This was the sweet welcome home in my backyard for my birthday.  All set up with love from my special neighbors Pirjo and Reijo.  It was a lovely evening and a wonderful way to end a nice vacation.   I will have pleasant dreams tonight, along with the gentle feeling of the swaying of a sailing vessel that I left just yesterday.

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Way Down Low

When you are lounging in the infinity pool at this agriturismo in Barbaresco, Italy, the family’s vineyards are way down low in the valley.  Each row is planted strategically to get the best sun exposure for that particular grape.  We learned the difference between the designation DOC and DOCG for the wines.  Every bottle here is labeled and given the proper seal by hand.  If you are interested to see or read more, the website for Silvia Rivella in Barbaresco is wonderful with additional photos of the wine cellar, the family, and stories of the history of this wonderful estate.  And you can get automatic translation, although I am working to read and speak Italian myself.


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Simplicity from a random act, but I found beauty in it.

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Blue Hour

This struck me as a Blue Hour with the full moon rising above Pienza, Italy.  Originally the city was called Corsignano and in 1405,  Enea Silvio Bartolomeo Piccolomini was born.  When he became Pope Pius II in 1458, he commissioned the city to be rebuilt as an ideal Rennaisance town and renamed it as Pienza.  It is a lovely town and I would love to return for another visit here and the surrounding areas.


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Forms in Nature

Forms in Nature are well represented in this scene in Pienza, Italy.   Natural hills and valleys are sculpted and filled with carefully planned vineyards and iconic Italian cypress trees, as well as natural lush greenery and fall colors.



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From Where I Stand…..

From where I stood, you can see Firenze below.  This city gave birth to artists, scientists,  and history that stands strong and fills novels and movie theaters.  A bronze statue of Michelangelo’s David in Piazzale Michelangelo looked very powerful under the blue sky.

On the previous day, I saw the original David at Galleria dell’Accademia.  The pose represents the moment of his decision to fight Goliath but before the battle has actually taken place, a moment between conscious choice and action.

We are privileged to have another bronze statue of David at the Ringling Courtyard of the Museum of Art.

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Although this image is “monochrome”, there was nothing monochrome about Ernest Hemingway’s life.  Although Hemingway is most commonly associated with Florida’s Key West, Spain and Cuba, we know that Stresa, Italy is the setting for one portion of his novel,  A Farewell to Arms.  Hemingway’s own experiences in Stresa shaped what he wrote about.  He enjoyed martinis at this bar while staying in a first floor suite overlooking the gardens and Lago Maggiore.  He took a tram ride up Mt. Mottarone for that view of the lake.  I have been fortunate enough to take the same tram ride with my dear friends Pirjo & Reijo.  I missed having a martini during happy hour at Hemingway’s bar, but I will plan to do that on my next visit to Grand Hotel Iles Borromées.

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