Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Snow in Molfetta

We had quite a snowstorm this morning in Molfetta. Rather a surprise in this strangely temperate winter. 
I wonder if the oranges on that poor tree turned into frozen orange juice?

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Italy 1 - Paraguay 1

This photo (taken on my husband's cellphone) is of poor quality, but I couldn't resist showing you some of the wacky World Cup fever that has grabbed all of Italy by the...shoulders and is taking the nation by storm. You can't go anywhere without hearing, seeing or being immersed in World Cup-ness! My older son, who is a big soccer fan and remembers the last "Mondiali" quite well, is amazed at how much more commercial and omnipresent the whole event has become this year. He is tickled by all the dancing of the South African fans but rather annoyed by those horns they blow on constantly!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Nerium Oleander

The Oleander is another flowering tree in my front yard. I love its delicate pink petals and had no idea until looking it up online that it is one of the most poisonous plants in the world and contains numerous toxic compounds, many of which are deadly to people, especially young children. (Despite this fact, it is often grown in school yards.) The toxicity of Oleander is considered extremely high, and it has been reported that in some cases only a small amount had lethal or near-lethal effects. Who knew?

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Friday, June 11, 2010

Punica Granatum

These are the buds and flowers on the ornamental pomegranate tree growing in my front yard. I love the delicate and variegated color of the petals. These trees do not make edible fruit, but are pretty and create some shade. They are carefree and drought resistant, and don't mind the southern Italian heat. Which, by the way, has arrived with a vengeance!

Thursday, June 10, 2010


This is not a particularly great photo (I just happened to take it accidentally while playing with my camera), but I wanted to share it because it somehow captures a bit of the Italian spirit.

These two men are fathers at the end-of-school celebration at my younger son's elementary school. The fifth-graders have completed their first school cycle in the Italian system after having spent 5 years with the same classmates and the same teachers. Next year they will go to junior high and have to start all over, with a new school, new classmates and new professors.

But, back to the "Italian-ness" of the guys in the photo...they are both quite attractive, casually well-dressed and making grand gestures. Why the gestures? Because the children were marching toward them, waving little colored handkerchiefs.

Italians are famous for their gesturing, most cannot talk without moving their hands because Italian gestures have specific meanings and add content to a discussion. They are not just flailing their hands about willy-nilly, no they are saying something with each gesture. That's why they even gesture when talking on the telephone!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Jannis Kounellis Exhibit

The Teatro Margherita in Bari is the site of an exhibit of installations by Jannis Kounellis, the "patriarch" of Italy's 1960s arte povera movement. Arte povera was a movement meant to shake up the art world and redefine the very concept of art. Kounellis introduced "found" objects in his paintings, among them live animals, but also fire, earth, burlap sacks, gold. He replaced the canvas with bed frames, doorways, windows or simply the gallery itself.
The Teatro Margherita has been rennovated externally, but has been an empty shell for the 20 years that I have lived in Apulia, and perhaps longer. Kounellis designed these installations specifically to use the large unfinished spaces inside the theater.

His artwork has been called "Kafkaesque" and, personally, I find it a bit dark and depressing. I felt weighed down and flattened by his work...but perhaps that is exactly the effect he is trying to achieve!

For more information on Kounellis, you can read this review in English of another exhibit of his.
The exhibit in Bari is running until September 20.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Orange Flower

Who can help me identify this pretty orange flower growing in my garden? I thought it might be a tiger lily, but it's not. It doesn't have those noticeable stamen in the center like a lily. Plus, a characteristic of each bloom is that one petal curls downward in a lovely curlique. Any horticulturist readers in the know?

I am honored that Molfetta Daily Photo has been selected as a Travelavenue Favorite Blog 2010. Travelavenue browses the web to find blogs which offer "content quality, originality but also tips and local advice." They believe this helps their readers "to discover destinations through a completely different perspective." Why not check out their site when you're planning your next trip anywhere in the world?

Monday, June 7, 2010

Vespa Star at the Beach

With the lovely warm days during the past week, it's safe to say that beach season has officially arrived in Molfetta. What says "summer" better than this cheerful light blue Vespa Star parked at the Torre Gavettone beach?

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Capparis spinosa L.

The beauty of caper flowers is as fragile and short-lived as that of poppy flowers: The delicate, cream-white petals and lively purple stamina persist only a few hours. When cultivated for the capers, the flower never blooms as the bud must be harvested before it blooms.

Capers are essential for several Mediterranean cuisines and are mostly associated with Italian (and Cypriot) foods. They are mostly used in tomato or wine sauces and suit poultry and fish. Furthermore, they are popular with cold meat and frequently used on pizza. Capers harmonize with most other Mediterranean spices (basil, oregano and garlic, just to name a few) and are frequently combined with pickled olives.

They are also hardy little plants. The plant in this photo grew out of the wall on my front patio...without any dirt...and it broke the terracotta baseboard. The "spinosa" in its Latin name refers to its sharp thorns. An example of the "strength" of beauty!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Bari - Cathedral of Saint Sabinus

Took a walk around the old town of Bari last Saturday afternoon. This is the Cathedral of Saint Sabinus. Strangely, we found a large statue of Saint Nicholas inside. Where is Saint Sabinus, I ask? Bari is just crazy for Saint Nicholas, so I guess Saint Sabinus gets short shrift...

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Man Ray - The 50 Faces of Juliet 1941-1955

A collection of original photos by Man Ray entitled "The 50 Faces of Juliet" is on exhibit at the Lorusso Gallery in Andria. The photos are all of Man Ray's wife, Juliet Browner, and were taken between 1941 and 1955. Also on exhibit are some of his famous Objects d'Affection, which are objects of daily use, removed from their usual context and reinterpreted. The exhibit runs until July 30.
Man Ray was a dadaist and a surrealist, and taking photos of his photos felt like a rather surreal experience itself.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Giro d'Italia in Molfetta

The Giro d'Italia passed through Molfetta this afternoon. It was quite exciting and a very rare event, since the Giro doesn't usually make it down our way. In fact, the last time it came through these parts was about 20 years ago they tell me.

