Photo Friday: Winter Fishing

Winter Fishing Boat Amalfi Italy

I wish I could hold on to the peacefulness of February evenings throughout the year. I swear that Amalfi just keeps getting more beautiful all month long. Last week while out taking an evening stroll and soaking up the sunset colors shining on the buildings of Amalfi, I heard the sound of an engine starting up and looked over to see this man on his colorful fishing boat heading out of port. I wondered where he was off to, but I hoped he had a successful catch!

Happy weekend wishes to you!

Ready for Spring in the Garden!

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted an update in my adventures of an amateur gardener. This winter has been a busy one with work, and the garden is just now starting to come back to life. Just before I left Italy, the tour guide and I spent a long morning out in the garden cleaning, pruning, cutting and clipping away. I’m not sure if everything that got pruned was supposed to get pruned, but I guess that’s where the adventures come in, right? The last two years I’ve been in charge of pruning the hydrangeas, which had been growing too tall. While we were happier with the size, we were not so happy that they produced significantly fewer flowers each summer. So this year the tour guide took his amateur hand at pruning, and hopefully leaving them longer means we might get more flowers this year. I love cutting them and bringing them inside since they are so colorful and keep for so long.

The lavender plants don’t seem to have liked all the rain this winter, and as I pruned I found some dark areas underneath. I hope they recover with some nice spring weather and sunshine! The pot is ready for flowers as soon as I return to Italy. But I see I still have work to do cleaning off that wall. (That’s a thankless and never ending task this amateur gardener doesn’t particularly care for…)

We have an old well in the garden, which we learned still holds water two years ago during a particularly rainy winter. I can’t plant any perennials in there because they drown. (RIP lavender plants from two years ago…) The last two summers I’ve filled the well the coleus, which is very colorful, happy and easy to take care of. Not sure if I’ll do the same again this year, or try something new. Any ideas?

I was very happy to see that the gardenia plant that I bought for myself last year seems to have done well over the winter. I gave it a little prune, and I look forward to smelling its sweet scent as I walk through our gate this summer!

Now I’m itching for the warm spring days to plant our herb garden on the terrace. It won’t be long now!

Photo Friday: Savoring the Stillness in Amalfi

I love the spring light on the Amalfi Coast. Or maybe it’s just that I see things during the month of February, when the town of Amalfi has taken a deep breath and closed its shutters and shops for a bit of winter rest, that are easily missed during the busier times of the year. Last week I was waiting on the steps of the cathedral in a sunny spot in Piazza Duomo while my boyfriend was in the bank. I turned around and spotted this pretty ceramic tile showing the facade and campanile of the church near the Pizzeria Sant’ Andrea, which is located right at the base of the steps of the Duomo. I hadn’t ever noticed it before, perhaps because it is mostly covered with the restaurant awning or I was distracted by the busy outdoor tables. I love moments like this where I feel like I get to know the city I love just a little better. Like the quirks or habits of your best friend or loved one. It takes slowing down to savour these little things, and February on the Amalfi Coast is perfect for doing just that!

Photo Friday: Running Back to Paris

Paris rue Mouffetard

I can’t believe it’s already time for another Photo Friday. Two weeks ago today I was out exploring the 1st arrondissement in Paris, from the l’Orangerie Museum in the morning, along the rue de Rivoli to the Palais Royal, shopping on Place des Victoires, the late Gothic magic of St-Eustache, vin chaud on rue Montorgueil and the evening chaos of the Les Halles metro. I’ve hardly had time to enjoy my photos and finish writing about everything we did in Paris. Life is simply too busy! This morning I thought back to this photo I snapped while strolling along the rue Mouffetard market street in the 5th arrondissement south of the Latin Quarter. I would go running back to Paris in a heartbeat!

An Early Spring Day in Amalfi

For those of you who work from home, or have in the past, you’ll know that weekends don’t come around every week like they do for many people. Sometimes there’s that extra project that comes in last minute. Or maybe you’re trying to catch up or get ahead. As a freelance writer, it seems like there are always a million things to do at any given moment. And they’re all probably things that I should be doing. Finding a balance between work and home life is essential, even on a day by day basis, and slowly I’m learning when it’s time to say, “Basta!” (Enough!) When the sun shines and the sky is temptingly blue, it becomes a whole lot easier to know when to say when. (Of course, in the summer that becomes another challenge!)

February Sun Amalfi

Saturday morning was splendid! Just a few weeks ago there was snow on the mountains, but we opened the windows to find the warm sun shining on the sea and the sky clear. Weekend it was! Walking around Amalfi it felt like spring, with kids out playing on the beach and mounds of winter coats, hats and scarves piled up on the benches and rocks nearby. With the nice weather, the morning errands took a bit longer and soon it was lunch time. The sun felt too warm to go back inside, so we stopped by the Lido delle Sirene restaurant behind the port in Amalfi and asked for something quick to enjoy out on their terrace.

Amalfi Beach February

The  lunch that arrived was a wonderful treat … panini con polpette (meatball sandwich). With the warm sun and fresh breeze from the sea, for a moment it really felt like summer.

Lunch on the Beach in Amalfi

In fact, it felt like summer so much that we spent a hour and a half in the sun on the beach after lunch. This is the earliest my swimsuit has ever made it out of the wardrobe!

Amalfi February Beach

There certainly isn’t the same atmosphere as the busy summer days, but a warm early spring day like this somehow feels even better. After a winter of being cold, both inside and outside the house, it felt so good to stretch out and soak up the sun! And now I can tell you, spring is really just around the corner on the Amalfi Coast!

Beach Day Amalfi February