28 May 2017

Support - Sundays in My City

I read about this art installation just a few days before going to Venice and knew I had to see it (I plan to go back before November to see more of the Biennale).  Due to its location and Venice's mostly-water access, the only real way to see it is from the water.  Which means you can't walk around it or take a lot of time looking at it.  You see it as your vaporetto is going past. 





Venice is sinking, sea levels are rising...this might be just an art installation but so many places are facing the very real threat that is climate change. Venice currently floods (and by floods they mean that the water level rises 110 cm (43 in) covering 14% of the city) roughly 4 times per year. The famous Rialto bridge has sunk 1.7 m (almost 5 ft) since it was built.  This is not a fictional disaster movie.  This is real. And it's only going to get worse if we don't take drastic measures to reverse it.

Sundays In My City

14 May 2017

Bologna Didn't Win My Heart But This Little Girl Did - Sundays in My City

I had some friends visiting and we took a day-trip to Bologna.  I didn't fall in love with the city although I will say the arcades are beautiful.

A good city to visit in the rain since you could walk much of it under cover.

As I waited for my friends to check out a church I watched this little girl (who was waiting for her father who was in the barber shop) play with this rock as if it were a soccer ball.  She was so intent, even stopping to center herself a few times.  I could have watched her all day.



She would pause, take herself to mountain pose and breathe before trying again to kick the rock like a ball.
I don't know that she's the next big Italian women's football talent but she was clearly having a good time and I thoroughly enjoyed watching her enjoy herself.

Linking up with Unknown Mami where you can explore lots of other things that won people's hearts (or didn't).

Unknown Mami

01 May 2017

Stand Back

See the yellow line?  You're supposed to wait behind (that would be to the LEFT in this picture) the yellow line in order to give the person at the ticket machine privacy to purchase their ticket(s) without

1. Having you looking over their shoulder as they enter their pin number
2. Being squashed while trying to buy a ticket.



Standing in line resembles the way Italians drive.  Right. On. Your. Ass.  I can't say I particularly enjoy either activity here.

Do people queue nicely where you live?

There's no queue at Unknown Mami's Sunday blog hop!

Unknown Mami

16 April 2017

Caffé Pedrocchi - A Unique Coffee Experience - Sundays in My City

I like coffee.  I don't NEED coffee and I don't turn into a monster if I don't have coffee.  But I do like it.  And I know how good Italian coffee is supposed to be.  But honestly (and I hope they don't kick me out of the country for saying this), I find it rather boring.  There's very little flavor complexity to the coffee here.  It's all just strong espresso.  I like my coffee to taste like more than just coffee.  I like to be able to detect chocolate or nuts or fruits the same way you're supposed to be able to detect more than just grape in your wine. 

I was headed to Padova the other day with some friends who were visiting.  We had no plan so I did a quick google search to see if there was anything special to Padova that needed to be experienced.  I found this:

Café Pedrocchi - Ernest Hemingway, Lord Byron and Stendhal are all said to have found inspiration within the walls of this 18th-century cafe. Founded by Francesco Pedrocchi of Bergamo in 1722 in response to the increasing coffee consumption of the European bourgeoisie, it has been a pillar of Paduan society for centuries. Famous for its neoclassical architecture and powerful coffees, it offers a drink known as caffé pedrocchi. This looks like a cappuccino but actually consists of cold mint froth on top of a strong espresso base; the combination of hot bitter coffee and cool mint will leave your taste buds tingling.  [Source] 
 
So, of course, we had to check it out.  It is a beautiful building both outside and inside (it was very bright out so my picture is not very good.  Here's a much better one.

[Source]

The coffee wasn't as strong or as hot as I expected.  But it was an interesting, new taste and I'll definitely take Gran here when she comes this summer. She'll love the interior and the fancy-ness of the place.  Plus, she loves coffee :)  You can check out their website here.


Again, not the best picture but this was my caffé pedrocchi.

Caffé pedrocchi.  You can see a hint of the green mint foam (which is really more of a heavy cream than a foam).

Thanks to Stephanie and Adam for the fun visit and the adventure in trying this new coffee (Steph's cup had mostly mint foam and very little coffee so she ended up eating hers with a spoon).



Unknown Mami

08 April 2017

Random Things I Like - Sundays in My City

Sometimes there are pictures that just don't make it into other posts. Its time for some of those.



You know you're in the Netherlands when you see...

See the skinny red?  It's the skinniest house in Amsterdam.



Entrance to the library in Liverpool.  It's beautiful inside!!

A long time ago some guy (see how well I paid attention on the tour!) charted the tides at the Liverpool dock for a hole month.  This fountain represents the levels each day of that month.


Linking up here:

Unknown Mami

26 March 2017

Cute Little Kids - Sundays in My City

Spotted this on the way to rather non-descript building downtown where I had to go take care of some rather boring logistical requirements.  It was a part of town I hadn't been in yet and I was early (because I have a fear of being late) so I was wandering a bit to kill time.



