Monday, August 29, 2016

Our Bar in Rome

Bill and I often passed along the south end of the Piazza Navona to the Via del Governo Vecchio -- a 15th century street with vintage shops, bars and restaurants and two bookstores.
Bill and I returned many times to a bar called Il Piccolo (The Little One).
Here is the son of the owner keeping an eye on things. He works in a leather shop across the street.
One of his Dad's tables of regulars.
We found the pedestrian and motor traffic lively but never too much.
The people watching is excellent.
We chatted with this nice local and his girlfriend below. 
They had come in from the suburbs for some quality time in the Historic Centre of Rome.
 The staff at Il Piccolo treat you like a regular even on your first visit. We saw a lot of Adriano (right). 
Be warned that one drink will soon become another. 
 Bill's favourite red.
Craft beer is popular in Italy.
Another mellow evening in the Historic Centre.
 Twice we arrived on soccer nights when the patio doubled in size with passionate fans to watch the game on an outside large screen. 
May we recommend this bar on the Via del Governo Vecchio, 74-75.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

A Week in Muskoka

Last week John and I had five days on Walker Lake in Muskoka, Ontario, near Huntsville.
The Norseman is a cottage-rental resort and restaurant off the beaten path
When you pull in off the highway you find the restaurant and main building.
Most of the cottages for rent surround a communal dock. There is an inflated swimming raft and there are canoes, kayaks and a pedal boat for visitor use.
We rented the most remote cottage with its own floating dock.
We've visited four times before with our friend Omid but it had been 8 years since our last visit. The place was much like we remembered it.
We love the screened-in Muskoka Room.
We put out peaches and tomatoes to ripen, just out of reach of local creatures.
It is a also good work space.
I was working on a study from a dream I'd had in Rome based on Baroque ceiling art and something that I'd wanted to explore for Arabian Nights watercolour drawings.
We spent leisurely hours reading alone or chatting on the deck.
The little deck is a great vantage point for observing the cottage above,
the lovely moss-covered rock face and foliage,
morning mists
and the fascinating changes of skies over the water.
Omid liked the kayaks and would sometimes appear at the dock on his explorations.
I personally loved the water reflections when all was calm
and slipping into the lovely warm waters
with John.
I was reading Elena Ferrante but John was gobbling Jeff Vandermeer and Luigi Ghirri.
Muskoka is pure delight.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

One Night in the Piazza Navona

After an evening drink at one of our favourite Roman bars 
Bill and I would often pass through the Piazza Navona on our way home.
The dusk light softened the crass edges of the busy piazza.
Even the buskers seemed more romantic.
Bernini's famous fountains were glowing
in the yellow floodlights.
There is much crass caricature and portrait art being made  in the Navona,
but one night we came upon an artist doing nice work.
We were happy for the young couple, perhaps honeymooners,
who would go home with a charming holiday portrait from Rome.