Thursday, September 30, 2010

Italian Mailbox

This was a first.  I've never seen anything like it before or since.  We were in a quaint town in Tuscany, Barberino, when I noticed all these unique mailboxes.  No two were alike and all were made from clay.  We tried to find out where they were made but no luck.  Guess I'll just have to learn to make it if I want one.  Shouldn't be too difficult. 

"Italian Mailbox"   © Kathy Dunham 2010

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Fiat Traffic Jam

Horns were honking and no one was moving.  It was quite a scene to see this mass of little Fiats in Siena, Italy just outside the Cathedral.  I think they were having a rally and in short order everyone moved on.

"Fiat Traffic Jam"    © Kathy Dunham 2010

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Another Use for Pasta

When you get tired of cooking your pasta you could string it and make curtains for your windows.  Or garlands for the Christmas tree. 

"Another Use for Pasta"    © Kathy Dunham 2010

Monday, September 27, 2010

Old Wine

One of the bottles says 1984, but the dust looks like it's been there longer than that.  I don't think the wine could be any good, stored in an upright position, the cork must be all dried out. 

"Old Wine"    © Kathy Dunham 2010

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Cherub Ornament

The gondolas in Venice have a number of highly polished brass decorations intended to make one boat look better than another.  This little cherub was happily tooting his horn late in the day, hence the orange reflections in the water from a nearby building. 

"Cherub Ornament"      © Kathy Dunham 2010

Friday, September 24, 2010

Where Gondolas Rest

Early morning is quiet and peaceful in Venice. There's a little activity, vendors delivering their goods, but the gondolas are still asleep, waiting for the rush of tourists who want to see the city from the water.

“Where Gondolas Rest”    © Kathy Dunham 2010

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Lunch at the Gritti Palace

It was a special treat. But being in Venice is totally awesome and having lunch at the Gritti Palace Hotel on a beautiful, warm, sunny day with a view across the Grand Canal to the Maria della Salute was indeed one of the best.

“Lunch at the Gritti Palace”    © Kathy Dunham 2010

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Venetian Gondoliers

Nothing is more typically Venetian than gondoliers in striped shirts and straw hats. These two are obviously deep in conversation. But today, it seemed that all of them were out giving tourists a ride down the canals.

“Venetian Gondoliers”    © Kathy Dunham 2010

Rialto Bridge at Night

Venice is my most favorite city in the world. The charm, the history and the art are among the many things that endear it to me. The Rialto Bridge, at one time the only crossing of the Grand Canal that bisects this wonderful city, is the one spot everyone wants to take a picture of. I'm lucky, all I have to do is open the doors on my balcony and there it is. Viva Venezia!!

“Rialto Bridge at Night” © Kathy Dunham 2010

Monday, September 20, 2010


Another spectacular day!! So we took the ferry from Vernazza to Portovenere, about an hour away. We stopped at three towns on the way and the view from the sea as you approach is awesome. Portovenere is a large port so there are lots of boats and yachts. Don't you just love the “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous?”

“Portovenere”    © Kathy Dunham 2010

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Monterosso Sunbathers

It was a warm Sunday afternoon and both the tourists and locals were out soaking up the sunshine and working on their tans. After taking the train to Riomagiorre, then walking to Manarola and another train ride to Monterosso, we finished off the day by taking the ferry back to Vernazza. The Cinque Terre is made up of five hillside towns on the western coast of Italy and it's easy to go from one to another by any of these three modes of transport.

“Monterosso Sunbathers”    © Kathy Dunham 2010

Saturday in Vernazza

It was a bit of a hike, but we climbed up the hill, over rocky steps set into the mountainside, to see this view. Along the Cinque Terre is a trail from town to town. Some parts are easy, some are very strenuous. But the views are spectacular. These old seaside towns are full of charm and character.

“Saturday in Vernazza”   © Kathy Dunham 2010

Friday, September 17, 2010

Rainy Day in Vernazza

We were hoping the rain would wait but it didn't. As it turned out, we had a great day taking photos, watching the waves break over the jetty, shopping and of course... eating. The food here is wonderful, but that's another story. As you can see, the fishing boats stayed in the piazza today and provided us some super shots.

“Rainy Day in Vernazza”    © Kathy Dunham 2010

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Vernazza at Night

This quaint seaside town, one of five that make up the Cinque Terre on the western coast of Italy, is quaint, charming and quintessential Italian. Beautiful by day, spectacular by night.

“Vernazza at Night”   © Kathy Dunham 2010

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Arrivederchi Tuscany

Today is our last day in the Tuscan countryside and it was topped off with this beautiful sunset. Tomorrow we stop at Lucca on our way to the Cinque Terre. More adventures to follow.

