Archive | December, 2015

Happy New Year – Felice Anno Nuovo!

31 Dec

From our home to yours,

Photo: Bill Capraro©Blogginginitaly.com

Photo by Bill Capraro ©Blogginginitaly.com

we wish you a very Happy New Year!

May it be filled with the love of family and friends,  

good health, good deeds and peace.

And a big thanks to all who made this year the best ever for blogginginitaly.com…

2015 Stats:

13,000+ views from 87 countries!

Ciao and Happy 2016
Judy 

2015 Christmas Moon and Christmas Lights

26 Dec

The first Christmas Full Moon in nearly 40 years was seen worldwide, including over our heads:

2015 Christmas Moon ©Blogginginitaly.com

2015 Christmas Moon ©Blogginginitaly.com

And this spectacle, which we also saw on our after dinner walk, was too good not to share! Click on the panorama image to enlarge and enjoy.

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

Ciao,
Judy

Merry Christmas and Happy Birthday

25 Dec

On this blessed Christmas day, I am thankful that my ancestors came from Italy and that their  traditions are in my blood; that my parents were born America, and that they continued the traditions plus added new ones; and that throughout the year, I am able to celebrate, continue and expand these family traditions surrounded by the love of family and friends.

Len's BD, a few years ago!

Len’s BD, a few years ago! 3 generations

June '15 Benita's Graduation - 4 generations

June ’15 Benita’s Graduation – 4 generations

Thanksgiving 2015

Thanksgiving 2015

Christmas Eve 2015 "Adult Table"

Christmas Eve 2015 “Adult Table”

Christmas Eve "Kids Table"

Christmas Eve 2015 “Kids Table”

Christmas Breakfast 2015

Christmas Breakfast 2015

To family and extended family members, (pictured and not), who bring so much joy to my life, and to friends we have made over the years who have enhanced our lives in so many ways,  I wish you a most Blessed and Merry Christmas!

And to our beautiful and amazing daughter Benita, I wish you a very Happy Birthday! And ditto to my super nephew Will!

Benita 23. Cousin Will 22

Benita 23. Cousin Will 22

Couldn't resist! Benita age?

Couldn’t resist! Benita age 2 years 4 months

Buon Natale! Buon Compleanno! Auguri – Cheers!

Ciao,
Judy

 

 

 

Lincoln Park Zoo Lights

22 Dec

Another tradition we look forward to each year is seeing the city sparkling in lights for the holiday season. There is the traditional Michigan Avenue lighting ceremony; flipping the switch on the city Christmas tree at Daley Plaza; the wreaths on the lions gracing The Art Institute; and so many others. One of my favorites, however, is always Lincoln Park Zoo’s annual Zoo Lights. Each year, the displays seem to get better, and this year is no exception.

Lincoln Park Zoo, a leader in animal conservation and care, is a 35-acre zoo located in Lincoln Park in Chicago. The zoo was founded in 1868, making it one of the oldest zoos in the U.S. It is also one of a few free admission zoos in the United States.

Like so many others last night, we basked in the unseasonal warm weather as we enjoyed the spectacle at the zoo.

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

Best of all is seeing the smiles and hearing the giggles of the many children, although at the zoo, everyone seems to find the child within, including Benita and me with our little friend Noah who was nice enough to pose with us.

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

Zoo Lights runs until January 3. If you are in town, don’t miss all the fun things to see and do… incredible light displays, animals from around the world,

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

live ice carvings, delicious food, hot spiced wine and unique holiday shopping.

IMG_0329

And there’s even an ice skating rink for those so inclined.

Happy Fun!

Ciao,

Judy

Christmas Traditions and Pizzelle

17 Dec

Italian families love their traditions, and our is no different. Each Friday after Thanksgiving, we buy our REAL tree, then spend the rest of the weekend decorating it and the house.

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

Then, a few weeks before Christmas, Benita and I do some baking. One of our favorite things is making pizzelle, a traditional Italian waffle cookie.

Pizzelle were first made in the south-central area of Abruzzo in the 8th century.  Two small towns each claim to have originated the treat, Salle, in the Province of Pescara, and Cocullo, in the Province of L’Aquila.

Although they can be made with various flavors, we happen to love them loaded with anise.

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

While the pizzelle are delicious, the best part for me is our tradition of making them together. As for Len, he’s our tester, making sure we have just the right amount of anise.

Click Christmas Pizzelle for Benita’s post as well as the recipe.

 

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

Ciao,

Judy

Christmas Pizzelle

Christmas Greetings from Cortona

12 Dec

What is Christmas like in Cortona? Christmas in Cortona makes me feel as if I am still there. Such fun seeing so many friends who live and work in Cortona and make it such a special place. Thanks, AF Travel, for putting this together.

Christmas In Cortona, Tuscany ©AF TRAVEL

Click here and enjoy: Christmas in Cortona

Ciao,

Judy

Sharing Cortona with Family and Friends

7 Dec

As you probably know, Len and I spent nearly three months in Cortona this fall. It was a time to be with local friends, make new ones, and share our “second” home with visitors. What we love about sharing is that when people leave, they always say the same thing: “Now we get it!” Seeing Cortona through our eyes and meeting our local friends easily answers any questions about why we return year after year.

Something that made me especially happy is that each of my siblings has now visited us in Cortona. In 2012, my brother Bill and his family visited Len, Benita and me,

IMG_6462

©Blogginginitaly.com

as well as son Michael.

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

Then this year, my sister Alexis and her family came for a special birthday celebration.

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

And a week later, my sister Florence and her husband stopped by after a trip through the Dolomites.

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

Several Chicago and Austin visitors came through on their way to and from other destinations:

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

IMG_8170

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

There was the usual contingent of friends who frequent Cortona,

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

IMG_0011

©Blogginginitaly.com

plus new friends we made this year:

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

And finally, there were those we missed who were with us in spirit:

IMG_3207 - Version 2

This ancient city and its history are incredible, but what really brings us back are the local friends who have welcomed us into their lives and into their homes, truly allowing us to feel as though we are no longer tourists but Cortonese.

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

With apologies to those whose photos are MIA, our heartfelt thanks to all for a wonderful fall in Cortona. Till we embrace again, saluti!

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

And if you are wondering why we always seem to have a glass in our hands, well, perchè no?

Cheers,
Judy

 

 

%d bloggers like this: