Saturday, January 30, 2010

My Computer and My Dog

My computer tells me that it doesn't like my camera's memory stick. This is a problem! I need these two to be on speaking terms, otherwise I can't upload my photos! I'm not sure what the disagreement is about, but the pc is quite adamant that it wants nothing to do with the memory stick!

I'll have to get my husband, The Computer Genius, to sit them down and talk it out. He's usually quite good at this type of negotiation, and is not above a bit of bullying and threatening if the parties involved are uncooperative!

So, today you get to see a photo of my dog, Piedina. Her name means "little foot" in Italian. She earned that name because when she turned up outside our yard she always used to give us her paw to shake. Whoever decided that it would be a good idea to abandon her at our house had obviously taught her this one and only trick. Luckily for her, we liked her and decided to keep her. One of these days I'll get a photo of her sleeping all curled up with the cats.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Parking Garage Mirror

Just a silly photo today. It's still rainy/gray outside and I'm not feeling inspired!

Thursday, January 28, 2010


Rain is a good thing. I am not here to complain about it. It makes the plants grow and it fills the empty riverbeds gets some of the dirt off my car...and... Well, I'm sure it does lots of great things! And, I for one am NOT going to complain about it!

At least rain is a weather event...the past couple of weeks of gray days have been killing me with a bad case of weather boredom. At least when it rains there's something happening!

Hurray for rain!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


This is a photo of what I did NOT do today. I did not get on the regional train heading south to Bari to go to work. I would have if I could have, but I couldn't so I didn't! There is a train strike today. Normally when there's a strike, service is guaranteed until 9 a.m. and then you are on your own till 6 p.m. I am usually able to get into the city by train and then return home by bus. But today even the trains at 8 a.m. were suppressed.

So, no work for me today, pity...

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Countryside No More

This old building is located on the southbound road heading out of town. It was probably a supply shed for agricultural tools and machinery, but has been long abandoned. It was also, once upon a time, far outside of town. Now it finds itself in town, on a busy highway.
It is located across the road from the new Famila supermarket and you can see one of our high schools just behind it to the right. This is either the Professional Institute for Marine Industry and Activities or the Professional Institute for Hotel and Restaurant Services. This is kind of like my "police confusion" (see yesterday's post), there are just too many high schools, each with a particular slant, for me to keep straight.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Carabiniere Station

Molfetta's Carabiniere station is located on the south edge of town, just one block from the beach. The Carabiniere are a branch of military police. I have never quite figured out the subtle differences between all the various types of Italian police: you have your vigili, polizie, carabinieri, finanzieri, aeronautico, marina militare, etc. The list goes on and includes your coast guard, forest service and environmental and zoological police to name a few others.

I guess their names are pretty self-explanatory. I'm just not sure when you should call the "polizia" or when it would be better to call the "carabinieri." Hopefully, I won't ever have to call either!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Winter Wildflowers

Spotted in the field next door. You tell me what kind of flowers they are!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Secret Agent Man

You'll have to jump over a few hurdles if you want to get to this guy who seems to be protecting the Molfetta train station from whatever danger may be lurking around the corner!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Winter Beach

The Prima Cala beach is much more peaceful and infinitely cleaner during the winter months.

What about those fuzzy trees? Sometimes it seems like all the trees around here come out fuzzy in photos. Olive trees are terribly difficult to photograph (check out that silvery green blur in yesterday's shot) and these Marine pines are no better.

Maybe Molfetta's motto should be "Town of the Fuzzy Trees." No one would back me up on this, I know. Especially since Molfettans call their city the "Paese delle Belle Donne" which means the "Town of Beautiful Women." What would you choose for a motto...beautiful women or fuzzy trees?

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Grey Smoke in a Grey Sky

This photo is terribly grey, but that's just the kind of day it is here. Grey, grey, grey. I'm feeling kind of grey myself, actually... Southern Italy has a wonderful abundance of sun yearround, and I realise how spoiled I am when a few grey days start to get me down. How do people survive in areas with very little sun throughout the winter?

The smoke in this photo is from agricultural burning. Farmers are pruning olive trees and burning the smaller branches and leaves. Outside it smells like a big barbeque!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Brotherly Love

Our cat population has thinned out quite a bit just recently. Panzone and Raja are all we have left now that their father, Tigro, and mother, Blackie, have disappeared. There were 3 more kittens in the litter, but we found homes for them last summer.

These two are very affectionate and usually sleep curled up together like this. They also curl up together with our little dog, Piedina. I wish my two human sons would be so affectionate with each other!

