Posted in Festivals in Italy, Festivals in Umbria, Italy, Orvieto, Travel, Umbria, tagged arts, Capodanno, Dr. Bobby Jones & The Nashville Gospel Superchoir, Funk Off, Jazz in Orvieto, Orvieto, roman catholic mass, Umbria Jazz Winter on December 27, 2012 |
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Watch YouTube Video Below!
Yes, I know you’ve seen this post before….but it’s Umbria Jazz Winter #20, so I’m updating the line-up and reminding everyone that there’s a 5-day party going on in Orvieto!
Like scrappy, bebopping Pied Pipers, Perugia’s popular street band Funk Off gets this party started with a nightly parade that snakes through Orvieto’s narrow and ancient cobblestone alleyways. Music lovers, young and old, scamper and skip behind these energetic hipsters as their infectious beat draws more and more followers along the route. The bluesy procession ends with an impromptu jam session in the Piazza della Repubblica, where you’ll find you can’t help but tap your feet, move your body and smile: It’s Umbria Jazz Winter #20 and “baby, it’s cold outside”.
The international flavor and welcoming spirit amidst the holiday lights and chilly, frigid temperatures creates a unique atmosphere that makes this festival something special. For five nights, starting from December 28 to January 1, Jazz fans flock from all over Italy and beyond to partake in the music and brotherhood for which this festival has become world renowned. Performing on stage this year: Gregory Porter Septet, Dee Alexander & Evolution Ensemble, Tomeka Reid, Nicole Mitchell, Gary Brown & Feelings, Giovanni Tommaso Reunion Quintet, John Batiste, and many more.
2012 goes out with a bang! Capodanno is celebrated in the Piazza del Popolo at midnight, ringing in the New Year with a fireworks display and free outdoor concert. On New Year’s Day arrive at the famous Duomo early to secure your spot for the first Mass of 2013. Inside this majestic Cathedral you’ll witness something you don’t see every day; hymns sung at a Roman Catholic “Mass for Peace and Gospel” by Dr. Bobby Jones and the Nashville Gospel Superchoir. Hold onto your seats because this joint will be jumpin’!
For more information about the festival go to: http://www.umbriajazz.com/Home.aspx
SEE YOUTUBE VIDEO OF FUNK OFF HERE:
by Toni DeBella
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Posted in Expat in Italy, Living in Italy, Orvieto, Rome, Travel, tagged Christmas lights in Rome, holidays, Rome, Rome Italy, The end of the world on December 24, 2012 |
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Posted in Americans Abroad, Expat in Italy, Italy, Orvieto, Travel, Umbria, tagged Duomo of Orvieto, Joseph Campbell, quotes, The Universe, Toni DeBella on December 16, 2012 |
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Some people believe that in life “shit happens” – millions of bumper stickers even say so. These same realists might think that everything unfolds over our lifetime in a series of random occurrences and that wishing and hoping result in a future full of disappointments? My rational side can understand this philosophy but the dreamer in me can’t quite go along with it.
“Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors where there were only walls.” - Joseph Campbell
Did you know that you can talk to the universe and sometimes the universe listens? It’s been listening to me lately. I don’t always believe in things I can’t see or touch, but I sure as hell believe in that…and “what goes around comes around”, and right and wrong, and trusting your gut, and true friendship, and love…
…and “mind over matter”.
Maybe I’m becoming a true believer.
Photograph of the Duomo d’Oriveto by Toni DeBella
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Posted in Americans Abroad, Expat in Italy, Italy, Living in Italy, Orvieto, Travel, Umbria, tagged Bangkok, expat in Italy, italian news, italian teacher, JFK, living in Italy, Orvietini, Orvieto on December 6, 2012 |
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This is an actual email I received this morning from a friend:
Soooo….how is everything?
Lots of rain here.
My roof is leaking.
Just got in from my second trip to JFK in a week.
I spent a week in Bangkok last month.
Tell me all about your new life.
6 December, 2012
We had a flood here four weeks ago. Bad.
I sit in my office a lot in front of my computer.
I drink too many cappuccinos.
I ran into my ex the other day. Awkward.
Haven’t eaten any pasta yet.
Only ate one gelato.
