An Italian Christmas Tradition and Pizzette for dessert

•December 20, 2016 • Comments Off on An Italian Christmas Tradition and Pizzette for dessert

Piacere - Food & Travel without rules!

My grandmother would make biscotti for days before Christmas and hide them in an armoire in her front hall under lock and key. If she allowed any of us to get close to them, they would have disappeared long before Christmas. But if we asked her nicely, she never said no. She took the key out of her apron pocket and unlocked that treasure chest filled with sweet, spiced biscotti and handed you some of your favorites.

She had a small white sideboard with a roll-down top. Here she made all her biscotti and that sideboard was our first stop when we entered her kitchen. We could never understand how so many wonderful desserts could be prepared on such a small surface. When I was young I remember her cooking on a black iron stove and blocks of ice being delivered for her wooden icebox. She was in her element…

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Glugg, Spiced Wine for Holiday Greetings

•December 19, 2016 • Comments Off on Glugg, Spiced Wine for Holiday Greetings

Since I have so many hits for this recipe during the holidays , I decided to post it again. Hope you have a wonderful holiday and enjoy my Uncle Vic’s recipe.

Piacere - Food & Travel without rules!

Every year on Christmas Eve, we gathered at Uncle Vic’s house for our traditional Italian Christmas Eve dinner. As family and friends arrived, he would greet them with a cup of his famous Glugg. The aroma of Glugg filled the house with the wonderful scent of spices. Coming in from the cold New England winter and greeted with a warm cup of Glugg instantly made you feel that you were home. With the fire glowing in the fireplace and the family gathered around snatching a piece of fried fish, the festivities began.

He always had the biggest Christmas tree that he cut down himself. Covered with old antique ornaments and everyone’s gifts stacked under the tree, we could hardly get into the living room. The house was open to anyone who didn’t have a place to go and filled with fun as each person arrived bring their homemade biscotti as…

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International Black & White Spider Awards

•November 6, 2016 • Comments Off on International Black & White Spider Awards

The International Black & White Spider Awards were announced November 5th in a world-wide presentation online. Two of my photo’s were nominated.

11th Annual Jury members included captains of the industry from National Geographic, Washington DC; The Armory Show, New York; TBWA, Paris; Victoria Film Festival, Canada; Aeroplastics Contemporary, Brussels; Studio Hansa, London; Fratelli Alinari, Florence; Australian Centre for Photography; Young & Rubicam, Lima; and Anthem Worldwide/Marque Branding, Sydney who honored Spider Fellows with 627 coveted title awards in 31 categories.”It is an incredible achievement to be selected among the best from the 7,556 entries we received this year,” said Basil O’Brien, the awards Creative Director. ”

The Gelmersee Bridge

Located in Oberwald, Switzerland above the Grimsel Pass is Gelmersee (lake). The bridge is situated at the entrance of the Gelmerbahn mountain railway to the Gelmersee. It is a pedestrian bridge suspended over the Handeggfall with a spectacular view of the dramatic falls.



The Raymond & Maria Stata Center

The Raymond & Maria Stata Center was designed by Frank Gehry. Located at MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts is the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Departments as well as student dorms on the upper floors. The exterior tiles reflect the surrounding landscape and creates a visual picture of the activities of student life in the area.


The Wimmlet (Wine Harvest)at Jürg Obrecht Winery in Jenins, Switzerland

•October 1, 2016 • Comments Off on The Wimmlet (Wine Harvest)at Jürg Obrecht Winery in Jenins, Switzerland

This year’s harvest is in full swing in the Bünder Herrschaft.


Last year I had the fortune of photographing Jürg Obrecht and his team harvest and process the grapes.


With urgency and passion, the activity was intense as the temperature in the evening was beginning to drop.


Not a minute could be wasted in getting the grapes into the crushers and vats.


The moment to harvest is decided with experience, gut and closely watching the weather.


Jürg took over his father’s winery (Weinbau & Weinhandel) in 1997. Along with his young family he built a team of talented people to develop and create innovative and traditional wines.


Added to the production of his own 17 acres of vineyards he buys the harvest from another 50 acres of vineyards in Jenins and Maienfeld.


Surrounded by spectacular views of the Alps he produces excellent and award winning red and white wines.


Jürg modernized his production with the newest techniques and equipment to generate top quality wines.


Eighty percent of the grapes he grows are Pinot Noir, the rest are mainly Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc, Riesling  and Sylvaner.


I thank Jürg and his team for tolerating my camera and me and for the lovely glass of wine.


It was hard to shoot and drink at the same time, but as always I found a way and completely enjoyed the experience.

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For more information of the Fünf Dörfer – The 5 villages along the Wine Route of Marienfeld Switzerland

Umbria, The Land of Hilltop Cities, Olive Trees, Wine and Black Truffles

•June 6, 2016 • Comments Off on Umbria, The Land of Hilltop Cities, Olive Trees, Wine and Black Truffles

Umbra’s hilly landscape is known for its many medieval hill-top towns that are surrounded with olive groves and vineyards as far as the eye can see. Stretching from Perugia to Spoleto it is a rich agricultural area producing olive oil, black truffles and wine. Tourists will also find beautiful textiles items such as scarf’s and linens produced in the region.


I was impressed to discover the renovation of some of the hilltop towns that today are being occupied, not only by part-time summer residence, but are beautiful vibrant communities. This trip we set out to visit Spoleto, Montefalco, Trevi and some of the restored towns such as Campello Alta and Castello di Postignano.



