Earl Grey Galore: Our Moments with Emma of Hartfield.

Life’s enchanted cup sparkles near the brim. – Lord Byron

17:00 Tea Time

Neatly sat at a table were a group of inquiring people. Their prescence in a orderly fashion shared colorful cups of tea whose warmth, and decor shimmered. It was a perfect decision, that to choose to stay indoors on a damp Sunday evening. Each person different in shape, and frame. It was not long for the cups of thin rims, and a fine porcelain bodies to take on a lively stance far from their saucers. Sipped, were the three teas of distant origins with a complextion similar to petals. Each warm essence of the brewed leaves, and flowers were poured inbetween intervals, at the tempo of a gentle chat, the light flickered. The quietude, along with humble laughter seemed to be brightest example of rebellion in comparison to our time. More the merrier, and clearer the guest’s speech became, the futhermore that atmosphere deemed pleasant in what I consider the most beloved essence of art a need for giving and recieving.

What was our subject of matter?

  Emma Woodhouse of Hartfield.

The English Georgian era that layed tween 1714, and 1837 was an era of different manners. Sunday schools, and governesses were children’s means of education, if fortunate. Women were not expected to be self-sufficient, and single women lived with their families and/or protectors. If one would sit down, and ponder they would be amazed at Jane Austen, the author of Emma, a book written in 1816. The author of the delightful novella was 40, and single not in line with the contemporaries of her time. She was not your average women. Realistic, and ironic are the many characters of various Jane Austen’s books that potrayed the many faces of love. Emma Woodhouse, the beautiful young lady of grand fortune, life of comfort, spoiled, was the character in discussion that Sunday evening. She had what she needed to be happy, and she knew it. Not caring for more, but for others’ affairs.  Her favorite past-time? It was matchmaking , which I personally dislike to fall victim of. Believing to have known it all in the matters of the heart. There was nothing that she enjoyed more than spending her precious time, meddling within the relationships of others. The orphan Harriet Smith, who loved  the “simpleton” Mr. Martin, was not too different from Emma despite the ranks of “society” that divided. They were unaware of their similar attitudes in regards to love. The young ladies wanting to be true to themselfves, foolishly find their ways towards their hearts’ desires. One can not help, but notice the characteristics of pride that keep reemerging within Jane Austen’s novels. This recurrence seem to showcase the complex, and seemignly simple people of the Georgian time.  The book is an example of a glimpse of the woman’s inner need to become a ever so free member of society in regards to the social norms. The characters delicately rebeling within their context.

Jane Austen born on the 16th of December in the year 1775, in a family of 8th children. She had a father that was a clergyman, and enjoyed the quiet, simple country life. Author of six published books, not including her various other writings. She is still entertaining us til this day thanks to her novels Sense and Sensibility (1811), Pride and Prejudice (1813), Mansfield Park (1814), Emma (1916), Northanger Abbey (1818), and Persuasion (1818).

Quick Fact: The Hanoverian Kings George I, George II, George III, and George IV were the German Royal house in which inspired the Georgian era period's name.

The Chestnuts of Cuneo are delicious. That night when the guests had left on a gleeful note, the family of the locale were so kind to give me a sack full of chestnuts to take home along with me. May I say it was a fine gift indeed. I adore chestnuts very much. If you happen to be in Italy at this time, make sure to buy hot caldarroste at one of the many stands that you are likely find in your town or city. Chestnuts are perfect to eat in the park, while falling leaves takes the place of falling stars. For people like myself that might find themselfves with little time on their hands. They are perfect to throw into boiling water for fifteen minutes to then peel, and eat. I have never been to Cuneo though, and while looking at the map I can not help notice that it is close to Liguria. Liguria is beautiful.

 

The Friendly Castle of Moncalieri.

