Monday, April 30, 2012

Blast from the Past

Who else remembers Milton the Monster!??

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Abbazia di Farneta

For years now I've been driving past a sign for Abbazia di Farneta, Farneta Abbey on my way to Florence.  I've always been curious to stop by and take a look and I finally did!  Before visiting, I did some research on the internet and most every site had a picture of the Abbey only from the outside similar to the one above.  I was surprised and thrilled to find that it was even more impressive inside! 

I am particularly fascinated (that's a nice way of saying 'obsessed') with religious statues, especially those of the Madonna and Child.  To the left of the alter was a statue of the Madonna and Child decorated with rosary beads and ribbons. In her outstretched right hand was a basket filled with hand-written prayers on various scraps of paper.  There was even one written on the back of an electric bill!  The Abbey was built by Benedictine Monks before the year 1000 and it wasn't until 1940 that the Crypt below was discovered.  The Crypt contains columns and capitals of Roman origin with granite from Egypt and the Orient as well as marble columns also from the Orient.  If you find yourself near Cortona, it's worth a visit!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Grilled Cheese 'n Ham!

Amore appreciates a little taste of the states as much as I do.   And a glass of red to wash it down is always good!

Monday, April 09, 2012

Buona Pasqua!

An Easter tradition here in Italy is Torta di Formaggio, Cheese Bread.  Be warned, it's a dangerous bread.  Crusty outside and cheesy inside.  Bread filled with chunks of Swiss cheese and laced with grated Parmesan and butter.  I think we ate almost half the loaf immediately after it cooled from the oven. 

350 grams of flour
3 eggs
1/2 cup of milk
1 package yeast
100 grams of melted butter
150 grams of cubed Swiss Cheese
100 grams of grated Parmesan
1 teaspoon salt and pepper

Warm the milk and dissolve the yeast into it.   Then I have a dirty confession, I don't really follow any rules and just start mixing everything together with a wooden spoon, except the Swiss cheese which I add at the end.  And as long as I'm confessing, I don't knead the dough either.  Phew, I feel so much better now that I've gotten that off my chest!  Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover and let rise about 2 hours.  Grease a loaf pan and bake 1 hour at 350 degrees.  Oh, and Happy Easter!

Tuesday, April 03, 2012


We took a back road yesterday from Umbertide to Magione and saw this gorgeous, castle-like structure along the way.  Isn't it lovely?  No idea what it is, but if I find out I'll update the post.  One of life's little advantages here, random beauty!