Matera

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Just over the border of Puglia, into the region of Basilicata is the town of Matera. The center of the old city, pictured above, lies on the top of a hill overlooking the valley below and has over 100 reasons for a visit. I’m going to give you just a few reasons.

The views.

From every angle in the town’s center is one breathtaking view after another. The Sassi first and foremost is a huge draw to tourists. The Sassi are the rockside dwellings in the hills pictured below. Many, many years ago the inhabitants of Matera were forced to leave town and made their new homes into these rocks.

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Gaze up into the city and your view will be an array of streets, tiny alleys and structures carved into the wall of the city. Visit on a bright sunny day like our last visit and you will definitely need your sunglasses from the blinding sun blazing off the stone buildings.

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The tiny streets.

Make your way from the bottom of the town of Matera to the top and you will come across one alley after another. Some are home to the locals, some are full of B&Bs and some boast one delicious restaurant or bar.

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The vendors.

Always helpful especially on a hot, sunny day in case you forgot your hat.

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Door art.

Yes, doors are art to me, especially in Italy. There are no two that are alike to me and each has its own special personality.

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Random art.

Statues nestled into streets create a gentle reminder to stop walking, take a rest and snap a picture.

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Although most likely placed purposefully, I love random bottles or jugs that pop into street scenes. A very common sighting when in Italy.

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Non-imposing decorative wall art is a favorite to pick out in towns too. How many just walk right by something like this and not take notice? I hope not many.

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The churches.

Like most Italian towns, Matera is home to many churches and to a cathedral, Duomo di Matera or the Cattedrale di Santa Maria della Bruna e di Sant’Eustachio. Try saying that five times fast.

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Texture

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Puglia, Italia

I was mesmerized by what I saw at the cantina. And not just by the delicious wine, although that was of course our primary reason for the visit. Rough rope coiled over a smooth glass bottle nestled in a sea of tiny pebbles. The colors are some of my most favorite – the browns in the rope, the green translucent bottle and the white, cream and grey rocks.

Taking a different vantage point, I decided to shoot down onto the scene. Up close and personal. That’s always an interesting angle for me.

I decided that this image I may turn into an enlarged canvas photo for a wine lover’s gift.

Fall has arrived!

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Although the first day of Autumn occurs in September, October for me is the true arrival of Fall. September is crazed with back to school shenanigans and getting schedules organized that I don’t have time to appreciate it right away. Cue October.  The Mid-East temperatures are usually more Fall-like, flip flops can be put away and light jackets brought out again. There is that perfect chill in the morning air. Pumpkin flavored anything and everything line the shelves at the market and the coffee shops. Halloween is in full blossom in storefronts, front yards and on the minds of little kids everywhere.

I like to begin each new season with a bucket list. Something simple nothing too outlandish but just something to welcome the new season.

Just a few from my list for this new season:

  1. Bake a new-to-me pumpkin recipe – I’m thinking scones!
  2. Fall foliage photography – necessary for the crazed photog in me
  3. Visit a new farm or orchard for fresh vegetable or apple picking
  4. Apple Cider! Completely forgotten the rest of the year, but I’d like to find a hot apple cider recipe to go with s’mores one night.
  5. Pumpkin Pie – one for me and one for you. Surprise a friend with a fresh pumpkin pie – whipped topping included!

Happy Fall!

among the fields of lavender

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Manduria, Puglia

Precious moments graze against our palms. Quickly entering our lives, so quickly that we can not grasp fast enough, can’t hold them for more than a mere second. A moment passes us by immediately followed by another. And another. And another. The perfume of those seconds linger, dance above our heads and leave us.

 

Rose

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“You’re lovely, but you’re empty,” he went on.  One couldn’t die for you.  Of course, an ordinary passerby would think my rose looked just like you.  But my rose, all on her own, is more important than all of you together, since she’s the one I’ve watered.  Since she’s the one I put under glass.  Since she’s the one I sheltered behind a screen.  Since she’s the one for whom I killed the caterpillars (except the two or three for butterflies).  Since she’s the one I listened to when she complained, or when she boasted, or even sometimes when she said nothing at all.  Since she’s my rose.”

The Little Prince