Wine and Liquors, Secrets of the Monks of Padua

Abbazia Di Praglia-
Abbazia Di Praglia-( photo taken from website http://www.praglia.it )

20131119-100215.jpg

Grey afternoon skies hung low over the countryside surrounding Padua, about a 40-minute drive west of Venice. I had just driven ten kilometers southwest of town to arrive at my destination, the Abbazia Di Praglia, a Benedictine community of monks. Nestled at the feet of the Euganean hills, along an ancient road leading to the neighboring town of Este, my arrival at the Abbey appeared as if I had just stepped back in time. Read more

Easter Wishes

St. Peter's Basilica September 2014
St. Peter’s Basilica September 2014 Rome

My steaming cup of freshly brewed coffee begins to awaken me as I gaze out the window of my living room in Oregon. Sunlight brightens a blue morning sky and spills down over the valley, bringing life to the tall evergreens and farms that dot the rolling landscape. I can see the coastal mountains at the end of the horizon, standing like guardians over the great Pacific Ocean beyond.

My thoughts gather around another Easter several years ago when I happened to be in Greece while Easter was being celebrated in Italy. Afterward, I took a ferry-boat to Italy. A few days later Easter was being celebrated in Greece! So I can honestly say that I ‘missed’ Easter that year. Read my post Our ‘Passed-Over’ Easter.

Today I am happy to anticipate an Easter celebration with family at home while I plan for my next exciting adventure to Italy. I think about all of you, scattered around different parts of the world. I am thankful for each one of you. I hope that your Easter day is, was or will be a time of renewal, a time to be grateful, and a time to enjoy those around you. No matter where you are, it is a day to be cherished.

Easter Blessings, everyone!

Explore Ortigia, Sicily’s Città Vecchia

unnamed (17)

The sun-splashed lungomare d’Ortigia is a sensual delight. Recently, I had made the drive to Ortigia from my lodging at Hotel Bosco Ciancio on the slopes of Mt. Etna to meet with my tour guide,  Marco Sanzaro. My goal was to discover the wonders of the island of Ortigia, the historical heart of the ancient Greek city of Syracuse on Sicily’s eastern shore.

As I walked the footpath that followed the waterfront, I couldn’t help but notice the brilliant green waters of the Ionian sea Read more

Brunelleschi’s Incredible Dome of the Florence Cathedral

florence-620593_1280

 

I recently watched the television series, “Medici, Masters of Florence” on Netflix. I found myself so intrigued by the sight of Santa Maria del Fiore (the Florence Cathedral) without the dome that I decided to do a little research. What I discovered is fascinating and makes quite a tale.

Read more