My thanks to my friend Svetlana, and her fast reflexes, for this photo. I arrived just as the cyclists were zipping by and they were SO fast that by time I whipped my camera out...they were gone!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Pink Rose Bud

Here's another rose...just because it's beautiful.

(The careful observer will spot the insect on the open rose. All of my flower shots seem to have insects in them recently. You can tell it's spring!)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Enzo Rosa Blu

I have mentioned my interest in the way Italian truckers sometimes decorate their cabs with their names, crucifixes, posters, neon lights...the individual trucker's imagination and sense of "style" are probably the only limits. It's not an easy thing to photograph, though, because I usually see these trucks when they are barrelling down the highway in the opposite direction at 90+ kilometers per hour. So, I was happy to catch this parked truck belonging to Enzo "Pink Blue." I think the crucifixes are so common because if you are on the road as often as a trucker you need all the help you can get to stay safe!

Monday, May 10, 2010

At the Fish Market

Lots to choose from at the daily fish market...


Oysters at 5€ a kilo...

Squid and other fish...
...and lots and lots of shrimp!

And here's a video I took of some fishmonger talk. (Check out his bling!)

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Red, Red Rose

For all the mothers and all of their love!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

A Different Angle on the Duomo

It's the symbol of Molfetta!
See it from other angles here, here and here.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Kids at Play

This small park on the corners of Via Massimo D'Azeglio and Via Goffredo Mamelli was recently cleaned up and provided with new lawns, benches and play equipment. That's nice because there aren't a lot of places where children can play safely around town.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Red Clover

The fields around Noci were filled with vast expanses of these red flowers. I have never seen red clover before, have you?

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Terracotta tiles

A view of a tiled roof at the Masseria Abbondanza in Noci. I thought the stones balancing across the top were a curious touch!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

4th National Farm Guesthouse Day

April 25th is the Day of Liberation which celebrates Italy's freedom from Mussolini's dictatorship. It's a national holiday, which is celebrated in a variety of different events around the country. This year we participated in an event called the 4th National Farm Guesthouse Day by visiting an "agriturismo" called Masseria Abbondanza, located near the town of Noci. Demonstrations of how to make focaccia and mozzarella were held, with taste-testing of the final product, of course! Rides were available in several different kinds of horse-drawn carts and there was a guided tour through the brush of the Murgia, the area of high flatland were this farm is located.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Margheritaville & 500th Post!

Don't let this sunny image fool you, it's raining here again. But I've had enough gray for one year, so no more photos of the wet stuff. I don't know what kind of insect this is exactly, but the flowers are full of them these days!
There's no connection between this photo and Jimmy Buffet's famous song Margaritaville, except that "margherita" means "daisy" in Italian. And I guess I could use a dose of sun, spongecake and margaritas right about now!

Monday, April 19, 2010

I'd like to thank all the little people...

These little fellows are on display inside Molfetta's Duomo, or ancient cathedral.
You can see the duomo here, here and here.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Church of St. Peter

It is difficult to get a good shot of buildings in the old town because the streets are so narrow that you can't get far enough away to get the whole structure in the frame. This is part of the Church of Saint Peter, built in 1174 and rennovated once in 1660 and again between 1750-56, when it was given its Baroque facade. It is home to an order of cloistered nuns.
This second shot gives you a good idea of some of the things blocking a straight view to the church!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Convenient Parking Available

That spot may have seemed like a good idea when you dragged yourself home in who knows what shape in the middle of the night, but come morning things look a little different. What if, by chance, someone actually wants to get in or out of that doctor's office (left) or apartment building (on the right)?

Friday, April 16, 2010


The streets in the older sections of town are paved with "chianche" or large rectangular stones. The stones are chipped on the top surface to provide more grip for cars and pedestrians, but when it's been raining (like this morning) I can assure you from personal experience that they are quite treacherous. I have taken a dive several times. Luckily I have never caused myself serious bodily harm, just massive levels of embarrassment!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Sunrise over the Adriatic

This is the view from our first-floor porch. That little square structure built on what looks like a finger of land sticking out into the sea in the bottom right-hand corner of the photo is the Torre Gavetone, which I have shown you before here.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Downtown Skyscraper

This is the tallest building in Molfetta's center...10 whole stories! Other buildings as tall or taller have been built on the outskirts of town, but for many years this was Molfetta's only "skyscraper."

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Good Dog

Nice doggie! Please don't shake off that water right here next to me! I know you are having a great time diving into the sea to retrieve sticks. What could be more fun? But, please don't shake right here...oops! Too late...

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Friday, April 9, 2010


What wonders the sea has to offer to those who stop to look.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Petito Cafè

The Petito Cafè is a new bar/restaurant/night-spot with snazzy interior design and a rotating exhibit of works of art by local artists.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Easter Sunday at Savelletri

Rather than having a traditional Easter lunch at home, we decided to drive down to Savelletri and dine at an open-air eatery on the sea. At Savelletri the coast is dotted with these places which serve a variety of seafood, but specialise in raw hedgehog sea urchins. These are served cut open and you can either scoop out the edible part with a piece of bread or just lick it with your tongue.

Personally, I don't care for raw seafood, but I did not go hungry. My lunch started with an octopus salad.

And continued with a grilled swordfish steak.

My husband and son had spaghetti with seafood after their sea urchins.

And a side order of steamed mussels.

Happy Easter!