Eva is a great Italian teacher.
Had to substitute her for the Italian news online.
I changed my cellular provider without help.
It took two attempts.
It rained yesterday.
Supermarket is closed on Wednesdays.
I ate cereal for dinner.
The Mayor says I belong in a category called “Orvietini”
I like it.
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Posted in Artists in Italy, Italy, Living in Italy, Orvieto, Travel, Umbria, tagged arts, Caravaggio, Italian ceramics, Majolica, Marino Moretti, Viceno on December 3, 2012 |
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How often do I get to say this sentence?
“Last night I went to a party in a castle.”
The event was hosted by the amazing talent and Caravaggio lookalike, ceramic artist Marino Moretti. Inside his studio, located in a partially restored 9th century castle in the town of Viceno, people gathered for a pre-holiday brindisi (toast). I tagged along with my friend textile conservator and dealer Igor (Ilkka Juhani) Honkanen. I was pleasantly surprised to see other friends who were in attendance. I’m the new girl in town – well not really.
Two guys were hunched over in an intense conversation in front of the fire, and Igor split off to talk to some other people, so I wandered around the hall in awe of all the colorful pottery surrounding us. Marino’s lovely wife was such a gracious hostess and the couple’s handsome teenage son acted as the bartender. I was trying to play it cool and take it all in – the food and wine, the atmosphere and art – but the phrase kept repeating in my head, “I am in a castle, I am in a castle, I am in a castle”.
As for Marino’s works, they are quite particular. His pieces belong mostly in the category of Majolica (Maiolica) ceramics, but what I really want you to know is that they belong in a class by themselves.
Majolica is a traditional way of tin-glazing pottery that dates back to the 13th century. The technique uses strong bright colors and often depicts historical and legendary stories through figures and scenes. Moretti’s creations come in all forms of earthenware, terracotta and porcelain. Since the 1970s, Marino has gathered quite a large and loyal following.
Tonight the main room was filled with whimsical pottery displayed in groupings of vases, bowls and platters. In the corner were spindly garden sculptures, and handpainted tiles of yellow, blue, green and red hung like Renaissance calling cards. Happy medieval figures danced around bowls and ancient fish swam across platters. Even a crazy man was biting his own tail – this is serious art that doesn’t take itself too seriously.
I found my way into the potter’s workshop where small cups and vases were perched on simple wooden shelving. I took a deep breath before attempting to pick up a tiny espresso cup with a medieval man’s head on it. I thought it was so magnificent I needed to touch it. I lifted it gingerly, careful not to bump it against the other cups or drop it. It seemed so precious and delicate. I admired it and felt how light it was in my hand. If I owned this cup, I don’t think I could bear to drink coffee out of it! It might be just a little cup and saucer to some, but to me it’s a work of art.
Marino Moretti Studio d’Arte, via del Castello Vecchio, 12-05014 Viceno (TR), 0763 361663 – 320 2651654
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Posted in Americans Abroad, Food in Italy, Italy, Living in Italy, Orvieto, Travel, Umbria, tagged food, Food in Italy, Il Giorno del Ringraziamento, Italians celebrate Thanksgiving, I\, Thanksgiving in Italy, traditional Thanksgiving dinner on November 23, 2012 |
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In Orvieto they do.
They say LOVE is the universal language, but really it’s FOOD. Bridging the gap between languages, cultures, and traditions – food is humanity’s common denominator. “Yum” translates in every language.
Last evening, a large contingency of rowdy Americans, along with a strong delegation from the Eurozone: Italy (of course), Germany, England, Scotland and Finland, gathered to share a meal, wine and friendship.
It’s my understanding that in preparation for this turkey dinner, Carlo, the owner of Ristorante Dell’Ancora, was bombarded with weeks of strict and precise instructions on how to properly prepare a traditional “Norman Rockwell-style” Thanksgiving meal. The anxious, but well-meaning party organizer’s fears were finally quelled by Carlo’s confident annunciation, “Don’t worry, I will make a Thanksgiving dinner better than they do in the United States!”
To use a typically American expression…Carlo hit this one out of the ballpark!
