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Buon anno da Sorrento!

I just came inside at 12:40 AM and the fireworks are still going in the Bay of Naples. People had been shooting off fireworks everywhere we went today, but starting at midnight, there was a sudden swell of noise; for a moment I thought that I was in a war zone. We were walking home from a wonderful dinner in the center of Sorrento when the festivities started. We rushed back to our bed and breakfast where there was a hill overlooking the bay. From there we had a 360-degree view of the most amazing fireworks display I have ever seen. In Italy, anyone can buy fireworks, and so everyone does. Our own bed and breakfast proprietor climbed up onto our rooftop and set off some impressive fireworks. I didn’t even have time to take pictures because I was too busy watching the spectacle. The city of Naples looked like it was under attack. The sheer number of fireworks being shot from rooftops there was incredible. The city was alight with brilliant splashes of color. It didn’t take long for the air to become thick with smoke and the smell of gunpowder. For ten, twenty, thirty minutes we stood outside in the cold, stunned by what was before us. Even now, as I write this blog, there are still fireworks being set off. We had seen fireworks before on New Year Eve, but none like this. It was a New Years celebration that will be hard to beat—and impossible to forget.

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Vivo con una celebrità!! Wilma was featured tonight on the Italian version of ‘House Hunters.’ She was showing her daughter’s apartment for her. So now you all know what my Italian mamma looks like… And guess what… She’s famous!!

Vivo con una celebrità!! Wilma was featured tonight on the Italian version of ‘House Hunters.’ She was showing her daughter’s apartment for her. So now you all know what my Italian mamma looks like… And guess what… She’s famous!!

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Only in Italy…

Would a mother of two stroll her kids around wearing platform stiletto boots.

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What’s better than Captain Crunch? Captain Crunch with Nutella inside!!! I love Italy!!!

What’s better than Captain Crunch? Captain Crunch with Nutella inside!!! I love Italy!!!

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Negative Scans Pt. 2


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Scan Pt. 1

Finally got a chance to scan some negatives! Made me want a film scanner really badly!!

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Lucca pt. 2

One of the other notable features of Lucca is its circular Piazza dell’Anfiteatro. It is an interesting little piazza that has houses and dining, etc. We went inside San Michele in Foro for a little bit, but it was a little too dark to see anything very clearly. I bought the customary Luccan specialty, Buccellato, a raisin loaf with a flavor of anise, for Wilma. 

As we were wandering Lucca, searching for a recommended gelateria, we stumbled upon a foosball tournament. You can’t make this stuff up, people! There were trophies and everything. I was quite entertained watching everyone play. There was an extra long table that had five or six people on each side. That one was complete chaos.

In all, Lucca was a great trip. We didn’t make it to the Palazzo Pfanner or the Casa Natale di Puccini, but what we made it to was very interesting and refreshing, compared to the touristy places in Florence. What a great day!

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Lucca Pt. 1

Today I visited the small town of Lucca. It was charmingly small and uncrowded, something that I never realized how much I would appreciate until I lived in a city that has troppo turisti. It was an hour-and-a-half train ride to Lucca from Florence—not bad. The first photo is of the Duomo di San Martino. The interior of the church was beautiful, with lovely frescoed, vaulted ceilings and intricate marble floors. Unfortunately, photography was prohibited inside the church. Housed within the cathedral is the sarcophagus of Ilaria del Caretto. It is topped with a sculpture of Ilaria, laying as if asleep, with a dog at her feet. The dog is supposed to represent fidelity. If you rub the dog’s head you are supposed to have good luck in marriage. Unfortunately, due to recent vandalism on such important works as the David, the sculpture is now surrounded by a fence and we could not reach the dog. We still pretended to pet it, and hopefully the 2 euros we paid to see the statue will be enough to buy us some good luck of our own.

Besides the church, we climbed two towers. Torre Guinigi, which is topped by several trees, and Torre delle Ore, which to this day is functioning as a clock (and still has its original staircase). The view from the top of Torre Guinigi was absolutely stunning from every angle. You have a great view of the entire city, as well as the mountains and surrounding countryside. It is very peaceful to sit in the shade of the trees and look out upon Lucca. You could also very successfully spy on your neighbors from the tower, if you lived nearby—you can see onto everyone’s patio. Torre delle Ore was not quite as impressive at the top, though we might have simply been jaded to the view by standing atop Torre Guinigi for so long. Still, it was entertaining (terrifying) to climb the original staircase of the tower. We also got to see the inner mechanisms of the clock, which was cool. It WAS a good vantage point from which to take photos of Torre Guinigi.

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Why yes, that IS the original David! It is truly stunning. The guide was talking about it, so I didn’t really get to focus on it completely. Once there are less tourists, I’ll go spend a day just staring at it and the other five works-in-progress that the museum has. I am once again in awe if Michelangelo.

Why yes, that IS the original David! It is truly stunning. The guide was talking about it, so I didn’t really get to focus on it completely. Once there are less tourists, I’ll go spend a day just staring at it and the other five works-in-progress that the museum has. I am once again in awe if Michelangelo.