“Arrivederchi Tuscany”     © Kathy Dunham 2010

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Florentine Skyline

Florence, the city of the Renaissance. Home of Michelangelo and Dante, burial place of Galileo and the above. This is the city of spectacular art. And thanks to the Medici's, art was supported and encouraged. A definite must see for anyone interested in art history and the history of Italy.

“Florentine Skyline”   © Kathy Dunham 2010

Monday, September 13, 2010

Chiesa di Santa Maria

Castello di Monteriggiono is a very small hilltop walled village. It is best known as the heart of the Chianti Classico region. It takes a special grape to make this particular wine, Sangiovese, and what a delight to have with your pasta. This little church, Chiesa di Santa Maria, serves the local inhabitants.

“Chiesa di Santa Maria”   © Kathy Dunham 2010

Sunday, September 12, 2010

In the Contrada

Sienna is comprised of many “Contradas” or neighborhoods. Each with its own flag, colors, costumes and symbol. Twice a year they hold a major horse race known as the Pialo or organized chaotic rivalry between these contradas. It's quite a spectacal held in the Campo or square at the center of town. Today we were able to see one neighborhoods display their pride as they marched through the old town area twirling their banners to the beat of the drummers. Some day I'd love to see the race in person.

“In the Contrada”     © Kathy Dunham 2010

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Tuscan Countryside

The Tuscan countryside looks like a patchwork quilt. Patches of green, rows of vines and olive trees and freshly plowed fields. Add to that the wonderful food and wine and you'll have an experience like no other.

“Tuscan Countryside” © Kathy Dunham 2010

Friday, September 10, 2010

The Towers of San Gimignano

The hilltop town of San Gimignano is known for it's Medieval Towers. To show their wealth, the nobility built bigger and taller towers than their neighbors. May the tallest tower win. At one time there were 70 towers. Now there are only 15 left. Did the wealth vanish with the towers?

“Towers of San Gimignano”     © Kathy Dunham 2010

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Benvenuto in Italia

The Tuscan countryside is a mosaic of wonderful colors. The vineyards, the olive trees, the Italian cypress trees all add to the splendors of the land. We're off on our journey, two weeks in Italy, painting, sketching, photographing and enjoying the gastronomic pleasures that are being offered to us. This view from the plane as we approach the Florence airport gives you an idea what awaits us.

“Benvenuto in Italia” © Kathy Dunham 2010

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


I love the two toned leaves on magnolia trees. Oh yeah, the blossoms aren't too bad either but the rich contrast of the shiny dark green tops against the rust textured bottoms give the leaves a unique back an forth play. 

"Magnolia"    © Kathy Dunham 2010

Monday, September 6, 2010

Summer Canna Lily

The tropical foilage of Canna Lilies and the colorful varieties of the blossoms are good plants for warm summer climates.  They're tall and make a good backdrop in the garden for other flowers.

"Summer Canna Lily"     © Kathy Dunham 2010

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Let's Go To the Fair

I've always loved merry-go-rounds and you can always find one or two at the local county fair.  The faster they go the more fun they are.  Some even have a ring you can grab then toss into a clown's mouth or some such exercise.  Do we ever grow up?

"Let's Go To the Fair"      © Kathy Dunham 2010

Saturday, September 4, 2010


As I remember, the wine was pretty good, but I can assure you that the lunch was fantastic!  There's this little bistro in the town of Tremalot, France that fixes the most awesome food.  And each time I go there I am never disappointed.

"Kameleon"    © Kathy Dunham 2010

Friday, September 3, 2010

How Do I Turn on the Radio?

The old turquoise mining town of Cerrillos, New Mexico, is about as small a town as you can get where there are still people living in it.  Just south of Santa Fe at the beginning of the Turquoise Trail, the back road between Albuquerque and Santa Fe, this town had some innovative residents.  This old radio was perched high in a nook of the outer wall around a house.  There was long extension cord but I don't think there'll be much coming out of this music box. 

"How Do I Turn on the Radio?"    © Kathy Dunham 2010

Thursday, September 2, 2010

But Officer, I Want to go That Way...

Traffic in Italy is always interesting.  These two caribineri are trying to explain why she can't go that way.  I didn't stick around to see who won out. Your best guess is as good as mine.   

'But Officer, I Want to Go That Way"   © Kathy Dunham 2010

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Patriotic Skull

It's nice to see that even cow skulls are pro-American.

"Patriotic Skull"    © Kathy Dunham 2010