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Archive for the ‘Italy’ Category

My most well-travelled friend loves taking opportunistic photos of wedding couples when she is in foreign climes. Her most recent shots were taken over the weekend of a wedding couple at Angkor Wat. Such a dramatic location for your wedding photos!

We also like taking the occasional photo of couples having their wedding photos taken. My husband started it many years ago, sans Mali, on his first trip to Japan. I love this shot both because the very traditionally dressed best man (?) is using a cellphone, and also because the size of the cellphone dates the picture perfectly!

A japanese wedding party in kimono and formal dress, with one member holding a brick of a cellphone

 

My favourite shot used to be this one, taken at gorgeous Polignano a Mare in Puglia, Italy. We saw a few wedding couples out for their photo shoots in Italy, including at Monopoli harbour (just down the road from Polignano a Mare) and in a sunflower field, though sadly, I can’t find that photo.

P1150277 polignano cliff bride

On this last trip, we saw a few couples posing in gardens and temples in Japan, and the beauty of their kimonos (which can cost thousands simply for the rental) and the surroundings caused both my husband and I to get out our phones/cameras. I like the ones of this couple.

And we couldn’t miss the couple in Vietnam either, stunning against the flowers of the flame trees in Hue.

P1120806

I haven’t included photos of the wedding we attended (of complete strangers) on a cliff at a resort in Fiji, or of the couples we saw getting married at Club Med in Tahiti over 20 years ago, but they were memorable. I’m sure I’ve forgotten others, but there was something special about the ones I’ve included here. It feels a little voyeuristic, but I figure that if you’re going to dress up and pose in public, then you’re fair game to become a holiday snap!

And thanks to Carolyn for inspiring this post.

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Wine is a wonderful combination of nature and skill. In certain regions of New Zealand, the landscape has changed over the last 40 years from grazing (sheep farming) to hectare after hectare of vines. But in parts of Europe, they have been there for centuries. Here we have a view of the home of prosecco, an area kissed by nature in northern Italy.

Rolling hills coated in vines, Prosecco country, Veneto, Italy

 

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After our three-month Lemons to Limoncello sojourn in Italy, I wrote that the dish I most wanted to recreate when I got home was the Pumpkin Gnocchi from Trattoria alla Cerva in Vittorio Veneto.

Maybe part of the reason I loved this dish so much was that we ate it in an amazing location (see below), sitting outside in the Piazza Flaminio, in our favourite trattoria, where the owner would come around to his guests, and sit down at your table, and explain the menu – but only if it had changed since the last time we had visited.

Piazza Flaminio - The view from our dinner table

The view from our dinner table

Our last evening in Vittorio Veneto, temperatures had just started to dip, autumn was in the air, and pumpkin was newly on the menu. Foolishly, I suggested to my husband that we share it as a primo piatto (first course), a suggestion I regretted the moment I tasted the gnocchi. A luscious pumpkin flavour, with something else bringing a richness and strength of flavour – which I know now, after testing a few different pumpkin gnocchi recipes, was parmesan cheese – and dressed either with a virgin olive oil or butter (I cannot remember), and a light dusting of finely grated parmesan.

I tested a new recipe recently – here’s the link (as requested by Lemons to Limoncello readers two years ago) – on some friends who were unwitting guinea pigs, and after one bite, knew I’d found something close to the Trattoria alla Cerva’s gnocchi. The base is simply roast pumpkin and parmesan (the more finely grated it is the better), with a tiny bit of egg and flour to bind it together, and it was delicious tossed with the burnt butter and sage sauce. I roasted too much pumpkin, so have several more servings frozen, ready for when I have an urgent need to be deliciously transported back to a northern Italian medieval piazza again.

My pumpkin gnocchi

My pumpkin gnocchi

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