Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Italian Language

Cari Amici (Dear Friends),

I live with an Italian couple who has a few more years than I. Doria and Luca held a dinner party tonight with a total of eight people, including me. My Italian language skills are improving with the help of many friends, despite my horrible habit of daydreaming A LOT.

Still I just spent five hours at a dinner in which multiple people were speaking at once, each with subtly different styles, although Doria told me after they left that I had been hearing the Tuscan dialect. I told my hosts that at some point I tried desperately to learn the language as a child would, meaning that I stopped trying to translate words in my head. Instead, I tried to listen and piece together a few new words from the context of what I understood already.


Later, we were looking back at the newspaper to clarify times for the free events for tomorrow night’s Capodanno celebrations around the central part of Florence. And I read the phrase c’era (there was). “Oh, so that is what that means, Luca! I heard cera a lot during the night and wondered why everyone was speaking about WAX so often!” And he spoke the words so that I could hear the difference in the sounds. Still, I find this difficult for me and I wish that I had true musician’s ears.


Tonight I wanted to share with you a few images of Florence, Italy, decorated for Christmas: from the famous windows of dolci at Gilli’s and other window displays to illegal immigrants keeping an eye on the cops while they try to sell you their fake Gucci wares.


Enjoy – and please buy a raffle ticket from the Menu For Hope V fundraiser to help feed communities in Africa this year and for years to come (through education). You could win great prizes offered from European bloggers, including yours truly. (My Prize code of Giclée Images of Italy is EU25). But I do not care if you make a donation and try for another prize on the list. The cause is worthy and the deadline is 31 December.
Instructions below with a link to my own offered prize . . .

Buon Capodanno!

Donation Instructions:


1. Choose a prize or prizes of your choice from our Menu for Hope at
http://www.msadventuresinitaly.com/blog/2008/12/15/menu-for-hope-europe-prizes/ or Chez Pim

2. Go to the donation site at www.firstgiving.com/menuforhope5 and make a donation.

3. Each $10 you donate will give you one raffle ticket toward a prize of your choice. Please specify which prize you'd like in the 'Personal Message' section in the donation form when confirming your donation. You must write-in how many tickets per prize, and please use the prize code.
For example, a donation of $50 can be 2 tickets for EU01 and 3 tickets for EU02. Please write 2xEU01, 3xEU02 Kelly’s Prize code is EU25

4. If your company matches your charity donation, please check the box and fill in the information so we could claim the corporate match.

5. Please allow us to see your email address so that we could contact you in case you win. Your email address will not be shared with anyone.

6. Bids on prizes will be accepted from December 15-24th. The last day to bid on a prize is December 24th.

7. Check back on Chez Pim on January 12, when Pim will announce the result of the entire raffle. Sara Rosso will also announce the winners of European prizes here.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Street Painting in Florence, Italy

Cari Amici (Dear Friends),

Buone Feste! as we say here in bella Italia. I have been sculpting, painting, and visiting friends during the past week. I stopped to say hello to some of my fellow madonnari (street painters) in Florence and include two of their holiday drawings on Via Calimala. Here are Giovanni and Tomo with their interpretation of a Christmas card and the Florentine skyline.


I liked how they added real ribbon and bows for the cornice (frame).

Then for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, Tomo created a Christian depiction of the meaning of Natale. The weather has been cold and while I wondered if I would come out to help them, I realized that I wanted my few hours of sunlight for my own projects. I applaud their tenacity – it has really been cold out!

The only way that my fellow street painters have been able to work since 1 December has been under the rules of holding a manifestazione to protest the Comune di Firenze. The Comune (City Hall) decided not to renew the permits for madonnari anymore because they want to have a concorso (competition).

This competition does not allow us the flexibility in scheduling that we have previously enjoyed and limits greatly the amount of time per day that we can draw – six hours is not enough time to create a substantial drawing of a large size.

I do not know what will happen to the street painters of Florence. I am happy that I have tried this work, but for now, I wait. And I work on my own art.

Menu For Hope V


This benefit raffle with great prizes from Europe has been extended to 31 December!!!!

Here are the rules again – please help us fight world hunger, one community at a time.

Donation Instructions:


1. Choose a prize or prizes of your choice from our Menu for Hope at
http://www.msadventuresinitaly.com/blog/2008/12/15/menu-for-hope-europe-prizes/ or Chez Pim

2. Go to the donation site at www.firstgiving.com/menuforhope5 and make a donation.

3. Each $10 you donate will give you one raffle ticket toward a prize of your choice. Please specify which prize you'd like in the 'Personal Message' section in the donation form when confirming your donation. You must write-in how many tickets per prize, and please use the prize code.
For example, a donation of $50 can be 2 tickets for EU01 and 3 tickets for EU02. Please write 2xEU01, 3xEU02

4. If your company matches your charity donation, please check the box and fill in the information so we could claim the corporate match.

5. Please allow us to see your email address so that we could contact you in case you win. Your email address will not be shared with anyone.

6. Bids on prizes will be accepted from December 15-24th. The last day to bid on a prize is December 24th.

7. Check back on Chez Pim on January 12, when Pim will announce the result of the entire raffle. Sara Rosso will also announce the winners of European prizes here.



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