Saturday, September 1, 2012

Planeta vinery, Sanbuca di Sicilia

Planeta winery is one of Sicily's finest and produces some of Italy's best wines. The company is run professionally and it's tastings and tours are run by a  courteous staff.
In  this magical soil, the Chardonnay grape has found a new home where exceptional wines are produced. as an example. The methods of fermentation use the latest equipment and the results convinced even a cynic like me.
It must be added that Planeta also excellent olive oil. We savored it when we were tasting the wines and asked for something to eat. Although the winery doesn't provide food, they were kind enough to provide us with country bread covered with their extra virgin olive oil. Delizioso. Speaking of which, we tasted cannoli at the Caffe' Giglio in Sanbuca di Sicilia that were unlike anything we had ever tasted. Their flavor was very subtle and were naturally deliziosi.

The only thing to add is:
Have a spiritual Sunday by drinking some wine.  Abbiate una domenica spirituale, bevendo un po' di vino.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Ballaro' market, part 2

A few more from this fascinating outdoor market in Palermo.

Happy Saturday / Buon Sabato

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Have a delicious week end / Vi auguriamo ona fine di settimana deliziosa

A few more from Marsala

The lack of people in the streets ia a testimony to the siesta, a habit that Sicilians learned from the Spanish. These photos were all shot at that time when, due to the intense summer sun, people go home at the middle of the day and most stores will not reopen until 5:PM or so. It must be understood that Italian has no word for stress so this English verb and noun  has been made into Italian as stressare, to stress or as stress, the noun. Ho lo stress; sono molto stressato etc.

Check these out

We lost a great man and a true hero when Neil Armstrong passed away, but also a groundbreaking photographer. Not only was he the first person to set foot on the moon, but the first one to photograph it, and the man responsible for some of the most iconic images of the lunar surface. 

While some photos captured the magnificence of what he and Buzz Aldrin were seeing, others were, well, just bad.  In the 122 photos he captured in space, there are a few accidental shots that aren't quite as perfect. They may not be brilliant pictures, but they do make the reality hit home a bit more that there were just two people up there with a Hasselblad.

One thing that's a bit of a shame is that since Armstrong was the primary photographer on the trip, there are very few pictures of him on the moon, and the best of them seems to be an accidental photo bomb.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Have a wonderul Thursday / Abbiate un bellissimo giovedi'

Palms in the town park of Santa Margherita del Belice, in Sicily.

L'entroterra siciliana

The term , entroterra, refers to inland areas and these shots of abandoned buildings across from each other, one being a palatial residence while the other was some abandoned factory, are from the entroterra. We were on our way to the famous and much praised Planeta vineyards and winery in Sambuca di Sicilia also in the entroterra. More on this place on an upcoming post. Being in the middle of the day and in late August, the land was parched. A far cry from the winter months when the soil is resplendent with a myriad of colors from an almost endless variety of wild flowers. But in the summer, the land has it's own beauty. However, the sky is always a gorgeous deep blue.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012


Located at the northwestern point of Sicily, lies this very old city by the Elimians. According to many historians and philologists, this was the city in the Odyssey, not Ithaca. Butler an English historian makes the case for this argument. At any rate, this is a large urban area that has sprawled almost unchecked that hides a real pearl of a centro storico. This being the oldest part of the city, it offers wonderful photo ops. The area has recently been valued as an important  asset and it has been converted into a large urban mall that is free of cars. There are gorgeous buildings along with cafes, restaurants and boutiques. Iw was worth a visit. We arrived in late afternoon when the light is magical.

And to all, happy Wednesday / e a tutti, buon mercoledi'

Adobe keeps on rolling along


Adobe Announces Camera Raw 7.2 RC and Lightroom 4.2 RC, adding support for many new Cameras and Lens Profiles

Adobe has announced the availability of Camera Raw 7.2 RC (Release Candidate) A "release candidate" label indicates that this update has been well tested but would benefit from additional community testing before being distributed automatically.

This new version adds many new cameras and lens profiles, and Adobe has also added tools to recover image sensor data typically lost when shooting in a camera crop mode (e.g., 3:2, 16:9, 1:1). That way, you can view the entire recorded image captured by the sensor, not just the part of the image used by the crop mode selected. The exception is that Nikon and Pentax cameras crop the raw data to the chosen aspect ratio. But, for other brands of cameras, the entire image captured by the sensor is available using the new Camera Raw 7.2 Release Candidate when shooting using a different Aspect Ratio than what the sensor is natively setup for.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Have a calm Tuesday / Vi augurimo un martedi' calmo

Tough life

The  beaches here a full of all sorts if immigrants selling their wares. I wonder how they can actually make a living and how much must suffer in the heat. Mostly come from North Africa but there are Chinese offering temporary tattoos and massages. Fortunately this was an unusually cloudy day.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Ballaro' market / Have a delicious week/ Abbiate una deliziosa settimana

Lu baddaro', Ballaro' in Italian is one of two phenomenal outdoor markets in the old quarters of Palermo, a city replete with history and culture. The other one is la Vucciuria, where there are more food stands so one can eat all the Palermitan delicacies. We did manage to savor the famous sfinciuni palermitanu, a pizza that had bread crumbs on top along with  a simple dressing of tomatoes  and spices. It was superb.

Here one can shop at moderate prices and the quality is absolutely first class. It has all the qualities of an Arab bazaar and it harkens back to the days when Palermo was an emirate. There is an energy here that is indescribable along with sounds and aromas that are equally delightful. It is little wonder than a major TV talk show is named Ballaro' taking it;s tittle from the fact that in the show there is an unlimited number of topics and opinions. It is a place worth visiting. With my wife's Marcy's parking karma, we found a spot near the entrance; a miracle.