Saturday, February 28, 2009

Tutto il mondo è una burla*

Italians love Shakespeare - almost every theatre company in the country is presenting at least one of his plays this season. And its not just the popular ones: as well as your Amleto you also get your odd Tutto e bene quel che finises bene. And here in Roma there is a summer theatre devoted entirely to Shakespeare in Italian.

In one of those wonderful quirks of Italian logic the Silvano Toti Globe Theatre, a replica of Shakespeare's famous playhouse, was built in a grove of trees in Villa Borghese and various companies present their takes on Shakespeare - sometimes traditional often experimental from June to September.

Following the Elizabethan tradition the theatre is open air and there is a pit in front of the stage space for groundlings - or seats on benches (more expensive of course) in the galleries. In either case bringing a cushion is recommended - the ground is hard and I swear those wooden benches harder. And something I hadn't thought of - pretty much wherever you sit in the galleries in an Elizabethan theatre there is an obstructing post holding the gallery or roof above you.

The language or the slightly obstructed view didn't at stop me from enjoying a raucous and rather bawdy production of La comedia degli errore (The Comedy of Errors) last summer - though admittedly its more Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum than Long Day's Journey Into Night, so was much easier to understand. I'm not sure how I would handle three hours of Hamlet or King Lear in Italian but I may give it a try when the season starts in June.

So what brings on this sudden post about Shakespeare and Italians? Two things! Well actually three but I'll post about the other one separately.

First: For the next 15 weeks the daily newspaper La Repubblica is including a DVD of a Shakespeare play with its weekly magazine L'espresso. They launched the series last week with an extremely good Othello starring Anthony Hopkins, Bob Hoskins and Penelope Wilton recorded in 1981. This week its Hamlet with Derek Jacobi and Claire Bloom. All 15 are part of a BBC series of the complete works presented from 1978 until 1985. Some of the finest actors of the period were involved including John Gielgud, Helen Mirren and Anthony Quayle, to name just a few. And as DVDs go they aren't that expensive so I'm planning to collect all of them.

Second: Propeller - in the company of men is in town presenting The Merchant of Venice and A Midsummer Night's Dream at the Teatro della Valle this weekend. This all-male 14 member Shakespearean company was founded by Edward Hall with the backing of the Watermill Playhouse in West Berkshire. Their ground breaking performances of Henry V, Twelfth Night, the Henry VI plays and, particularly, A Midsummer Night's Dream have been lauded in theater circles around the world. The company doesn't follow period practices - no hey nonny nonny or fatheringales - except that all the parts are played by men as they were in Shakespeare's time. One thing is clear from all the reviews and interviews published since the company was founded - this is not a bunch of men in drag camping up the Bard but a serious troupe of actors using the text to revive the excitement that the audience at the original Globe must have felt.

I've wanted to see Propeller since first reading about their Henry V back in 1997, so here I am 11 years later in Roma and finally getting a chance. How strange is that? From the reviews and photos (above left: Antonio is prepared for the taking of the pound of flesh)their new production of Merchant looks very exciting but a busy weekend schedule means I'll have to settle for the Dream (right: Titania is smitten by Bottom transformed into an ass). Mind you I am settling for a production of which a critic said: There was plenty of slapstick hilarity. But there was such human sweetness, too, and such generous virtuosity. The truest vision of love this play offers is the love the actors and the director show for its disturbances and contradictions. Yeah I guess I can settle for that.

*All the world's a joke... - Boito's adaptation of the famous Shakespeare quote for Verdi's Falsaff.

28 febbraio - San Romano di Condat

Friday, February 27, 2009

OK, There's Discount and Then ...

... there's discount.

From my friend Daryl of Warsaw, soon to be Daryl of Beograd.

"We're all about finding ways of raising discretionary revenue so we can keep lowering the cost of air travel," - Michael O'Leary, Chief Executive - Ryanair.
Irish carrier Ryanair, Europe's largest budget airline, might start charging passengers for using the toilet while flying, O'Leary told BBC on Friday.

"One thing we have looked at in the past and are looking at again is the possibility of maybe putting a coin slot on the toilet door so that people might actually have to spend a pound to spend a penny in future."

He said this would not inconvenience passengers travelling without cash. "I don't think there is anybody in history that has got on board a Ryanair aircraft with less than a pound."

