Thursday Doors 2017

While I didn’t quite squeak out a full year of doors, I was still lucky enough to be introduced to Norm’s Thursday Doors challenge by my magnificent friend (and Italy compadre) Manja. Many of the doors, not surprisingly, were ones I strolled by, entered, or just plain adored whilst in my Italy travels this past summer. It’s a challenge to keep my post brief, so I’ll have to dig not so deep to try to pick my ultimate favs.

Closer to home – well, kind of! Seems these doors actually span coast to coast 🙂

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Thursday Doors September 21: Summer Wanes…

We headed to the weekly grower’s market again this past weekend, having been really fortunate with great weather during this changing of the seasons. And once again, taking it on foot as opposed to tooling around in my car makes it alllllll a new adventure.

I open with, of all things, a gelateria! Yes, Manja Mexi Movie, it’s here in my (almost) back yard waiting for you! Though I’ve not tried it, I’m told the owner is from Italy and knows his gelato! I’ll keep you posted if it’s legit 🙂

For this week’s doors challenge.

As we ended at the market, I photographed the yummy local fruits and veggies that I bought (but no, not the dogs!)

 

Please – ignore the sign and enter!

If there’s one thing that Italy does to a person who’s just visiting for the first time (most likely every time), it’s that She leaves you utterly salivating for more. Please, just a few more days to explore and enjoy and bask in that Italy glow.

Even something as simple – and charming – as French artist Clet Abraham’s hacked street signs, scattered across the streets in Florence… that sort of thing will do it to you. And while I saw many in my Firenze travels, I found after coming home and perusing the internet, that there were many, many more whimsical (and not-so whimsical) quirky artsy signs, not only in Florence, but all over the globe.

You can read a super interesting interview of Clet here. And, check out the ones I was able to capture in my travels, below.

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Our fav gelateria in Florence – Grom – happened to help me find this sign.

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I only recently noticed the second sign 🙂

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I spy keys, too.

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Exploring the fringe of Rome with new friends

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Emily, Me, Manja and Marco (Shawn behind the camera). Can you tell we loved our gelato? Marco is the only one taking his time 🙂

Who’d have thought we’d get the royal treatment from two people we’d never met in person? And yet, here were Manja and Marco (now our good friends, I should add) spending a delightful day by driving us all around to some off the beaten path, and amazing, sites in Rome.

First up was the Protestant, or Non-Catholic, cemetery (“Cimitero Acattolico”)…

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The “Angel of Grief” is an 1894 sculpture by William Wetmore Story which serves as the grave stone of the artist and his wife.
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John Keats is one of the more well-known people buried here, though his tombstone, paired with this nearby plaque, is a riddle that requires both to identify him.
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Very lush with trees, shrubs, flowers; tiered with eclectic nooks and crannies all around the grave sites.

 

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The cemetery is also a cat sanctuary.

After the cemetery, Marco using his mad Rome driving skills, we headed for Gianicolo Hill, as every day at noon a cannon fires. We didn’t make it in time, so instead went to Basilica of St Paul Outside the Walls. The 25 or so churches we saw were phenomenal – there are more than 900 in Rome alone!

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Girls with cameras rock!
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Entering St Paul’s thru a gorgeous, massive marble columned walkway.
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The Basilica, built around the 4th century AD (finished ~1800)
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Small font – most baptismal fonts we saw were large and elaborate.
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Beautiful art and architecture.
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Basilica selfies 😉

I almost forgot – the most important highlight of the day (and every day): FOOD!

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We ate at a yummy Sicilian restaurant (serious dining here, can’t you tell), Marco’s work lunch digs!
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And conveniently, where we ate lunch was a pasticceria too (pastry shop!)
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Macchiato.  I broke the golden rule of having milk in my coffee in the afternoon. It’s all about digestion in Italy (espresso/alcohol after a meal)  Aside from a cappuccino or the like at breakfast, it’s espresso or bust after that! Also, there is a very clear reason why Starbucks doesn’t exist in Italy.  I’ll speak more about Italian coffee in a future post, as it clearly deserves its own accolades!
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Granita for Emily and me – Shawn – fancy iced coffee I think!
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Chillin’ with the best world travelers one could find.
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We ate gelato. Oh, did we eat gelato. But walking 7-10 miles a day warranted it!
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We finished a long and awesome day with pizza. It was delish!