffè e un ginseng'. The saucers were duly set on the
counter top, hubby's ginseng prepared & my coffee made
but no water appeared....I wasn't impressed!
Hubby asked the barista for 2 glasses and a fair tirade of
grumbling fell from the guy's lips, the gist of
which was that we hadn't asked for water so how was he
supposed to know we wanted water...besides, 'stranieri' 
never drink water with their coffee, they don't appreciate it.

I may not be Italian, but I certainly like to drink my coffee the
Italian way.

Un caffè e un ginseng

Sunday 24 November 2013

First Snow Of The Season

 Below is a photo of the view from our bedroom - when we are
having a lazy morning, this is what we can see whilst sitting enjoying a cuppa in bed.
View from our bedroom
 On a clear day we can see what we have affectionately named
'Snowy Mountain', simply to identify which mountain we
are referring to in conversation. And yes, you've guessed it,
it gets snow on it in Winter.

Snowy Mountain last Winter

And this morning we noticed that, after yet another stormy night,
the first snow had fallen.

Snowy Mountain today
We drove past Snowy Mountain on our way to Pontecagnano
today, so I was able to get some closer shots

Snow on the peak & low cloud make for a stunning scene

Saturday 23 November 2013

Chiusa Al Transito

Road closed ahead
So now we think we've sussed why the Comune filled in
the potholes on our mountain road back in the summer 
(see my blog post:
The SR ex SS 267 that runs along the coast has been 
closed & all traffic in both directions is being
diverted up or down the essentially single track road on Leila's mountain.

The turn for Leila's Mountain
So the peace & quiet of Il Sogno has been broken by the occasional
car or three going by intermittently for the past couple 
of days. Some sound their horns as they traverse
up or down, warning oncoming drivers of their presence.

And some seem to think that they are still on the smooth 
flat SR in their Ferraris or Lamborghinis, bomb along at 
breakneck speed & glare at you when you dare to be coming 
in the opposite direction at a much slower pace.

Every Italian drives one of their head

Thursday 21 November 2013

Punta Licosa

Do you believe in Mermaids? 
Legend has it that Ulysses tied himself to the mast of his
ship as he passed through the waters off the Cilento coast,
to resist the ravishing voice of the siren Leucosia as he
sailed on his long voyage home.

But the reality of Punta Licosa is the poignant memorial
to the sinking of the submarine Velella - all 49 lives were
The memorial to those lost aboard Velella
The Velella was built in Monfalcone in 1936 for Portugal,
but was operated by the Italian Regia Marina when
Portugal was unable to pay the construction costs.
Her final patrol was off the coast of Salerno on 
7th September 1943, where she joined 10 other boats
in an attempt to oppose the Allied landing.

She was torpedoed by the British submarine Shakespeare at
about 8 pm, and there were no survivors.

For some reason, the memorial out at Punta Licosa 
commemorates the 59th Anniversary of the sinking; seems
an odd anniversary to choose. But then, this is
southern Italy & 'normal' doesn't apply to much here.

The saddest part of the story is....
8th September 1943 was Italian Armistice Day
A plaque, a prayer & a photograph

Wednesday 20 November 2013

An Accidental 'Surreal' Shot

Sea, sky & silence
We went for a drive on Saturday afternoon, starting off on the 
other side of Leila's Mountain from where, if we climb high
enough, we can see all the way down the coast to Acciaroli.
After parking up at a 'new build' that's been a 'new build' 
for the almost 3 years we've lived here & inspecting
what progress had been made since we last looked several 
months back (not a lot), we drove down to Montecorice.
As we entered the paese, I was pleased to see that
one of the neglected houses actually had no cars parked
outside, so I asked hubby if we could stop to take a
photo - I'd waited months for this opportunity.

My 'favourite' delapidated' casa in Montecorice
There was a huge amount of cloud cover, so the light
wasn't perfect, but I did manage to capture a 'car free'
image, if not quite 'dog free'.
We made our way down the mountain to the coastal road
to travel the scenic route home as the sun made an
attempt to break through the cloud & I spotted another
photo opportunity - the image at the top of this blog post.
So we pulled up at the side of the road in Ripe Rosse,
got out of the car & I leaned on the railings to click a
few 'tranquil' shots.

And then I looked down.....

All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them - Walt Disney

Monday 18 November 2013

November Dawn

5 am
Once more I was awake at 'silly o'clock' this morning,
bit I did have the pleasure of watching a rather beautiful dawn

Shrouded in her cloudy veil

The moon was still high above 
Monte Licosa as the
dawn crept slowly & silently
across the sky.

Then, suddenly, the clouds
above Leila's mountain 
were turned to gold by the
as yet unseen rising sun...
yet, all too quickly, the colours
faded softly 

The moon doth shine as bright as day

Delicate shades of dawn

Dawn blush above Costiera Amalfitana

Moon still visible in the pink skies

A string of clouds on the horizon

A moment of pure beauty

Fading into softer light

Sunday 17 November 2013

Making The Most Of The November Sun

As today is supposed to be the last sunny day for the rest
of the week, we decided to pack up a picnic
& drive south along the coast......
No prizes for guessing where we drove to today

Clear skies...calm seas....a perfect day
Deserted now but someone has walked the beach
Pretty empty to the north too

Today's catch for lunch?
A different take
Some beautiful clouds about over land

Cloud capped Monte Stella

Tweep Meet In Torremaggiore - Day 2

Where is everyone? 
After a fab Saturday evening with Amy & F - ending with a 
gelato, of course - hubby & I were up & out of the
B&B just after 9 am to explore Torremaggiore
on foot. We only made it as far as Il Castello
before we were accosted by Angela, a
'mature' lady, who asked us if we were Italian,
wanted to know what we were doing in 
Torremaggiore & who did we know there (it 
is an Italian idiosyncrasy that you establish
who you know in common before proceeding further
with a conversation). After giving us some advice on
where to visit, she smiled, wished us a 'Buona Domenica'
& carried on her way.

We headed for the Coffee Bar Amy & F had taken us to
on Saturday evening, only to discover it was closed on Sundays.
So we retraced out steps to a place we'd passed that had
an Illy sign outside, ordered our caffè & Orzo & sat at a
table. The guy behind the bar asked me if I really 
wanted a 'caffè normale' before making me one, & when he brought
it to the table he asked me if I was sure I wouldn't rather have
a 'macchiato' - they don't think 'stranieri' can take
the strong caffeine shot!

At 11 am Amy & F came to pick us up for the drive to Termoli, on 
the Adriatic coast. Parked up, we headed for the restaurant they
recommended for lunch to book a table, then headed for
the main Corso to grab a coffee & join the hordes of
Italians taking a morning passeggiata before heading
for the Centro Storico.
Il Castello, Termoli
Centro Storico

Tavolo per due

Allowing hubby & I plenty of opportunity to click away with
our cameras, giving me my 'wow moment' above & this
fab shot of Amy & F....

Love you both - thanx for giving us a fab weekend!