Monday, January 18, 2010

They Paved Paradise...

Ok, maybe "paradise" is exagerating things a bit...but there used to be a very nice park in this space behind the Ateneo of the University of Bari. There were benches and pathways through very old trees (including giant palms) and bushes. It was a nice space and a break from the concrete of the city.

Then the university decided that it would be a good idea to build an underground parking lot and they ripped up the trees and everything else in the park to create this giant pit. At least they're working on it now. The whole project was blocked for over a year because they hit water down there. That tends to happen when they dig down too far in Bari...being that it's on the sea and all!

This construction site has been underway for years now, I've lost count how many. Hopefully, one day they will put some trees and benches back on top of the parking lot. I'll keep you posted...

Sunday, January 17, 2010

A Blues Man is Born

A good time was had by all at a friend's 50th birthday party last night. The crowd was moving and grooving to the music of the De Ville Blues Band of Trani. To read about them and listen to their music on their MySpace page, click here.

My younger son jumped in on the fun with the spoons. Talk about your washboard abs!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Monthly Theme Day: Best Photo 2009

I have chosen this photo as my best of 2009 on the basis of the response it generated when I first published it. I received more comments than I ever have for any other photo!

Click here to view thumbnails for all participants

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Acquario 9893

Spotted this very shiny train in the station in Bari this morning. Not only is it equipped with extremely efficient mirrored windows, but its surface is so clean that it reflects as effectively as the windows!

Acquario means both "Aquarius" (the zodiac sign) and "aquarium" (where you keep your pet fish) and it seemed to me that the people on the platform looked like they were in a fish bowl!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Caffé Sottocoperta, 2

You can enjoy a lovely Whittington Cermonial Tea at the Caffé Sottocoperta (I featured their hot chocolate previously). I had a delicious hibiscus and rose hips tea called "the flight of the swan." The crystalized sugar on a stick was a particularly nice touch. And the candle, did I mention that the candle came with the tea? How's that for fancy presentation?

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Friday, January 8, 2010

Two Businesses in One Building

Molfetta has a large industrial park full of offices and factories producing a wide variety of products and services, from dog food to building materials to hi-tech waste management, you name it.

This building houses two successful local companies. On the far side are the offices of Fimesan, one of the top medical software companies in Italy, recently bought out by the German Compugroup. On the side of the building facing us, the offices of Ciccolella (click here for more info), one of the top flower producers and distributors in Europe.

Thursday, January 7, 2010


In the Catholic tradition January 6 is the day that the three kings arrived with their gifts for the baby Jesus. It is a national holiday here in Italy and my son and I celebrated it by going to the Kismet Theatre in Bari to see a production of Hansel and Gretel.

The entryway into the theatre was decorated like a path through a dark forest and we had to pass through a dark and lonely cabin to find our seats. This is the same production of Hansel and Gretel that we saw last summer in Molfetta at the Ti Fiabo e Ti Racconto Children's Theater Festival (for a photo of the set, click here), and it was definitely worth seeing another time.

After the show hot chocolate and sweet buns were served outside the theater around a large bonfire, and three three kings arrived.

These kings were created by children in a creative laboratory held on the morning of the 6th and were manipulated by the children themselves by means of long poles.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

A Flock of Seagulls

Hordes of seagulls crowded the skies over Molfetta's industrial park yesterday. Unfortunately, I think they are attracted by the large quantities of garbage that are spread out around the area. It was not easy to get a good shot of these white and grey birds against the white and grey sky, but they were lined up nicely here on this hydromechanical services company sign.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Famila Supermarket Parking Lot

While the new Famila supermarket is spacious on the inside, the parking lot is rather cramped and small. I'm afraid that many non-Italians might have a hard time parking in the tiny spaces provided. As my father says every time he comes over from the US to visit, "Italians have a different concept of space!" These spots are just big enough for the compact cars, but not quite wide enough for your SUVs. Not to mention the one family in town that drives around in a Hummer. Yes, we have one Hummer in Molfetta! I'll have to get a picture of that for you somehow...

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Famila Supermarket

This Famila supermarket just opened last month. It is a big, American-size supermarket with a vast selection of products and wide aisles, bright lights and an excellent heating system. Quite different from the usual Molfettan supermarkets, which tend to remind me of mole tunnels, as they are poorly lit, with narrow maze-like aisles and are often actually located underground! Needless to say, I'm a fan of this new Famila store.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Winter Crocus

This lovely flower is blooming in my garden right now.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year 2010

Best wishes for a frothy, bubbly year of prosperity and joy!