O'Leary has a reputation as a cost cutter, expanding Ryanair by offering low headline fares and charging extra for items such as additional luggage. Last week, Ryanair announced it was to shut all check-in desks at airports and have passengers check in online instead.
Discretionary, adjective from Discretion
Pronunciation: dis-ˈkre-shən
Function: noun
Date: 14th century
  1. the quality of being discreet : circumspection ; especially : cautious reserve in speech
  2. ability to make responsible decisions
  3. a: individual choice or judgment
    b: power of free decision or latitude of choice within certain legal bounds
  4. the result of separating or distinguishing
Now I'm looking at the definitions and I'm guessing the first one doesn't really apply. For god's sake Michael's talking about bathroom functions on the BBC and everyone on an airplane knows what you're going when you squeeze past them to get from your middle seat to the aisle.
Second one - well I guess you make the responsible decision to walk down to that 2x2 cubicle and have a pound in hand, as it were.
Third one - well it is a choice - to go or not to go.
Fourth one - this should separate those with a pound from those without and certainly distinguish those with weak bladders from those who can hold it.

And I have a feeling Michael may just start offering discounts on salty treats and water on his flights. What you lose on the roundabouts you can make up on the swings.

27 febbraio - San Leandro di Siviglia

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Photo Op... Ed?????

Perhaps only my Canadian friends will get this but this has to be my favorite photo of President Obama.

Thanks to my friend Linda for sending me this one.

25 febbraio - mercoledì delle Ceneri

Mercoledi Musicale

I know that yesterday was Shrove Tuesday or Mardi Gras and today starts the 40 days of Lent. And I know that many pleasures of life should be fore sworn this time of year. And I know Zydeco would have been more appropriate earlier in the week. But, and you knew there was a "but" coming, when Michael Doucet and BeauSoleil start playing its a good time for everyone to dance no matter what the season.

My own introduction to Zydeco came from one of the old timers Queen Ida and the Bon Temps Band.

Come on now a little toe tapping won't hurt to ease our way into Lent - you can't just go cold turkey.

And mille grazie to my own dear Dora for reminding me how cool Zydeco can be.

25 febbraio - mercoledì delle Ceneri

Monday, February 23, 2009

Lunedi Lunacy

I've never considered myself backward when it comes to using new technology, in fact I spent a good deal of my working life helping design and assisting people in learning new programmes and systems. However for some reason I have a problem with SMS - I just haven't got the hang of it. It may well have something to do with using the various abbreviations or trying to type with one finger. Fortunately I was able to find this excerpt from CBC's Computer Corner to give me some hints on acronyms.


My friend DF tells me that apparently the embeded video is block in Canada - guess because the CBC is protecting its programmming. But here is the link which should take you to it.

23 febbraio - San Policarpo di Smirne

Friday, February 20, 2009

Skate Italia!

We're in the middle of a Tramontana (a quick click over to GB's posting at Italian Notebook will explain the term)and it's been bloody cold all week long. Okay maybe not Canada cold but cold for Rome. For the Romans and those of us who's thick Nordic blood is starting to thin it's mittens, scarf and parka weather. Perhaps this leads to a bit of over-bundling in some quarters but it does make it easier to spot the tourists. They are the ones shivering in the polo shirts, light windbreakers and - believe it or not I did see this the other day - shorts. They are also the ones with that slightly stunned "but this is Italy it's suppose to be warm" look on their faces. Surprise!
The cold weather makes it a little more authentic now for the skaters here in Roma. I may have mentioned that we do have rinks here;the two I know of, and I've been told there are a few more, are at Castel San Angelo (left) and Parco della Musica (right.) For most of the skaters what may be lacking in Olympic points for style is more than made up for by points for enthusiasm.
The big surprise was when we decided to investigate the cluster of tents on the hill beside il Castel Nuovo in Napoli and found not only an artificial rink but artificial grass and pine trees. There is definitely something surreal about watching kids skating in the shadow of Vesuvius. We all know that Nero had snow brought down from the mountain to serve with syrups at diner but I'm not sure even he imagined making ice to skate on.

21 febbraio - San Eleuterio di Tournai

Signs of the Times

Last week outside one of the more conservative high schools there were signs calling for a day of remembrance - not an unusual thing here. This roughly translates as:
Honour to
all the war heroes felled at the hands
of Anti-Fascists.
In our memory we do not
and in our future
we will not disown them.
I am trying to imagine this sort of thing appearing on the streets of Berlin.