South east of Turin within the region of Piedmont lies a little town called Moncalieri. It is a  pleasant place, also being quite peaceful, and silent this past Saturday on the day I visited. The locale not residing too far from Turin, it is easily accessible by train. The faire also being exceedingly cheap. It did not tax my pockets, not one bit. With various boutiques, bars, and libraries along the way of the main street I headed through the borgo. That day’s visit was directed to what is considered the location’s most famous jewel; The Castello of Moncalieri. I was suprised by the extreme politeness, and furthermore patience of the habitants that made sure to help me along, while guiding me towards the castel. A young habitant’s proof of patience was constantly tested as I stopped to take pictures throughhout the way.  The Piazzetta Vittorio Emanuele II, an elegantly humble square was luminous, and clean with many humble bars to stop at to enjoy an aperitif. The few locals who seemed to be out, and about that day, sat infront of the bar of their choice living graciously in a collected, slow manner. While being pointed out to the various sights, at the corner of the same square there was the Church of San Francesco whose origins date back to a preceding chapel of the 12th century.

Entering a novel is like going on a climb in the mountains: You have to learn the rhythms of respiration – acquire the pace. Otherwise you stop right away.– Umberto Eco

Il Castello di Moncalieri.

  The structure, overtowering the  city for it’s historical fame and  importance is listed within UNESCO’s Lists of Intangible Cultral Heritage. It was the residency of The Royal House of Savoy. It’s an important structure part of the various Sabaude residences,  situated within and on the outskirts of Turin. It is one of the many of the 22 Sabaude constructions to testimony Italy’s monarchic past, a time that preceded the Italian Institutional Referendum of 1946. Built by Tommaso I of the Savoy in the 11th century, the spot  was a strategic one acting as an entrance that looked over the passage of the south of Turin. Under the power of Iolanda di Valois, the daugther of Carlo VII of France the castle became a Villa Di Delizia. The Villas of Delight, were homes of leisure in which nobles went to spend their free time. She along with other historical figures had shared their prescence in the Castle of Moncalieri. The castle went through many architectual work, fountains, and gardens were also then added. Vittorio Emanuele II, also known as Vittorio Emanuele Maria Alberto Eugenio Ferdinando Tommaso di Savoia loved the location, making the castle the perfect study for his children. Currently the castle became a caserma for carabinieri. Today the castle with plenty of stories to tell, is also an museum which is open to the public.

Rivetti, the pastry shop.

In Moncalieri the Pasticcieria Rivetti is much adored by the locals. It was more than once I have been hinted that it is the place to visit, It is a traditional pastry shop with many selections of teas, hot chocolate, and pastries. It is any “old timer’s” perfect place.  Situated in a building of two floors on Via San Martino, the atmosphere recalls a time of a distant past. Untouched, by the trends of today’s era. It was a little paradise for anyone who is searching for a Piccolo Mondo Antico. I asked for a pot of white tea, to go along with a couple of butter cookies that where indeed delicious! Unfortunately though I could not stay long, so as I wandered back to the train station to head towards Turin. I made sure to stop to have a glass of Franciacorta, along with a selection of cheese paired with cold-cuts.

Franciacorta is a delightful sparkling wine, that derives from the region of Lombardy in the small area of Franciacorta, near Brescia. It being similar to the Champagne, the quality is seperb. The bottle must be of DOCG, which is the lable that proves that the wine is the highest level of Italian wine classification.

Les Guerre Des Boutons of Louis Pergaud

This book is new to me. I have found it one evening in a library as I searched for a French book to read. Hidden between various books of various languages. In that precise Italian bookshop did not have a many French books on hand. Tha majority of books were  in English, and obviously Italian. I did however found Les Guerre Des Boutons which in English is translated into The War of Buttons. Written by the French author, and poet Lois Pergaud. Published in 1912, within the first years of Modernisim, the book talks about two children gangs fighting for glory.  Adapted into script for five different movies. The victims that fell prey, being held hostage, and then finding themselfves without their buttons. Funny, and light this story is perfect as a family story. My copy, not being true to the novel’s original, is a copy by Lang Edizioni adapted to teach French through a cartoon illustrations.  While describing the fight between Les Longevernes, and Velrans I am able to learn this language while following the images of the cartoon contained inside. Teaching me the phrases like “Marie a les cheveux blonds.”, and ‘La craie? Pour quoi faire?‘. This way I am able to learn this language as I listen to Serge Gainsbourg day dreaming happily, like a  happy woman should.

Read Jane Austen’s Books Under an Oak Tree, and then Make Soup.

Fragmenti di vita:

Quite to the contrary of my usual habit to travel, this weekend I have choosen to stay within the comforts of home. Outside, the weather slowly turns pages as we become closer within the deeps of Autumn. With cabbage soup simmering on the stove top, along the constant boiling of water for tea, quiet ponderings come easily. I find there is always a reason to feel uplifted when there is constant food in the making. This being said, who could refuse to love the natural attitudes that pertains to this time of year? Certainly not myself. Pumpkin, spices, and the warmth of an Autumn’s palette is a fine luxury.

Daily, I find myself wandering to visit the park to take part of the scenery. Despite the Autumn tone being different from that of Summer it does not seem to loose its essence  amognst the changes. If one needs a quick fix for relaxation, go outside, and take a breathe. The wind slightly tinged of a crisp sensation, stirred along with the leaves is restorative, and calming. Any person could not help but feel protected, and reassured by such a plant. Even the birds, if have not left to find a warmer climate, can not help but build their nests amognst the branches.

Try to forget what objects you have before you – a tree, a house, a field, or whatever. Merely think, ‘Here is a little square of blue, here an oblong of pink, here a streak of yellow,’ and paint it just as it looks to you, the exact color and shape, until it gives you your own impression of the scene before you. -Claude Monet

Quercus pubescens, the oak tree.

A common species of Oak found across Italy is the Roverella, also known as the Quercus pubescens. This particular species easily found in Europe, and the Caucasus; has a high adaptability to poor enviroments. Being a plant able strive in many different extremes of temperatures from hot to cold, this Fagaceae is cultivated in parts of Asia, and the United States. Highly resistant also to the the ignorance of man’s wrong doing, it is a plant that has a strong endurance against fires be that of man or not. With a life range able to to reach up to 1000 years, it blooms around the period of Spring, During the Autumn months little acorns appear. The acorns adored by squirrels, pigs, and people like myself who just enjoy looking at them are considered a sweet meal for critters. Strength, endurance, and courage are words that come into mind in the prescence of a oak tree. In the Roman Republic the corona civica made out of oak leaves was an important prize for acts of military bravery. Studies say that the earth’s surface is negatively charged, constantly producing a helpful antioxidant. I am not suprised! When one is immersed within nature, especially in close contact to the grass he/she is able to feel de-stressing effects on the nervous system.

The Olive Tree, Oak, and the Pinus Pinea:

The trees that best describes the general flora of the Italian peninsula would definitely be the above stated. You are able to find these species of trees throughout Italy. The olive tree, and the pine both cultivated to bear edible fruits. Many are the traditional Italian dishes that contain these ingredients. Pine nuts are also well-known for the pesto alla genovese, a fresh basil based pasta sauce not in season in this part of the year. So forget it! The pinus pinea, known by it’s second name the stone pine is also an important component of the aesthetics of the Italian scenery. Many planted near the Appia Antica in the city of Rome it has the capacity to elicit feelings of wonder, grounding the person to the imagery of the past. Towering high the long limb of this tree is tall enough to be noticed from afar. The stone tree’s humble prescence is impossible to be overlooked.

