Monday, October 7, 2013

Finishing my "Interesting State"

Sono in uno stato interessante.

Literally translated: I am in an interesting state.
Meaning: I am pregnant.

Yes, my baby was due to be born yesterday. I am waiting to end this interesting state called pregnancy and meet my first child.  It is interesting because it's so unique in the life of a woman, where her belly is inhabited.

This can also explain my total absence from the blog over the last several months.

I have found this Italian expression quite curious, when especially Italian men refer to my growing belly this way as in, "Sei in uno stato interessante?"

It has been a wonderful 9 months, until just recently.  I was really lucky to have had very little morning sickness or problems associated with pregnancy. Only now at the very end am I suffering some bad consequences.  My liver has started to have problems working for the both of us: mother and son.  My recent blood tests and severe itching all over my body have signaled the malaise over the past three weeks.  I am very much looking forward to giving birth - not only to end the physical problems but also to meet this new human being who will be my son.

This waiting is trying. I am ready. Work is finished. The nursery is set-up and decorated. Everyone is on alert. We just need Mr. Bimbo to make his big move.

Dai, forza bimbo! Vieni fuori!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Cittadella Inaugurates the Full Wall Walkabout

In Italian, Cittadella's medieval wall walkabout is called Camminamento di Ronda delle Mura.

After twenty years of slow-and-steady restoration, the full circle is ready to open to the public the first week of June. Festivities will begin on the first of the month for nine days.

For a list of events (in Italian), click here.

This wall dates back to about 1220 and wraps around 1460 meters (0.90 mile) to circle the city. The walking area on the wall is 13 meters (42 ft.) high and offers a fantastic glimpse of this small and well-kept city from above. You can peek down and see gardens, the amphitheater and marvel at the girth of the city's cathedral rising from the center of Cittadella. There are 5 doors to the city and the moat still exists. There is an archeological museum to visit as part of your ticket to walk around the walls and the display of medieval weaponry at the entrance to the museum is fun for the whole family to look at.

Cittadella is located 36 km (22 mi.) north of Padua and can be reached using the SITA buses, if you don't have a car. Free car parking is located just outside of the walls at Porta Padova.  For SITA hours, click here.

 Last week, I was able to walk the current 3/4 of the camminamento that is open now on a glorious spring day.

near Porta Bassano


 view from Porta Padova

Dante Alighieri made reference to the terrible dungeon built in Porta Padova by Ezzelino da Romano in 1251 in his trilogy of the Divina Commedia.

the most obvious section of the restoration which recovered the missing area of wall west of Porta Bassano

Tickets cost Euro 7 per person

Hours vary summer and winter:
1 November - 31 March
Mon-Fri 9 a.m. - 1 p.m./ 2 - 4 p.m. (last entrance 45 minutes before closing)
Tuesdays closed
Sat-Sun 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
1 April - 31 October

Mon-Fri 9 a.m. - 1 p.m./ 2 - 6 p.m. (last entrance 45 minutes before closing)
Tuesdays closed
Sat-Sun 9 a.m. - 1p.m./ 3 - 7 p.m.

Ufficio IAT Cittadella
Porte Bassanesi, 2
35015 Cittadella
Tel. 049-9404485
Fax. 049-5972754

Thursday, March 28, 2013

My Artist's Book, IN COMUNE, Dedicated to Padua's City Hall

You may have already read about and looked at my artist's book to be experienced on a gondola in Venice, Gondola Ride Kit, but there's another edition I've dedicated to Padua: IN COMUNE.


The site-specific artist's book focuses on some points in Palazzo Moroni (Padua's City Hall) and invites visitors to perceive each place differently. The artist's three card stock pages encourage visitors to avoid a hurried or careless passing, and instead experience some of the Palazzo's places, focusing on them to discover their purpose, identiy a new meaning or simply learn something about a typical routine there. The passing-by can therefore be a moment of reflection or a pause - a time which is given a new quality. The benches or windows in the Palazzo can offer both visitors - and resident workers - a different point of view to observe the space they are experiencing.

 Front cover

The book instructs the reader to go to specific locations, illustrated by the pencil drawings, and read the corresponding written material on the back side of each card. The themes range from humorous, to romantic and historical.

 First page, drawing and text on back

 Second page, drawing and text on back

Third page, drawing and text on back

The work was commissioned for the exhibition, Gemine Muse, in 2007. Curated by Guido Bartorelli and Teresa Iannotta. Bilingual edition of 1000 copies.

Back cover

IN COMUNE is on sale on ETSY. Click here to get your copy.  Not many copies are left!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Mosaics to the Limit!

The entrance to this curious residence

There is a town exactly halfway between Padua and Venice called Dolo. It's mostly famous for its prime location along the Brenta river, which boasts some of the most beautiful Veneto villas such as Malcontenta and Villa Pisani. Yet tucked away and on the other side of the Brenta, I have come across a different kind of fantastic home. It's superlative in another way: for its mosaic work.

At Via Brenta Bassa 43, a man has toiled his whole life to cover the inside and outside of his house with tiles, mosaics, and odd and even kitsch sculptures. Here is a glimpse of the fruits of his labor.

Street view

Detail of mosaics and sculptures

Monday, January 7, 2013

A Flurry of Work

Everyone knocks Italy as the place where little business gets done, but just wait for the holidays to end and you've got more than your share of job requests and urgent emails. It's January 7th, the day after the Epiphany which officially ends the Italian holiday season that begins with Christmas, and I have two new jobs confirmed. They want me to start this week, as in request on Monday morning and start work on Friday afternoon.

Maybe it's a bit of the "Northern" attitude. Italians are always comparing the North to the South.

What I love about the holiday season in the bel paese is that it's long. Two weeks. In the US, that's a luxury to say the least - anytime of year - except for teachers in the public school system. In that time, I was able to spend time with relatives, eat my fair share of all kinds of holiday food, drink plenty of wine and prosecco and devour cakes, cookies and chocolate. In between decadent sessions with food, I went snowshoeing, ice climbing, did some photography and read deep into my current book: The Pale King by David Foster Wallace. The last activity is more of a challenge than a pleasure considering its girth and sometimes its subject matter, but I am thrilled with my progress and the book's contents. I am actually a slow reader, which makes it all the more laborsome sometimes.

A big cheer for new job opportunities after a leisurely and extended series of feste.

Buon lavoro!