20 febbraio - Sant'Eleuterio di Tournai

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Mercoledi Martedi Musicale

For some reason those early morning walks earlier this week reminded me of a lovely ballad from On The Town, the Bernstein-Comden-Green love note to New York City. As I recall as he walks alone in the early morning Gabe, a sailor on leave, muses on being in a "Lonely Town." In this concert performance Thomas Hampson sings it beautifully and Michael Tilson Thomas conducts the dance sequence that follows it with a light, graceful touch.

Sadly this song was not in the film version, which used only 3 of Bernstein's numbers including the iconic New York, New York.

19 febbraio - San Corrado Confalonieri

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Early One Morning

Actually early two mornings. I don't think we've been in Centro in early morning before but Sunday and Monday past we headed down to Piazza Minerva to meet up with some friends. Of course any city is different in the early hours of the morning but I found there was a certain magic about having Roma almost to ourselves for a little bit.
On Sunday morning the Piazza in front of Santa Maria sopre Minerva was deserted except for a gypsy woman by the door of the church. The next morning I dropped in to light a candle and not even the gypsy was there.
A block away the only things moving in Piazza della Rotonda were a few Swedish tourists gawking at the Pantheon (I still gawk every time I see it,) some locals out for their Sunday morning Cappucc and the carriage drivers tending to their horses. I had never seen the Piazza or the Pantheon without the filter of crowds of people - it is even more gawk-worthy.

And speaking of gawk-worthy, a few minutes later we drove past Santa Marta and were surprised to see these two young gentlemen standing guard. It is particularly unusual to see Swiss Guards outside the Vatican unless the Pope is visiting in Roma and even more strange to see them outside a deconsecrated church. Our friend Larry saw them later in the day and took these photos. He also posted a photo essay on Santa Marta and solved the mystery of the Swiss Guards. They were part of a photo shoot to advertise the forecoming Angels and Demons. Apparently Ewan McGregor was inside!
For some reason (old age?) I can never recall where the Trevi Fountain is in the warren of back streets off the Corso. I was surprised Monday morning when I cut behind the Quirinale turned a corner and there it was. But notice very few people, it was only 0800 and most tourists are just having their breakfast. Also not much water, the fountains were reduced to a trickle so they could do the daily collection of the coins traditional thrown in the Fountain. Its estimated that around 3000.00 euros are tossed in each day. Enough to provide food for some of the needy families in the city.

18 febbraio - San Massimo di Ostia

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Loss of Focus

Yesterday was spent visiting the town of Orvieto, about an hour and half drive north of Roma. Its a lovely town built on one of the volcanic outcroppings that dot the landscape as you head up the autostade towards Firenze. What makes it different from the others was a miracle in nearby Bolsena in 1263 the effects of which the enterprising Archbishop of Orvieto had transferred to the town. This led to the enlarging of the Cathedral and ultimately in the 15th century the decorating of the Capella di San Brizio by Luca Signorelli. Its considered his masterpiece - and we were lucky, we had the chapel all to ourselves. The grotesques alone would be worth one of those lovely coffee table books.

Understandably photographs are not allowed inside the chapel. However I was able to get a few shots of the glorious facade of the Duomo and its rose window.

And those are probably the last photos I'll take with this trusty little Canon PowerShot that I've been trudling around Europe since our arrival.
About 30 seconds after I took these it went crashing to the cobblestones and though you can't quite see it in this photo (taken with my very old Kodak digital) the retractable lens was pushed out of alignment. No amount of gentle coaxing can get it back into place. I'm going to try and find a repair shop but given how these things are put together I'm not hopeful.

17 febbraio - Santi Sette Fondatori dell'Ordine dei Servi della Beata Vergine Maria whew!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Lunedi Lunacy

Until my blog buddy Sling posted a wonderful item last week about the Smothers Brothers, I had forgotten how funny and talented a pair they were. I got a few of their earlier albums when I was a member of some record club - remember record clubs? And then as Sling recalls they got their own TV show and every Sunday night we were treated to some of the funniest, and most subversive, comedy on TV. That and the music - often the comedy hide what superb musicians they were. After you've finished laughing just give it another listen for the music. Those guys knew what they were doing - big time.