If I wanted to be similar to the ironic manner of Italians, I can say there are many things one could do under trees! I on the other hand, despite being half Italian myself  I stick to what my friends consider to be my ‘old victorian ways’ and stay away from the subjects pertaining to the birds, and the bees on this blog. Instead, I rather delve in what I consider to be my favorite book of all time. It is a book that every woman had the pleasure to read and that is Pride and Prejudice by the author Jane Austen. Believe me, when I say that there is not a better book I have read! Ever since I was a child I have read this book many times and watched all the movies. The story of Elizabeth Bennet and her intriging interactions with the ambiguous, handsome Mr. Darcy can not help but  stir my childlike nature within making me blush for the sincerity, and the innocence of their ways.  Any woman would lie if they say they are not moved by this story, and if a man dislikes it he might aswell not be ready to explore the realms of love. This book in the perfect setting is the best escape when I feel bound. To read this book under the trees is delightful . What moves me the most about this book is it’s simplicity compared to today’s ways amognst people. I wonder what would Jane Austen would think is she knew that her book published in the year of 1813, ploted in the Regency era would still move women like myself even til this day.

Even if the weather is getting colder reading under a tree is so relaxing! Especially when reading a classic. Make sure though to remember to stay safe! Wear warm attire, and a good jacket to prevent yourself from getting sick! The flu is not fun!

Check out Austen’s Emma, and Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights. These books are well-known, and famous for a reason! To be truthful it would be odd if you have not heard of these books before.

“I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of any thing than of a book! — When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library.”
― Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

All this writing made me hungry.

A Recipe for Hearty Soup.

Soup best represents the collective idea of home and comfort. A hearty brew slowly simmering on the stove stop can be the perfect unifying detail that brings families, and friends together for moments of exchange. Even for the lone wolfves, a flavorsome meal like that of soup is perfect to help uplift an atmosphere that would rather be cold and empty without. Various earthy vegetables are in  season in Italy. Savoy cabbage, cauliflower, pumpkins and carrots are in line with the season.  The above being said, let me guide you to my rustic, spontaneous version of the soup that I make. No need to be a expert, just yourself, and your own curiosity of doing things naturally. Below is a soup whose portion is for a size of a humble family, or for a single person like myself.

Practice makes perfect. No counting is really needed here, this recipe is here to inspire you to sometimes forget the guideline, and create things on your own based on your personal preferences. Do you like Savoy cabbage? Add an extra one! Do you dislike carrots leave them out! Are you not vegetarian? Add chicken instead of pre-made stock. 

Ingredients: 

1 savoy cabbage

1 cauliflower

A half of a pumpkin

2 onions (because I love onions)

2 carrots

A celery branch

Olive oil, pepper, salt

Add olive oil in a stock pot. Then on a low/medium heat have the oil sizzle along with diced carrots, celery, and onions. Keep a lid on top while for about ten minutes the vegetables become soft. It is important to keep the heat not too high to prevent that the vegetables do not burn. It is prefered that the vegetables are sliced thinly beforehand. Be yourself make sure that you learn by slicing the vegatables the best way possible to fit your criteria. In the meantime as the vegetables cook, prepare the others! Wash the cabbage, the cauliflower, and along with the pumpkin slice them up in nice thick pieces (this is my preference). Then slowly add the vegetables in along the ones that have been already on the stove top. Slowly add broth if you have it. I personally add chicken and the perfect amount of water that will not cause the soup to become too thin. Add a nice spoonfull of salt. Allow the cooking soup to boil before setting it to a medium/low heat,. Alow the concauction to cook cook slowly for many hours straight.

If you have spices on hand add them in! I usually do a blend that change based by whatever there is in the kitchen. Remember pepper and parmigiano reggiano is a must! Serve with warm rye bread in company of friends.

He who distinguishes the true savor of his food can never be a glutton; he who does not cannot be otherwise.

Henry David Thoreau
Italian Vegetables Vocabulary 101:        (A quick note for you.)

 Verza: savoy cabbage

 Cavolfiore: cauliflower

 Zucca: pumpkin

 Cipolla: onion

 Carota: carrot

 Sedano: celery 

Romanesco, and Siddhartha: A Post on Two Subjects.

