Monday, September 1, 2014

Riding the vaporetto in Venice, Italy

Summer in Venice, a ride along the Grand Canal. What you cannot sense from this video is the soft quality of the air in Venice. Beautiful and dreamy, regardless of crying babies and people elbowing you right and left just to get a view. No complaints from me!

The two o'clock bells at Santa Maria della Grazie, Milan




Sunday, August 24, 2014

Caoria, Italy - the last village in the Tyrol, and the place where my Nonna grew up

Caoria is a tiny village in northern Italy, surrounded by very high mountains. The tradition there was to share goat-herding duties - one person, often a young boy or girl, whose job it was to take everyone's goat's up the mountain to feed. This was Nonna's job as a young girl. The streets here are very narrow, once you get off the main road. So narrow, in fact that they're little more than alley ways or gutters between houses. The houses are very close together and there is no apparent grid to their arrangement. Some of the houses, like my grandmother's family's (the Sperandio's), are 500 years old. We went looking for her house.








The local is for sale.











At first, I took pictures of every house in the village, knowing that one of them was my grandmother's. It turns out that it was this one, with the scaffolding. A distant cousin, Bruno Sperandio, was renovating it. For sale, I think.














We ate lunch in this one and only restaurant in town. The waitress was a Sperandio. She told my cousin where we might find the Sperandio house.

So we went back to the house with the scaffolding. It's this one. I wish I could buy it.


One photo looking into the first floor. Did Nonna walk down this hallway on her way out the door? 


But then, maybe I could live here, instead. A gorgeous multi-family house in the vernacular architecture of the region.











Rocks with bright orange minerals - iron? - in the Vanoi River, which runs along the edge of the village




The road leading up to the cemetery
The cemetery, which holds a lot of town history

and a multitude of Sperandios who are at rest here.

And the road leading away from the cemetery. Goodbye to Caoria.