16 febbraio - Santa Giuliana di Nicomedia

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Time To Clean Your Screens

I'm sure we all clean up our hard drive every so often. Archive old files, pitch garbage and defrag our :C drives. But I recently learned through one of the 300 Computer magazines out there - that doesn't include the 200 in Italian, that the inside of computer screens are covered with bacteria, dust, germs, etc., that can be dangerous to your health.

Analysts have said that the problem can be as dangerous as second hand cigarette smoke because of the time that computer users are now spending in front of their screens. My friend Naomi very kindly provided a free programme to correct this hazardous problem. Click on this link to clean the inside of your screen.

15 febbraio - San Faustino

Saturday, February 14, 2009

San Valentino myspace graphic comments

Now don't get me wrong, I'm not against romance or being romantic - it's just I don't understand what chocolate and gaudy red - sorry Dora - cards have to do with proving your love someone. And frankly the legend or rather legends of San Valentino don't do it for me. Nothing there to get all warm and cuddly or hot and horny about them - mostly martyrdom and gruesome tortures as this article from the Onion attests. Well maybe there is some connection but come on guys its tenuous and only if your relationship is a bit off beat.

And we are told, by the Italians, that the Italians are the most romantic people in the world - though the French would dispute that hotly - but strangely a group of Italians came up with the concept of a day to celebrate being single. My friend Michelle lets us in on the details on February the 15th - the Feast of San Faustino, Patron Saint of Singles.

In the meantime I think I'll just celebrate Saint Cyril and Saint Methodius - they're the Patron Saints of Europe. Now that's pretty romantic.

14 febbraio - Santi Cirillo e Metodio

Friday, February 13, 2009

Devole Me Darwin Baby!

Well it looks like I missed Charles Darwin's birthday by a day - if only he had a facebook profile I would have remembered. The great man - and despite the tongue in cheek introduction he was a great man - was born on February 12, 1809. Thus Thursday marked the 200th anniversary of his birth. As sort of a belated Happy Birthday I decided to put his theory to the test and following my friend RG's lead - I told you I was a follower - had myself devolved. It's not a pretty sight but then the original wasn't that much to work with.

A click on this fine looking quartet - sort of an early Osmond Brothers - will give you a taste of Willym over four periods of prehistoric times. Myself I prefer - and the first person that snickers will get bopped on the head with a club and left for dinosaur feed - Homo erectus. Tony, RG I mean one snicker and I'll lift this club and boy will you get it!

13 febbraio - San Benigno di Todi


I haven't shared any of the postings that I've found particularly entertaining or informative in a while - and as we were reminded earlier this week in the Mom Song, sharing is important. And of course at the same time I have a few more photos to share from the trip to Napoli. These are various doors throughout the city - many on Via Toledo and the Centro Storico.
  • In honour of last week's celebration of World Nutella Day, Michelle has done a Nutella Round Up. Its chock-a-block with links to recipes, articles, photos and ephemera concerning the world favorite chocolate and hazelnut spread. And apparently plans are already under way for next year's festivities.
  • Though Sunday's here seem to be taken up with lunching with friends I've missed Sunday drives with Jeff. He hadn't done one in a while but at the beginning of the month took us down Saticoy Avenue of Boogie Nights fame.
  • My friend LotusGreen over at Japonisme has been featuring the work of Arthur Wesley Dow since the beginning of the month. Dow was an American painter, printmaker, photographer, and extremely influential arts educator. Amongst his students and disciples he numbered Georgia O'Keefe and he was a leader in the American Arts and Crafts movement.
13 febbraio - San Benigno di Todi

Thursday, February 12, 2009

A Bad Day

Earlier today I posted an item under the same title but after some consideration I felt it was too personal and may have farther reaching consequences than I am prepared to entertain at the moment. So I am republishing it in an altered form simply because I am that hurt and angry that I want to express it:

I don't normally write about deeply personal things but today I'm angry, hurt and resentful. Our very good life here has been shattered by a game. And to the people involved that's all it is - a game. What they perhaps do not realize is that the game they are playing effects the people they are playing it on to the core. Or perhaps they do know and don't really care.

I will not go into the details as they only concern the persons involved. As I said it makes me angry, hurt and resentful and it also makes me incredibly sad because of what it says about people.

Though we still have over two years left in Roma it will never be the same and I question if we will ever truly be happy here again.

