Home coming. Soon

MAINE, LONDON, ROME, PANICALE, PADOVA, TRIESTE. Well, that is how we see it now. Leaving tomorrow, Thursday for London to visit our Wiley. See the sites there, something about a play with Danny DiVito. And then Sunday all three of us hit the easyJet counter and wing our way to Rome. Non vedo l’ora.


ci vediamo in Italia e

See you in Italy,


Let the good times roll…

PANICALE, Umbria – Friday was Good Friday, Sunday was Easter, Pasqua. But did you know Monday in civilized countries is also a holiday? Yes, yes it is. Pasquetta, or little Easter is an official day off/party day/celebration of Spring kind of thing. Panicale handles it by throwing out the first cheese. Ruzzolone is what they call this unique sport where they race a wheel of cheese around a prescribed Race Course. Someone wrote and asked how long it lasts. No idea. It goes on and I’m all about it for an hour or so and inevitably music starts up in the piazza and fickle, next shiny object person that I am, I wander off. Usually the piazza is totally jammed, bands playing music, tables of wine, paninnis, recently sacrificed giant chocolate eggs, all the food groups represented.
ruzzolone in panicale for pasqua
These pictures from Monday were sent to us by our good friend Sarah Bowers knowing it would help us get busy and get packing for our trip to Umbria later this month. She reports it is bright and warm every day, with just enough light April Showers to get everything green and flowery. Exhibit A: her shot of the wisteria just starting to bloom by the warm sunny wall overlooking our garden. Non vedo l’ora. This is our favorite time of year in Italy.

If you’d like to see more photos, here’s a link to stories and pictures from a past year

We’re penciling in Padova and Trieste on our trip plans. Never been to Trieste. Any recommends there? Our friend Enrico of Milano who owns Paciarino here in Portland rolled his eyes heavenward and said “Oh, Trieste. You will love it. Greatly overlooked and one of the best best cities in Italy.” (speaking of loving it, my Ravioli Goat Cheese al Pomodoro was stellar. Complimenti, Enrico) If anyone has any Must See/Do things they think we should put on our Trieste list, let us know. So far, the only absolute is Piazza Grande and il Castillo di Miramar, Maximillian and Carlotta’s fairytale castle in the harbor.

We’re really ready now!

See you in Italy!

Stew Vreeland

Who let the apes out?

italian ape and accessories

We had to spring the “Bad Monkey” from his winter hiding place a bit early this year. It wasn’t for good behavior. But this little green monkey really was going green. He’s being featured at a Sustainable Vehicles Design Seminar at SMCC in South Portland, Monday night. We’ve been really scrambling to get him ready for his first day of school, license plates, registration, insurance, the funny gas/oil brew we have to mix up for it. And a quick bath in the front yard.

See the poster!

And all that early season activity has had some great side benefits. We’ve been storming up and down the road out front, dropping in on neighbors, loud speakers blaring “Volare” or whatever other Italian Classics the iPhone-based sound system has cued up. You can see the glow of this way non-original piece of equipment in the photo. OH, that other glow? That would be one of the Kalik beers our neighbor Denny brought us back from the Bahamas. That was our prize for dropping in on him!

Got to love Italian Design. The two bottles laid down perfectly in the dashboard. One on each side. Cup holders? No. That ground breaking automotive moment had not yet happened back in 1983. And, much as we want one, I have to admit it takes at least two hands on the tiller/accelerator/clutch mechanism to keep this ride shiny side up and between the ditches. Drinking and driving? I don’t think so. We’ve got class tomorrow.

See you in school,

Stew Vreeland