 

“Happiness is a how, not a what. A talent, not an object.”
― Hermann Hesse

The book Siddhartha published in 1922, is a book that does not deserve criticism of any form. It is a book that is needed to be read to grasp on to the many messages the writer Hermann Hesse had instored:

 Siddhartha, the main character, was a man  that decides to leave his father to become a wandering Śramaṇa, a monk. In a curious quest to obtain the understanding of wisdom, he, along with his dear  friend Govinda, it does not take long for them to become homeless living without possessions. Guided through his calm and seemignly contained restlessness, he founds himself within the depths of the rags of poverty which from his prespective was not so. This strong man of the name Siddharta, unlike Gondiva decided not to follow the doctrines. Wandering, guided by his interactions of four main characters; the books story reveals a persona of most determained kind. Looking at the various aspects of himself, along with his inner desires that emerges throughout his journey, through Kamala, the courtesan, Kamaswami, the merchant, and Vasudeva the ferryman; they are part of  the three important chapters of Siddharta’s life journey. Thanks to his beloved Kamala, the mother of his son he finds himself reconciling with his own father after many years of life’s strife. Observing the action of his son, recognizing his own ways he then understand hidden truths about his own nature. Showing us that knowledge can be communicated, but not wisdom.

“Knowledge can be communicated, but not wisdom. One can find it, live it, do wonders through it, but one cannot communicate and teach it.” 
― Hermann Hesse in Siddhartha

(My book’s scheda: Adelphi Edizioni.)

Scialla!

It is important to know Romanesco, “especially” if one is highly cultured in need to show off vast knowledge. This specific dialect, takes part of the dialetti mediani, a family of dialects deriving from various central regions of Italy. Romanesco being connected closely to that of Florence. The 1527’s sacking of Rome, and seige placed by the Holy Roman Empire was an event that highly affected the imigration of Fiorentini to Rome. The dialect of medieval Rome is also said to be closer to that of Neapolitan. The form of Romanesco remaining close to its medieval version was still able to remain uninfluenced up intel the early 1800s within the Rome’s Jewish quarters called the Ghetto di Roma. 

Scialla is ‘Calm down!’ in Romanesco style.

Romanesco has the characteristic of being highly expressive, spontaneous, with a vast amount of evocative words. Some words that are considered  offensive, and crude take a grand role in the passionate ways of the people of this city. Fernando Ravaro, the author of La Lingua De Noantri. Elementi Di Grammatica Romanesca, created a dictionary that holds more than 11.000 entries and 18.000 quotes dedicated to this language. The Volume A – H copy published by Newton Compton Editors in 1994 is of 334 pages in which you can look up many words of all meanings. On page 268, under the letter F there is Fà as a definition. Translated directly from the book:

– To Do. From Latin facere. Is one of the most common verbs of Romenesco, in which it assumes various meanings, taking the place many verbs  the indicate a specific action. In particular it is used to replace “” e in that case, it is most likely that the verb “dire” in latin, along with dicere has the same synonym of fari.

.. Fà a la romana, to pay  a bill collectively by dividing it into equal parts between the participants, respecting the quantity of what everyone has consumed.

Fà la bocca, to anticipate the pleasure, and joy that is about to become true.

Fà la carzetta, to knit with needles, or to do crochet, it was the occupation of the majority of the women dedicated most of their freetime in the distant past.

Fà is a word that you will hear often in Rome by the locals.

The Roman Sonnets of Giuseppe Gioachino Belli, and The Stornelli of Ettore Petrolini.

It is obvious that Rome is immersed in culture, with a history that will forever inspire future generations to come. Along side this city, many people shared the traditions contribuiting their own works for humanity to remember. Two famous individuals are Giuseppe Gioachino Belli, and Ettore Petrolini. Petrolini is the author of the historic Roman song “Tante Pe’ Canta” composed in the year 1932 along the lyrics of Alberto Simeoni. This man, ever since childhood he did not enjoyed going to school and working. Being the 6th child of a severe father, he focused his attention to the theatrical life already starting from a young age. At 15 years old sent to Alessandra (IT) tortured in a riformatory for hurting a friend. After that horrible experience he then decides to leave his family to start working in theater.

