Athletic : One Word Sunday

madonnade Campiglio, Italy

Hiking in the Dolomites, Italy

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Color Your World : Mountain Meadow

Mount Baldo in Lake Garda, and it's hang gliders

Monte Baldo in Lake Garda

This is my favourite mountain meadow, called Monte Baldo, overlooking the village/town of Malchesine  on Lake Garda.    The top of the mountain is 2218 m high, and can be reached on foot (quite a climb) or by the easier option of cable cars.   Because of the height, one cable car takes you half way up the mountain, then you can either climb the rest of the way or take the second cable car.     Once on the top the views are amazing, and there is so much going on there that you can enjoy a day in the mountain.

Linked to Color Your World 

Hugh’s Photo Challenge : Wrong Position

Run Away With Me, Juliette

Run Away With Me, Juliet.

This photo was taken last summer in Verona, at the famous statue of Juliet, I don’t think Romeo would be too impressed with Juliet’s new suitor!

For more visit Hugh’s page

Leading Lines : CCY Week 5

Gondolas at the ready

Gondolas at the ready

This week Cee’s Compose Yourself Challenge is to show leading lines.   These photos were mainly taken in  Italy last year, and the ones taken in Venice naturally  involve water and canals.   I hope you like my choices.

Chairlift to the top of the mountain

Chairlift to the top of the mountain

 

Light on the water

Light on the water

Going round the bend at Lake Garda

Going round the bend at Lake Garda

Ooops I have gone and done it…

If the book is as good as the blog posts, then it will be hilarious!

Englishman in Italy

At 3 pm on Sunday the 18th October,  I pressed the button and launched my little book project on the  Kickstart website, Taa Raaa, I shouted as it went live. I then realised the enormity of what I had done. Not only had I offered a weekend stay at our house, complete with a wine tasting at my favourite cantina, as part of the rewards but the realisation, that I might not receive any backers suddenly hit home……  I would have to change my name from Pecora Nera to Billy No Mates!!!

Pecora Nera changes his name to Billy No Mates Pecora Nera changes his name to Billy No Mates

Driving through Asti later that evening my phone blipped… I received the following message Hooray! Susan Fischer just backed your project.   followed almost immediately by Hooray! Jo Ellen Prutz just backed your project. To say I am excited is an understatement, there are three questions that…

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A Visit to the Casino at Marino, Dublin

Well, you may be wondering what I played at the Casino, was it slot machines, blackjack, or (my favourite) roulette…and how much did I win, or lose….It was not that kind of Casino!    This Casino, or Casine, comes from the Italian and means ‘small house’, and is an 18th century architectural masterpiece in miniature.

The building was designed in 1759 as a pleasure house for James Caulfeild, the 1st Earl of Charlemont.    James left Ireland at the age of 18 to do the ‘grand tour’ of Europe, and stayed away for about 9 years.   He fell in love with Italy and its many villas, and on his return to Ireland he commissioned one of the finest architects of the time, Sir William Chambers, to create a garden temple from which he could overlook the magnificent Dublin Bay, and the Dublin mountains beyond.

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Widely regarded as the most important Neo-Classical building in Ireland, the Casino is actually quite small, measuring only fifty feet square to the outer columns. In plan, it takes the form of a Greek Cross with a pair of columns framing each projecting elevation. Seen from the outside, the building has the appearance of a single roomed structure, with a large panelled door on the north elevation and a single large window on each of the other elevations. This is all illusion, however, as it actually contains 16 rooms on three floors. Only two of the panels in the door open to allow entrance, and the panes of glass in the windows are subtly curved, disguising the partitioning which allows what looks like a single window to serve several separate rooms.

Many other tricks are used throughout the construction in order to preserve the apparent simplicity of the design. Four of the columns which surround the building are hollow and,with a length of chain dangling in each, allows rainwater to drain down. The Roman funerary urns on the roof (designed by James Gandon) are used as chimneys.

The interior, by Simon Vierpyl, includes a basement level with a kitchen and associated rooms, a main floor with reception rooms and a top storey with servants rooms and a State Bedroom. It contains some very fine plasterwork ceilings and some elaborate hardwood parquet floors.

Originally the Casino was linked to Marino House by a tunnel, although this has been blocked off due to building works in the area. (Source : Wikipedia)

There are guided tours of the building, which are very interesting and informative, and we were amazed at all the different methods used to make the layout and the rooms look larger than they were, like the curved ceilings, curved doors, and the absolute symmetry of everything in each room – if there was a door on one wall, there was a matching door on the other wall, even if it only led to a cupboard.  The furnishings are in the Georgian style, and there are magnificent wooden patterned parquet floors.

The building was taken over in the 1970s by Heritage Ireland, when it was in a very bad state of repair, and they have done a marvellous job in restoring this miniature to its former beauty, and this work is ongoing.

I hope you enjoy the gallery, and if you are ever in Dublin, it is well worth going to visit this Casino,which is between Clontarf and Malahide.

 

 

 

Weekly Photo Challenge : Converge

The narrow streets and high buildings found in many towns in Italy, are ideal for this week’s Photo Challenge, as the buildings seem to converge as  you look off into the distance.

The Bridge of Sighs, Venice

The Bridge of Sighs, Venice

The lonely boatman sails under the Bridge of Sighs, and disappears off into the converging distance.

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