Sunrise Over Roma and Piazza San Pietro

Wow! Have you ever seen the Vatican from this perspective? Holy indeed!

Moods of Basilica di San Francesco in Assisi, Italy

Assisi, Italy, originally uploaded by R.o.b.e.r.t.o..

This is a trippy shot I saw today on Flickr. It not only reflects my mood these days — frustrated from working too much and dreaming of being with my family. It also threw me back to my wedding day.

My wife and I got married inside the Basilica of San Francesco not long after all of the scafolding was removed following the 1997 Assisi earthquake.  See photos of Assisi from that time, including this shot of falling frescos and a homage to Assisi after the earthquake.  Here are some of the Fescoes.

We stood next to the brown, ragged robe of San Francesco. What a magical living shrine to love and humanity. Unlike this photo, it was a super sunny, hot day…but cool and refreshing inside beneath the frescoed chiesa.

This photo is pure and moody as the sun goes down and the lights beam on the basilica. Reminds me of the many times we walked down that path. With every step the chiesa grows bigger and more awesome.

Clear Blue Capo Vaticano, Calabria

di sole e d’azzurro, originally uploaded by tribalbob.

This is not a far drive from where our family stays in Pizzo, Calabria. The yellow cactus fruit, clear blue water and dreamy yachts…I gotta get there and bring my camera!

Photo of the Day — Bella Roma!

Angel, originally uploaded by Amundn.

I saw this scoot across my screen thanks to Chirp.  It’s from Castelo Sant’Angelo in Rome.
Today my spirit stirs missing my wife and kids…thinking of all of the families getting together for this special night.
I’m also taking this time to reflect on the Pope’s visit to America. We needed that.

Better Than the Real Thing!

copia24ya, originally uploaded by KenEKaplan.

I see these fruity sweets in windows in every town in southern Italy. Today, my wife is making them herself for the first time. She has the molds, but only “half” molds. If she fuses them together will they look as good as these?

Yellow of Deruta, Italy

Deruta, Italy, originally uploaded by R.o.b.e.r.t.o..

What a majestic photo of a place I’ve seen in real life. My wife took a great ceramics course in Deruta. We visited Deruta together in the late 1990s. A few years later, we got married near Deruta and Perugia…in Assisi inside the Basilica of San Francesco. That was magical and sometimes it all seems like a dream.

VIDEO: Race Down Spiral Streets of Tiriolo, Calabria

In March, on another cultural quest to visit towns throughout Calabria, we went to the top of Tiriolo, which overlooks two seas — the Tyrrhenian to the west and Ionian to the south and east.  Our first stop was at Restaurante Due Mari for a hearty lunch with views of both seas.  Then we used our new, TheFlip video cam (super small, easy to use and makes nice quality) created a video as we raced down the spiral streets down to the piazza, where we had a coffee before visiting the church.  It is a quiet town with beautiful sweeping views and amazing colors.

Here’s a collection of photos.



March Sunset from La Terrazza in Pizzo, Calabria 1

Marzo e pazzo. March is crazy in Italy — spectacular days followed by bluster winds. Misty mornings that stay hazy all day with sun sliding through slivers of cracked gray cloud cover. A sunrise that paints everything yellow from the sea to the cliff hanging old city of Pizzo. It’s about unbridled change and the mystery the moves the cosmos.

In March we leap ahead one hour — now that’s progressive. And March is the birth month some of the craziest, other worldly, creative, spirited, intelligent people I know: my wife, dad, father-in-law…

Then March closes with an uplifting sent of spring, mustard and fruit tree blossoms…and my own birthday.

See more photos of the sun dropping into the Tyrrhenian Sea, while the island of Stromboli slumbers, smoking above the watertop horizon.

Tyrrhenian Sea

Italian Bubbly’s Kyle Phillips recently went to a “presentation of sparkling wines in Viareggio, along the Tuscan coast….there was everything from light, spritzy Prosecco through much more serious, well aged Franciacorta and Champagne.” Below is the list, but here’s Kyle’s commentary.
clipped from

Casale Falchini Metodo Classico Millesimato 2003

Carpen� Malvolti Kerner Brut

Villa Diamant Franciacorta Pas Dos� 2002

Il Calepino Brut Metodo Classico

Tenuta Bonomi Castellini Franciacorta Brut

La Scolca D’Antan 1995

Astoria Prosecco di Valdobbiadene Superiore Di Cartizze 2006

Azienda Agricola Caseo Gran Cuv�e Pas Dos�e 2001

Andreola Orsola Valdobbiadene Prosecco Millesimato Dry 2006

Anteo Metodo Classico Nature

Vazart Coquart Sp�cial Foie Gras Champagne

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Make an Icon Burn with Delight

This is quickly becoming a common figurine in Calabria, Italy, popping up in smal craft shops and supermarket chains. This was shot in the lodge at the beautiful, sacred woods of Santa Maria in Serra San Bruno, Italy.

Serra San Bruno, originally uploaded by KenEKaplan.