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Posted in Americans Abroad, Expat in Italy, Food in Italy, Italy, Living in Italy, Orvieto, Travel, Umbria, tagged Food in Italy, Italian food, Lorenzo Polegri, Orvieto, The Etruscan Chef, Umbria, Umbrian Cuisine on November 17, 2012 |
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I’ve been in Orvieto just a little over a week. Already a lot has occurred – some good, some not so good. Such is life.
Strange things are happening…
…like writing my very first book review…
The Etruscan Chef by Lorenzo Polegri & Kim Brookmire is not just another book about food or cooking, although it tells of both.
It’s a window into the past and present lives of Umbrians and their cuisine – a memoir of food and its genesis from their ancestors, the Etruscans. Lorenzo writes, “We used to be Etruscans. I don’t know if we still are, but we love to think so.”
Chef Polegri presents us with a book that is written by a boy who is now a man. After reading it from cover to cover, I feel as though I know him, and the people he introduced me to, just a little bit better. The smiling faces of the vendors I see at the outdoor market every week now have names. Absorbing Lorenzo’s words, I will try to remember that a farmer toiled in a nearby field to bring these delicious and real foods to my table. Grandparents, parents, children and friends: Through Lorenzo’s stories from his childhood, his teenage years, and now his adulthood, I see more clearly the strong and beautiful people of my adopted home, and for this I am grateful.
The Etruscan Chef is a pleasurable and emotional glimpse into the soul of a life in Umbria, Italy.
Lorenzo & Kim
To learn more about Chef Polegri and his work go to www.ristorantezeppelin.it or find him on Facebook
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Posted in Expat in Italy, Italy, Living in Italy, Orvieto, Travel, tagged Bologna, DB Bahn, Frankfurt Germany, Hurricane Sandy, Innsbruck, Munich Germany, Nuremberg, orvieto italy, Rome, Travel to Italy, Trento, Verona on November 9, 2012 |
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All packed and nowhere to go.
Hurricane Sandy, like the Icelandic Volcano several years before it, had rearranged my date of departure leaving me cooling my jets in California for another week. You know how it is when you’re ready to go somewhere – a delay can be a huge letdown. My friend calls it “premature elation”. On the bright side, it was great to hang out with my Mom and Andrew a little bit longer, but after seven days on hold I decided to reroute my trip and fly to Frankfurt instead.
Am I becoming one of those people who always has a story?
On Tuesday I arrived in Frankfurt without incident, carrying everything I own crammed into two seventy-pound suitcases. I literally lumbered over to the DB Bahn desk for a train ticket to Italy. I explained to the young reservationist that I must be on the next train to Orvieto, Italy. She said the train to Munich was leaving in exactly twelve minutes, so I slapped down my credit card and took off like a bat out of hell – I hopped onto the train with just minutes to spare! I enjoyed the German countryside, but my train arrived in Munich late, so I had to make a run for it (with two heavy bags, “run” would be an overstatement). The conductor announced they would be pulling away from the station in 30 seconds so I flung my bags onto the last carriage – I think I have a hernia now. But really, the important thing is I was on my way to Orvieto at last!
I took a seat by the window and looked out at the passing cities of Nuremberg, Innsbruck, Trento…oh sh*t! I took the wrong train! Apparently “Rovereto” is not the German word for “Orvieto”, but actually a town near Verona. Oh well, at least I was traveling in the right direction.
In Verona, my friendly Austrian conductor, Arnold, offered to let me tag along with the train employees to their hotel and even convinced the front desk to give me a good rate. A pizza, a shower and a good night’s sleep was just what the doctor ordered.
In the morning I was on the train to Orvieto via Bologna. I met a lovely veterinarian from Rome, Marco, who helped me get my bags (or as he referred to them, my armadi (wardrobes)) off of the train at Bologna Centrale and three hours later I arrived at my new home. My friend heard my bags rolling down the marble stairs all the way from the station lobby. She remarked how lucky I was to have avoided the excess baggage charges by the airline. Yeah, I am lucky.
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Posted in Orvieto, San Francisco, Travel, tagged Blue Angels, fighter pilots, Fleet Week, Golden Gate Bridge, sonic boom, travel, United Airlines, wild blue yonder on October 7, 2012 |
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