12 febbraio - frankly I don't care what Saint's Day it i

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Mercoledi Musicale

We sat at lunch on Sunday with a few Italian friends, a couple of jazz vocal albums on random play as we enjoyed our gelato and candied orange peel at meal's end. Simonetta very casually asked if it was Blossom Dearie singing. I was surprised as the marvelous Miss Dearie is not a singer familiar to most people. The conversation turned to how old she must be etc.

It was not until I happened to read Jeff's facebook entry on Tuesday that I found out she had died on Saturday evening. I honestly don't remember how I began to collect her recordings but I had most of the vinyl she put out - and then got duplicates on CD. There's one song that I've never been able to find again called The Pro Musica Antiqua, which featured her at her wittiest and most original.

There was often a satirical undercurrent to that little-girl voice and nowhere is it more apparent than in Dave Frishberg-Bob Dorough's I'm Hip!

But she also had a wistfulness and there was an ache to her love songs that spoke of a much wounded heart.

Jeff has posted a tribute to her and included a few more songs that show the subtle talent that was Blossom Dearie.

And my good Blog Buddg EG has posted another tribute and an example of what Miss Dearie could do with an Irving Berling tune.

And once again the world has been left a little less rich.

11 febbraio - Nostra Signora di Lourdes

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Turn That Wheel, Baby!

I was chatting with my favorite Lady in Red last evening - well evening for me, late morning for her - and complaining about the young lad upstairs practicing his piano. After 30 minutes of progressive scales I would have been content to have him return to Tre Topi Cieci. Dora suggested turning the television up to drown him out; that set me off on a tangent about Italian television. We had the Skye package for a while but there are only so many Simpson episodes you can watch - in any language. So we ditched that (it just wasn't worth $135.00 a month) and now just get regular Italian TV: a few channels in German, Romanian and Polish and 35 or so in Arabic. Strangely the channels in Arabic seem to be a mix of religious channels and sex chats channels and even stranger the telephone numbers given all seem to be in Canada, area code 416 - so much for Toronto the Good!

Sorry, talk about going off on a tangent, I was saying about Italian TV. Though there are some good things on Italian TV the bulk of the entertainment evening seems to be taken up with inane game shows hosted by aging Lothario with bad dye jobs and orange tans and silicone enhanced bimbas with botoxed lips.

Now I have to admit the Italian version of Who Wants to Be A Millionaire is far superior to its North American counterpart, however Wheel of Fortune is another story. Ruota della Fortuna is exactly the same format as in the rest of the world: host, 3 contestants, wheel, game board and the top scorer gets to play a final round for a big prize. Last night's finalist was all decked out in a sparkly t-shirt and beat out two young ladies with plunging necklines - much to the disappointment of the host, Enrico Papi. You'll notice the contestant is wearing a head mike - all the contestants do. That's so they can join in the singing and dancing between rounds. Sorry but you can't have a game show without some singing and dancing. And the audience calls out the letters as they pop up on the game board - just in case you don't know a D from a W - oh sorry there aren't any Ws in native Italian.*

Oh I forgot they also have the letter turner, it wouldn't be Wheel of Fortune without the letter turner. But here in Italy the young lady who turns the letters is no Vanna White. Here we have Victoria! Victoria Silvstedt the Playboy Playmate for 1997.
There are two things that stand out on Victoria - no not those, well yes those but that's not what I'm talking about. First she's almost 6 feet tall - in fact probably is in her stilettos - and second she normally only wears about 2 feet of dress. One of my colleagues at work has suggested that it would be very dangerous for Victoria to go near an open flame but I have a feeling that's just envy
Victoria doesn't speak all the much Italian but she does exchange some light banter with Papi and they both giggle over her grammer mistakes. But then they really don't ask Victoria to talk that much, mostly she just moves and the camera follows her. She plays to the camera shamelessly - winking and making faces. And of coure there are lots of angles from above (cleavage) and below - just as she twirls after crossing in front of the board and her dress flares. And one of their favorite shots is taken from stage floor level with the contestants framed by Victoria's shapely legs.

