Wednesday, July 6, 2016


 Three young tenors aged between 21 and 23, and from 3 different Regions of Italia (Sicilia, Emilia Romagna, Abruzzo), Il Volo, performed a Tribute Concert in Piazza Santa Croce, Firenze on July 1, 2016.

The first photo shows a much younger group, early in their career.

Second photo, Il Volo with Placido Domingo.

Third photo, the day's free insert into local newspapers.

Fourth, grazie mille Patrizia.  What a wonderful farewell evening!

Fifth, arriving at our platea seats after a very hot day in Firenze, but a glorious warm evening to enjoy the music.  The last one, around 11.30pm.

The backing orchestra from Teatro Massimo di Palermo, conducted by Placido Domingo.

sindaco mayor in Italy

 The sindaco in Italy (mayor of the town/ city/ province) is powerful and important in the everyday life and political life of their area.

At left in white is the Sindaco of Roma, Virginia Raggi.  Below her is the Sindaco of Cascina, Susanna Ceccardi.

The Sindaco is often seen at public events with an official  red white and green sash over his/her shoulder and across the chest.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

gondola ride in traffic

 These 5 fotos were taken within minutes of each other, late June.  If you are considering a quiet, relaxing or romantic ride in a gondola, choose your  time and place for getting into the gondola carefully. This looked like peak hour.  How skilled the gondoliers are, never touching each other's gondola, passing and waiting for one to turn into the canal.

Even the motor boats have a little difficulty passing each other in some of the narrow canals.

Think carefully too before you take a ride in a gondola  on the Grand Canal.  Can often be very busy: other gondolas are not the problem... think of the ferries!

Florian Venice

 One of Italy's oldest caffe establishments, Florian has been operating since 1720 in the heart of Venezia at Piazza San Marco .  In summer it's best in the morning or evening as the full sun is a killer , not to mention the tourists, in Piazza S Marco.

An orchestra plays at most hours. On the occassion of our visit in late June we had a pianist, a cellist, a violinist and a man playing the piano accordion.

There's Florian's Tea Rooms, Florian's Bar, and a good section of the piazza also.  A great spot to stop for a drink or snack.  You could get a coca cola for Euro11, a cappuccino for Euro 12.50, a gelato for Euro19.50, or an aperitivo rosso florian for Euro 12.50.  And many other treats on offer of course also. A bottle of Bollinger would set you back Euro300.