Saturday 31 May 2014

Birthday cards

Our grand daughter Grace gave us hand made birthday cards. 

She has captured the essence of our passion, or perhaps she has the passion too. She began learning Italian when she was in preps  [lucky girl!] so maybe she will enjoy the many pleasures of Italy when she grows up.

Saturday 24 May 2014

Pasta making and other home cooking Italian style

During the holidays Cate and I made pasta. It is amazing how much pasta you can make from one lot of dough. We had it everywhere and had to get the clothes horse out to act as a drying rack.

Then we trimmed the basil plant and made a delicious pesto.

We also made a favourite of mine - real foccaccia with olive oil and salt. Yum!!

Saturday 17 May 2014


Watching the 7th stage of Giro d'Italia last night I spotted the Umbrian hilltop town of Trevi in the background. We have a little bit of Trevi in our garden to look at every day!

When we installed a small pool in our garden ten years ago we wanted to continue the Italian theme. As the pool has, by law, to be fenced, I decided that a trompe l'oeil would be a good way to go. I searched for a suitable design with no success and eventually decided to make my own.

The end result is a compilation of at least four photos taken in Italy on past trips. The fence is lined with cement sheeting and I painted the scene direct onto the primed sheeting.

* The arch was inspired by the walled gateway Porta Fiorentina in Monteriggioni, Tuscany.
* The winding strada bianca (white road) from many a view, especially from Montecchiello and also La Foce garden near Montepulciano.
* The hilltop town is based on Trevi in Umbria, with its perfect shape and surrounded by olive trees. A quintessential view.

 Ten years later we still enjoy our trompe l'oeil Tuscan/Umbrian view.

 And it would not be an Italian garden without a Marian shrine. It takes some explaining in Australia but I'm cool with that.

Friday 16 May 2014

Giro d' Italia

I am a huge follower of the Orica GreenEDGE cycling team, and a fan of Cadel Evans, so it has been a great week of bike riding at the Giro d' Italia.

To have the Australian team win two stages in the first week and to wear the maglia rosa all week has been an amazing experience for the team and also for their multitude of fans. Michael Matthews has been a delight to watch, both humble and genuinely excited.

Cadel Evans (in left of picture) is very well placed going into the second week in his quest for the GC prize, the over-all winner after nearly 3500 kilometres and three weeks of riding.

But all this excitement takes its toll on the devoted followers back at home! The live telecast does not start in Australia until about 11 pm and finishes after 1.30 am every morning. Oh well, I can always sleep in :)