Pitigliano, Italy

Returning to the Italian trip, on the home stretch! Driving on a cloudy rainy day.
We are heading towards Pitigliano. My hubby picked out the town after watching a Rudy Maxa program – I was skeptical, but WOW.

At first it didn’t look like the pictures. I asked (in Italian) and understood everything the guy said (yay). We were in the modern town. A 20 minute walk – Ecco.
pitilano 6

We were starving, but luckily, just as the town hove into view, there was a  real mom and pop trattoria. We had a lovely lunch while looking across at the town.

Pitigliano is totally perched over two ravines with views down both sides. Its water comes from an aqueduct built in the deMedici time.  Looking in shop windows is always entertaining – never know what can be seen. I liked the old cash register. pitilano 5 The cat I posted earlier, but since it’s my favorite picture from the trip, you get it again.pitilano 7




We walk and talk about buying a house here. Sell the our current place and move. Then as we leave, we both think, we’d last about 3 weeks before going stir crazy. Nice place to visit but…
pitilano 4






BTW, it stopped raining while we were in town. We really have been blessed. The countryside around here is different – not plush, more scrappy. We see chickens and roosters. And different trees.

Next up: Orvieto.

Ellis Island

flag and skyline2
statue of libery back2Before I leave NYC and return to Italy, a couple of pictures from Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty (which I’d never seen from the back).

Glorious day. The skyline spectacular. And the information on a short tour by a Park Guide (Ellis Island is a National Park), fascinating.

I always thought that names got changed in the U.S. For instance, Lewis was putatively Ludvig before my ancestors left Germany. But I found out the change was occurred in the old country. Seems there were three ports from which an immigrant would sail. When they bought their ticket, they were listed on the ship’s manifest. Suppose a German was sailing from Italy; those are two very different languages. No wonder there were changes. statue of libery close

Also on the manifest immigrants answered some questions like did they have any money or did they have a job in the U.S. Surprisingly the last question had to be answered, “No.” America didn’t want jobs taken away from citizens. Anyway the number of questions increased over the years as various fears took hold. My three favorites were

      Are you an anarchist?  Are you a communist? Are you a polygamist?

through the trees
When you arrived in the US, after sailing past the Statue of Liberty, those who had paid for first or second class tickets were left ashore freely. But those who had paid the $25 (!!) for 3rd class went to Ellis Island where they were processed. Part of the process was answering the questions again. If you answered differently, back you went.
You could also be sent back if you had trichinosis, an eye disease. For other, curable diseases, immigrants were taken to hospitals where they received food, a bed and treatment FOR FREE. That’s something to be proud of, I think. Something NOT to be proud of is the racism against foreigners. I know the Irish felt it and here, on this picture in the museum, you can see the Japanese were targeted also.

On the way to the ferry, we passed the Marine Sailors Memorial. Take a look at where the tide rises to and think about lost sailors. Mariners memorial I’m going to close with 2 closeups. The one of the city skyline is untouched It looks to me like history in the sky. (You can see why I love my camera…)

Next week we’re back to Italy unless I get hijacked by another idea.gullold and new

Autumn in NYC Central Park

city reflectionWhen I lived in New York City, we seldom went into the park. It was dangerous at night and during the day we had other things to do. I did go to a free play one summer at the Delacorte, but that was about it. However, recently we were visiting for some theater R&R and took a morning’s stroll.
The “duck traffic” was fun. duck trafficcity reflection3







People always talk about the fall colors in New England but the leaves turn in NY as well. I want to note that although the fuchsia tree is quite striking, I didn’t push the colors in these pictures. They are WISIWIG (what you see is what you get – a real IT term…)

It was a glorious day; lots of pedicabs. Expensive pedicabs – the signs said “3.75 per minute per ride.”
We passed a couple of benches that had little plaques – probably the benches were financed by the plaque owners. You can guess the quote applicable to my life…hint: my husband’s nickname isn’t Grubby!

I couldn’t resist a couple of shots of buildings. The art deco decorations were on a 6 or 8 story building, between each floor. Above almost every one, in the window, was an air conditioner. The owls were on another window. There are so many beautiful old buildings in the city and it appeared that many had been newly cleaned. There was also a bunch of construction midtown, new replacing the old. The city has changed a lot since I lived there, perhaps for the better…
owls2art deco bldg