Belli on the other hand, born in the year 1971 came from a generation far older than that of Petrolini. This poet’s works are examples of Romanesco in its highest of forms, and only he who knows the dialect is able to get an true idea of the meaning. To show how proud the city of Rome is of this man. A statue of this poet was placed in 1910 infront of Ponte Garibaldi, in one of the squares within today’s lovely Trastevere. Belli also had travelled across Italy in various places from Venice, to Naples and so on he came into contact with various types letterature in the intellectual realms of Illuminisim, and Romanticisim creating many works. You can read many of his sonnets within I Sonetti Romaneschi, which is a vast collection, and/or the 73 Biblical themed sonnets translated by the writer Anthony Burgess, the author of Clockwork Orange.

Leggo anche dei libri, molti libri: ma ci imparo meno che dalla vita. Un solo libro mi ha molto insegnato: il vocabolario. Oh, il vocabolario, lo adoro. Ma adoro anche la strada, ben più meraviglioso vocabolario.- Ettore Petrolini

Planning on visiting Rome? Just for your information:

-Trastevere is beautiful especially during the quietest hours. 

-I always pass by the Roman Ghetto for my favorite Jewish Pizza from the Pasticceria il Boccione.
Note: I love this sweet.

-Other great places are Rione Monti, Largo Argentina, and Piazza di Spagna! When in Rome put these places on your list!

 

Thanks for the patience everyone. Autumn has inspired me to slow my pace and rest.

 

Rice is delicious in Novara Italy.

 

Novara is above the water, admist grains of Rice.

– My silly quote of the day.

In Italy within the region of Piedmont there is a place to visit! It is Novara! Perfectly situated between the cities of Milan and Turin it is a quick trip by train from any two of these locations. Novara is distinguished for the production of rice, along with the habitant’s traditional frog dishes. That they love. It is a humble place in where today’s locals seems to rejoice because of the many festive events that are organized throughout the year.

The city of Novara’s history is a complicated one, invaded by Roman Legions that had arrived from Mediolanum (today’s Milan) around about 222 B.C. The legions took over the area from the Celtic past in which the city was founded on. Novara’s ancestors deriving from various populations like the Gauls Vertocomacori, and the Levi in a far away distant time was a place devouted to Greek cults. The occupatation of the Longobards in the late 500 Anno Domini influenced the religious culture of the place as it begain to adopt Christianity. The patron Saint, is still respected today by the locals in the Basilica di San Gaudenzio. The Basilica di San Gaudenzio was constructed in 1577 under the orders of Carlo V. The Dome of this church is 121 meters high, and is said to not have been ever truely finished intel the year of 1888. Throughout the centuries the place had went through alot of conflicts, sacked by Atilla the Hun, gone under the dominion of the  the Visconti, and been taken under Spanish control in 1600. The vast moments of history does not stop there. At one point this city was also a gift to Bona di Savoia, the wife of the duca Galeazzo Maria Sforza, to celebrate the birth of the their son named Gian in 1469.

Thankfully, gifts are still being made today at various ranges of price. – Me

If you are someone like myself, who does not spend much time behind the Tripadvisor, and so on. Be old fashioned, ask for advice as you sight-see. For sure someone will tell you to check out the the Castello Visconteo, or the Duomo Di Novara along with many other places to visit.

 

Thank you everyone who has patience with me with these late posts.

 

Giorgio Colli’s Greek Wisdom.

La Sapienza Greca I is the first book of three that was written.