Papi and her have the dumb blond and the little man with big ideas routine down pat and it can actually be very funny at times. In the random dance breaks the two of them carry on like a demented Fred and Ginger. .
And Laurent just came across an interesting fact - he's become a Victoria groupie, don't ask - in France where she also appears on Wheel of Fortune she accounts for 30% of the viewership and it isn't all men - 29% of the women who watch the show say its because of her.
And I freely admit we only watch it for Victoria - what will she almost be wearing tonight, what salacious shots will the camera man think up and what silly mistakes will she make. And occasionally we'll play along and get the right answer too.

*I am stating that to the best of my limited knowledge, I'm sure a comment will appear correcting that assumption if it is indeed wrong.

10 febbraio - Santa Scolastica

Monday, February 09, 2009

Lunedi Lunacy

For Dora, 'Rainey, Cowbell, Liz, YDG - you're my favorite mothers! That doesn't sound right but you know what I mean.

9 febbraio - Santa Apollonia

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Sunday Stroll in the Cloister

The Cloister of Santa Chiara is only part of the monumental complex composed of church, convent and museum. Created as part of a Franciscan citadel in the early 1300s it has undergone many changes during its 700 year history.

The biggest change came when Abbess Ippolita Carmignano commissioned Domenico Antonio Vaccaro to redesign the garden. He left the original Gothic structure of 66 arches surrounding a square unchanged but transformed that square into a riot of yellows, blues and greens. Vaccaro set out two intersecting paths that divided the garden into four quadrants and lined them with 66 octagonal pillars linked by stone benches and walls. Not an unusual design of itself but when those pillars and benches were covered by Majolica it became one of the most beautiful gardens in Christendom.

Extensive work is being done to restore the Cloister - pillars strengthened, tiles cleaned (though not restored)and reattached, wooden pergolas rebuilt and the 17th century frescoes on the surrounding walls brought back to life. When it is finished it should be one of the most glorious sights in Napoli, as it is now it a wonderful place for a Sunday afternoon stroll.

There are two ways to stroll around the cloister. This smaller slide show gives some idea of the beauty of Santa Chiara.

Or a click on the wall below will take you to the larger, high resolution full screen version.

Either way enjoy the sunshine, the stroll and the Cloister.

And while you're strolling you might want to listen to Marco Beasley singing a snatch of a well known song about a sunny day and a person who brings more sunshine into his life. I particularly enjoy Guido Morini's introduction.

08 febbraio - Santa Giuseppina Bakhita

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Of Cabbages and Kings

I thoroughly enjoy the books of John Julius Norwich - I must have reread his A History of Venice at least 6 times. At the moment I'm in the middle of his Byzantium trilogy - well more accurately I'm waiting for the middle of his Byzantium trilogy. Feltrinelli had Book I and Book III but Book II is out of stock. So I've read them out of sequence - its sort of like thumbing to the end of a murder mystery - I know who brought about the fall just not who all the suspects where. While I'm waiting patiently I've started on his The Middle Sea: a History of the Mediterranean.

Norwich freely admits he's no historian just a man who enjoys writing about history. His style is unpedantic, at times gossipy but always interesting. It is not his fault if I get confused with the Kings of the Two Sicilies and the Kings of Naples - sometimes they were one and the same thing - it depends on who owned what that week. I was even more aware of the confusion when I tried to identify the statues on the facade of the Palazzo Reale in Napoli.
The Palazzo is an enormous complex and has undergone many changes since the first palace was built on the site in 1600. The original was commissioned by Ferdinando Ruiz de Castro, Count of Lemos, Spanish viceroy in Naples in anticipation of a visit by King Phillip III of Spain. In one of history's little touches of irony - Phillip never made it to Napoli.

The west side, facing what is now the Piazza Plebiscito (the largest piazza in the city) has always been the main entrance. The large niches in the facade are a mini-history of the eight dynasties that have ruled Napoli: the Normans, the Hohenstaufen, the Angevin, the Aragonese, the Spanish, The Bourbon, the Napoleonic and finally, after the Risorgimento, the Savoy. Well I can see why they all wanted a piece of the property!

Well that looks after the Kings, and the cabbages? Sorry nothing really about cabbages, it was just an attempt to find a literate and amusing title. Failed on both counts but as they say here: BOH!

While searching the Internet - what did we do before the Internet, oh yes went to the library - for information about Napoli I came across Jeff Mathew's Around Naples. Its a mini-encyclopedia of facts, figures and stories of Napoli and its history. Definitely worth a detour as they say in Michelin.

07 febbraio - San Lorenzo Maiorano