Unknown Mami

11 March 2017

A Good Day for Gelato - Sundays in My City

The weather has been really nice for the last few days.  The parks have been full of kids and everyone has been out walking and jogging and biking.  Today I stopped for a gelato.  Mind you, I can eat gelato even if it's freezing outside :D

I love extra dark chocolate and I once found blueberry gelato but today I planned to get lemon.  I actually get lemon pretty often.  It's so bright and crisp and not overly sweet.  When I got there I saw a new flavor...pear and ginger (pera e zenzero) so I got a double scoop: lemon and pera e zenzero).  The pera e zenzero was obviously made with fresh pears as I could taste that distinctive pear texture...you know, pears have those little almost-crunchy bits.  But sadly I couldn't taste any ginger at all.  And I really love ginger which is why I ordered this flavor.  But still, the day was beautiful and the lemon was, as usual, refreshing.  So all in all, no complaints.

Limone, pera e zenzero gelato e un giorno bellissimo.

What's your favorite treat on a beautiful day?

05 March 2017

Venice Carnevale Attempted - Sundays in My City

Carnevale is an annual festival held in Venice.  It has undergone multiple different manifestations over the years.  It now mostly takes place over a few weekends.  A few years ago I went to the Carnaval (different languages spell it differently) celebration in the south of the Netherlands when I was living there.

A couple weeks ago I attempted to experience Carnevale in Venice.  I can't say it was at all enjoyable unless you particularly like seeing nothing but the back of the person against whom you're smashed while having no control over where you go as you're completely at the will of the mass.

I only managed a couple pictures as I had not the will to fight the masses.  Honestly, I have no desire to experience that ever again.  Surely I'll go to Venice many more times but I'll make a point of not going when there's a big event happening!

It took so long to get here (St. Mark's Square) that we missed the main event (Flight of the Angel).

Masks are a big part of the Carnevale celebration.  I took this one on the train using my phone.  I don't know why it looks almost water-colored...probably just because I have a cheap little phone without a good camera.
Fritale, or "little frieds,"  are a traditional Carnevale sweet.  I really had no interest in trying them since they look like little fried doughnuts and I don't like doughnuts but in the spirit of trying the things that go with the places where I am, I got 2 from the bakery next door.

I was right, they are basically little fried doughnuts but with raisins and cream.  Much like the Carnevale festival itself, I've no need to experience these again.
If you aren't like me and don't hate crowds then perhaps Carnevale is something you'd enjoy.  There are plenty of beautiful pictures and videos available online and from now on I'll be more than satisfied to look at those!

How do you feel about big crowded festivals?  Have you ever been to Carnevale?



Unknown Mami

05 February 2017

Cavoli!! - Sundays in My City

Roman Cauliflower - Cavolfiore Romano

I'm taking an Italian language class.  One of my favorite things we've learned so far is that "Cabbages!!" (or Cavoli!! pronounced cah-vo-lee) is used as an expression of frustration...sort of like Dang It!!  I don't know why I get such a kick out of shouting, Cabbages!!  but I do.  So here are some Roman Cauliflower ("cauliflower" is "flower cabbage" in Italian) for you.  They look really cool, too cool to eat, but are much more expensive than regular cavolfiore so I just look at these and eat the other ones :)

Cavoli!!!...it's fun...try it with me, you'll see...CAVOLI!!!

Do you know any fun or interesting (family friendly) expressions in other languages?

Learn more about what's going on in other people's worlds at Unknown Mami's Sundays in My City.

Unknown Mami

22 January 2017

Vegan Vicenza and A Funny Mistake - Sundays in My City

There are a couple vegan restaurants in Vicenza.  I tried one this week.  It was fantastic and I'll definitely go back!

Universo Vegano (http://www.universovegano.it/) is a chain with a few locations in Italy.  Despite being a chain, and despite being considered "fast food,"  the food was freshly made and didn't seem like chain food at all. The ingredients are all organic. The location in Vicenza is right on Piazza Castello which is convenient for me since I can get off the bus there.  It's even open on Sundays! 



I ordered an Incan Wrap.  It contained quinoa falafel, lettuce, tomato, vegan mayo and vegan cheese.



After I ate I was browsing the menu further. They have juices and smoothies and deserts in addition to the yummy food.  The menu also had coffees, of course...I can't think of an restaurant in Italy that doesn't.  Among the choices was a Hot Latte.  You don't find that here often.  They like their coffee stronger and with less cream.  You could get your latte with soy, rice or almond milk.  I was excited and ordered one with almond milk.



When it came it was so light that I wondered if it contained any coffee at all.  Then I sat laughing at myself as I realized my mistake.  Because latte, in Italian, is milk.  So I didn't order any coffee. I did not ask for a caffé latte. I literally ordered a hot milk! And that's exactly what I got. I laughed at my mistake the whole time I drank it (it was actually pretty tasty).  I'm still laughing myself.  Lesson learned :) 



What funny lessons have you learned?

16 January 2017

La Neve - Sundays in My City

I've said it before but I really thought Italy would be warmer.  Well, just to show me, it snowed this week (la neve means snow in Italian).  Not a lot but still...snow in dang Italy (not in the mountains)! I was not amused...even if it was pretty as long as you didn't look at the roads!




I love how the big pine tree creates such a canopy that it essentially didn't snow at all on part of the yard.

Someone down the street had fun.

I hope we're done with "winter" weather!   How do you feel about snow?