Dioniso – Apollo – Eleusi – Orfeo – Museo – Iperborei – Enigma

Apollo, the adored God of Delfi and Delo, was the most honored of the ancient Greeks. He being the child of Leto, and Zeus. His Greek twin is Artemeide, the chaste goddess of hunt. His plant is laurel representing his solar nature. Apollo the divinity of music, truth, and poetry is one of the many interesting divinities that are the heart of this collection. Divided in various sections, the book takes into consideration various pieces of ancient texts to help its readers to get a better understanding of what Colli reveals to be the essentials behind the various cults. Paying attention while emphasising on the interiority of Dionysos and the exteriority of Apollo; through this book we are able to get a better understanding of a world so far from that of today whoes science we still bring forth. There are many names like Homer, Proclo, and also Pindar the optimistic greek poet of Thebes whoes quotes you will find in this collection. Despite Colli’s attentive choice of choosing fragments of texts easy for his readers to understand, you still might find yourself reading the book a couple of times just to get a better idea of the vast subject. A subject that I adore.

A quote from Athenaeus:

In general the ancient wisdom of the Greeks seem to be connected to the music. For this reason they would judge that the most musical, and the most wise of the gods was Apollo, and from the semi-gods Orpheus.

The Author:

Giorgio Colli was a Italian philologist, philosopher, and historian. Born in Turin Italy within the year 1917. He was also a professor of the University of Pisa teaching History of Ancient Philosophy. Obtaining a degree in Law in 1939, he made sure to focus continuing studying about the topic of his passion deciding to write his thesis on Political philosophy. Leaving a legacy of vast contribuitions, his interests in Schopenhauer, and Nietzsche gave him food for thought for many of his works. One in which they say to be his most important writings is the 1969, Filosofia dell’espressione.

 Io preferisco accogliere la contraddittorietà come documentazione di un personaggio inafferrabile. – Giorgio Colli

(My Book’s Scheda: Giorgio Colli, La Sapienza Greca I, Gli Adelphi)

La Paglietta: A Trip to Florence in Rilke’s Company.

 

“If only it were possible for us to see farther than our knowledge reaches, and even a little beyond the outworks of our presentiment, perhaps we would bear our sadnesses with greater trust than we have in our joys.”
― Rainer Maria Rilke

In Florence, it is impossible not to rejoice, and at the same time feel candidly defeated by how little I knew of the place! Every single alley and square brought to light many things to discover. The trip was a delightful adventure. No wonder why everyone loves the place! The capital of Tuscany, eminent for its historical importance, it was the ambiguous setting of the lives of many men; Dante Alighieri, Filippo Brunelleschi, and Michelangelo Buonarotti, along with many others, are just a few masters that we all know of.

This past Saturday, I had Elegie Duinesi at my side, a collection of lyrics written by the Bohemian-Austrian poet named Rainer Maria Rilke. After having read a couple of verses,  I admit I did had difficulty understanding what was being expressed in his writing. Yet, the perceived meaning of his work could not help but become uplifted to another level of comprehension by the warm atmosphere of that day. Little did I know, Rilke had also lived in various parts of Italy. He made Florence his “home” for little more than a month, writing a diary of his own stay called: the Diario Fiorentino, a diary written for his beloved.

During the quick visit to Florence, I met a dear friend of mine that I had not seen for more than a year. It was so much fun. It felt as if we had never lost sight of one another; we chatted with the same tenacity of spring birds. Like little children, we boasted the silliness of our ways, eating non-stop all the food we put our hands on.  ❤

“But there is much beauty here, because there is much beauty everywhere.”
― Rainer Maria Rilke

La Pagliette

That same day I would found myself attracted to a shop, my attention drawn in by a straw hat called the Pagliette. The Pagliette, is an important accessory that is part of Italy’s heritage. It is said that it is a symbol of Tuscany’s important straw industry dating back to the 1600s. Logic would have refrained me from buying such a hat, but when the sales clerk brought up the names of Renoir, and Manet to bribe me, I could not help but buy it. A woman needs to spoil herself, and only with the best of things. It is so funny though so many people stopped me throughout the trip to ask me about this hat. Some pointed out it was too big for my head. True. Others told me it was for men. That is also true. It moved around, along with each of my head movements, and it indeed look too big. Not a problem. I wore it anyways, and could not help but feel oddly hip. I will buy a simple black dress to go along with it when I will go to Monte Carlo.