29 June 2008
It's time for examinations in Italy. In these days, "maturity exams" are going on: these are the the final examinations in high school, "graduation" exams. In this heat, schools without air conditioning, 18 year old kids have to go through a written essay (6 hours to write it), then a written exam specific for the type of school they attended (for example, Classical Liceum have either a Latin or Greek translation or Scientific Liceum have mathematical problems), a third written test (multiple choice) and finally an oral exam.
Good luck to all students! (My maturity exams have been ... 18 years ago!)
28 June 2008
27 June 2008
One of the very nice things about small and big towns in Italy is that often a building that isn't interesting looking at it from the street front, hides a wonderful and picturesque courtyard and garden. It is fun to walk around and try to get a quick look inside a doorway or a window ...
(This picture is made in Portogruaro)
26 June 2008
25 June 2008
24 June 2008
23 June 2008
On Monday morning, the center of Concordia is packed with stands selling plants, clothes, cheese, shoes, kitchenware and so on: it's the Monday market. Actually it is much more than a marketplace: most of the people strolling by the stands uses the marketplace as an excuse to end up chatting with someone or, better, sitting in uno of the many coffee bars sipping cappuccino and talking about what happened in the past week.
22 June 2008
Summer seems to be here, finally. Today 36°C (96°F) and a beautiful lught blue sky. The town is a desert, everyone is at the seaside (or at home with AC running!). We are enjoying the sun and ... wainting for the peaches to get ripe! (We already ate apricots and cherries from the tree and raspberries from the bushes!)
21 June 2008
The countryside approaching the seaside has many drainage basins. When the rivers and the canals in the inland get too full and the water doesn't flow quick enough into the sea, the damns are opened and the basins get filled with the water in excess, permitting the small towns not to get underwater.
20 June 2008
Toady a picture of the countryside all around Concordia. I like it very much, it makes me feel relaxed and free. It is a very "open" countryside, very flat and all you see are fields and some old beautiful farm houses. Far away you can see mountains, it is quite peculiar that we don't have hills before these mountains: all of a sudden, from extreme flatness, you go high up. Mountains are about 40 km from Concordia, easy to reach. On the other side of the horizon, the Adriatic seaside, about 30 km from us. Easy to reach too.
19 June 2008
18 June 2008
17 June 2008
These three swans in some days are in Portogruaro, in other days they swim - always in a perfect straight line - to Concordia. Swans form a family, mother father and babies and they stay together until each baby is grown up enough to form a family.
(In this picture, the three swans where in Portogruaro)
16 June 2008
These zucchini come directly from my parents' garden. It's only the beginning of the production. And the nicest thing is that ... we ate them all! half of them barbecued (divine!) and the other half in frittelle di zucchine. I'll give you the recipe today.
Frittelle di zucchine
500 gr zucchini
oil seed for frying
1. mix a small amount of flour (about 100 gr) with 3 tablespoons of olive oil, making a sort of cream. Add salt and pepper to it.
2. separate egg white from yolks and whisk egg white till it gets firm
3. wash the zucchini and grate them julienne with their skin
4. dry the zucchini with kitchen paper (pressing a bit so water comes out) and mix them with the flour and oil; then add the yolk and finally the egg white
5. put flour to get to the right texture: it must be soft but firm. If you take a spoon of it, it must not drip down.
6. heat enough oil for deep frying. Drop into the hot oil a tablespoon of the mixture you made (you can put about 4 or 5 spoons) and take out of the oil when the frittelle get light brown.
15 June 2008
14 June 2008
This is the place youngsters in Concordia can meet. It is the Oratorio di Santo Stefano, a place property of the parish where meetings both religious and not are held. Outside there is a big soccer field and a basketball playground. Right now, at the oratorio there is the GREST going on: it is the Gruppo Estivo (roughly Summer Group) that organizes activities for children aged 6 to 15. They are divided in teams and every days they challenge in some kinds of sport activities, dances, singing and so on. This will last till the middle of July.
13 June 2008
12 June 2008
11 June 2008
10 June 2008
09 June 2008
Yesterday in Concordia was the day of Bimbinfesta (roughly celebrating children). All school made an exhibit of their works done all the year round (Saturday was the last day of school for Elementary Schools up to higher classes, while kindergarten ends at the end of June) and the town's major gave prizes to the best works. By the way, my daughter's Kindergarten won the first prize (extra funds for the school) with this motivation: "for the effort and the original ideas and very expert realization of a big project about saving Nature and civil living together".
The very center of Concordia, all around the Cathedral was full of children happily involved in toys market, drawing and painting in the street, clowns theatre, a couple of merry-go-rounds. All offered by the town's council, free of charge for children and parents.
A very nice day. I'll post more about it next days.
08 June 2008
Usually I don't like zoos very much (I don't like the idea of animals in cages). This one is special. It is the zoo of Lignano, a town on the Adriatic coast about 25 km from Concordia.
The Parco Zoo Punta Verde is first of all a research site and its mission is education and instruction. Animals are not in cages but free, in fenced places. For example, monkyes "own" a whole island, free to jump from tree to tree. Crocodiles have many canals and some small ilsands to rest and so on.
07 June 2008
06 June 2008
Directly from my cupboard in the kitchen: being Italian, I could not be without a set of coffee pots!!! Each caffettiera has its own history ... Starting out from the left side:
* the one my husband and I bought when we moved in together
* the small one (one cup) my husband used to make me coffe when we just met (and romance was beginning)
* the Bialetti Mukka that my parents gave us as a present a couple of anniversaries ago (this is quite a special one, it makes cappuccino because you put both coffe and milk inside)
* the one my husband bought when he went to live my himself before knowing me
* finally a set of three (one cup, three cups, six cups) that we got as a present when we married
You could almost say that you can tell an Italian family's story by looking at the caffettiere!!!
By the way: right now for our breakfast coffe we use a normal drip coffemaker (American way), isn't that funny!
05 June 2008
A typical seaside pastasciutta dish: spaghetti alla marinara. Spaghetti al dente, tomato sauce, parsley, garlic, mussels, clams, prawns and sometimes a bit of peperoncino (red hot pepper) to spicy it up. In such a raniy day, I just can think about cooking and enjoying our wonderfully rich cuisine!
(picture courtesy of my brother Stefano)
04 June 2008
03 June 2008
After discussing the project for at least 15 years, in a typical Italian style, the Portogruaro ring in being built. This road will run all around the center of Portogruaro and will give relief from all the traffic going to the seaside. Last but not least, it will make me get to work in about 10 minutes less time (20 minutes instead of 30!!!)
The flyover is almost all set, the work is proceeding very fast ... now!
02 June 2008
01 June 2008
Going back in time, 9 years from now. This is the car we used when I got married. We were four of us in this odl Cinquecento: two in front (a couple of friends) and me and my newly-wed husband (almost 2 meters tall!).