We found the lovely Argriturismo Pettino in Campello sul Clitunno, after driving along a windy road overlooking the valley, on top of a mountain. The food was outstanding with homemade pasta, perfectly grilled meats, local specialities and black truffles collected by the family around the surrounding mountain. However a warning, after drinking wine and eating large and delicious meals, driving down the mountain could be a risk, so staying at  Argriturismo Pettino is a good idea.




Nonna, who was there before breakfast and stayed until after the dinner service was a joyful woman who loved to talk to the guests. I got to know her a little during my stay and one morning she was making homemade ravioli, I really wanted to stay and help her, but we were going to visit Spoleto that day and I had to make a choice, Spoleto it was. But I was in heaven at dinner eating the best ravioli I have ever had that evening.




As I left Umbria, a plan began totake shape in my head about how I was going to return, but that will be another trip and another story.




Enjoy some of the photo’s I took of the landscape and look for a future post about Montefalco and Spoleto.

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Lost Identity, Spotlight Award in Black & White Photography Porfiolio Contest

•April 6, 2016 • Comments Off on Lost Identity, Spotlight Award in Black & White Photography Porfiolio Contest

I had hopped that I would have the opportunity to bring to light through my photography images and story of Bipolor and Identity disorders. Black & White Photography Magazine gave me that opportunity when I won a Spot Light Award  with my portfolio “Lost Identity” and my experience with someone dear to me afflicted with these disorders.

Black & White Photography Magazine Article

lnsights may come to an artist in unexpected ways and for unpredictable reasons. A photographer might start a project not knowing where it may eventually lead, but at some point, in the midst of shooting, will realize that it has come to represent something other than the initial concept. Such is the case with Patricia Turo and a body of work she has titled Lost Identity.

Turo began photographing models in a studio, rear-lit, their shadows falling onto a translucent screen. lt was an appealing visual idea, but the reason behind it was not initially apparent to her. As Turo explains, “At this time, someone in our family that I loved dearly was struggling with bipolar and identity disorder. The turmoil she experienced was devastating to her and to those who loved her. I felt totally lost and helpless in trying to understand the emotions, depression and struggle that she was experiencing. I found myself grieving because the person I loved I could no longer identify with.”




“lt wasn’t until after I had taken the photographs and uploaded them that I realized that the mood of the images helped me to understand what she was going through. lt is hard to explain the emotional impact the images had on me. I was struggling to understand how she must have been dealing with her disorder, and up to this point I couldn’t imagine it. The photographs helped me to grasp the depth of her feelings.” The history of art is filled with depictions of artists or their subjects facing mental disorders. Van Gogh’s self-portraits, Edvard Munch’s “The Scream” and Francisco de Goya’s disquieting depictions in his Los Caprichos prints are several that come readily to mind. Visualizations of people suffering from these terrible diseases of the psyche are difficult to look at, as well as difficult to portray. That is why some artists use metaphors to represent them. And in many instances it is through metaphor that we may get a better understanding of the dissociation inherent in these disorders. Turo says, “Of course, we could never really put ourselves in that place, so the images helped me imagine what it must be like. They enlightened me, which helped me to have compassion in dealing with the difficult events that occurred in regards to her. ”




Turo’s photographs also help lend us some enllghtenment regarding the agony of a dissociative illness. ln all of the Lost ldentity images we see that the silhouette projected onto the screen is human and female. She is at times in sharp relief and at other times blurred and indistinct, suggesting the nature of her internal struggle. Her gestures and postures often appear defensive and broken, helping us to interpret the representative shadow as being separate and alone. The screen between the figure and viewer alludes to the divide between those overwhelmed by their disorder and those loved ones left on the opposite side, able only to observe what is coming to pass.


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Although we understand that the true nature of any internal disintegration can more accurately be depicted through clinical images. For most of us it’s the metaphor that allows a more sympathetic and emotive understanding, and because ultimately, unless an artist has suffered from a mental disorder, she or he can never really know how to express it, except through analogy. lt’s through this approximation that the artist may deliver, to the viewer, a sense of the experience.




“l wanted to use the photos to bring visibiity to the issue of bipolar and identity crisis, ” Turo explains. ” I hope that others viewing them and who have had the same experience will become more aware of how desperate the person affected is and the helplessness that the whole family feels. Love and support are vital durlng this time to bring that person to a place where they can stabilize, find themselves and reconnect.”

– Larry Lytle




Black & White Photography Magazine, issue 115 can be found in bookstores world-wide or ordered by contacting the magazine.

Traveling the Bernina Pass, Switzerland

•February 12, 2016 • Comments Off on Traveling the Bernina Pass, Switzerland

The Bernina Pass is one of Europe’s highest alpine passes at 2253-metre-high. It is located in the Canton of Graubünden and The Bernina Express runs from Chur, Davos, St Moritz through Valposchiavo to Tirano in Italy.

Bernina Pass, Switzerland

The stunning and rugged landscapes and pristine ice blue lakes provide magnificent views of the Alps. Alp Grüm (2,091 m) is the first station south of the Alps situated above Largo Palü. The train negotiates  55 tunnels and 196 bridges. The highest point on the RhB is 2,253 metres above sea level, where you will find the Ospizio Bernina.

Bernina Pass, Switzerland

The route takes you on a journey into Swiss German, Romanish and Italian villages, cultures and languages. It offers a unique experience of Alpine life in small villages as well as the glamour of St Moritz. It is considered one of the world’s most beautiful train trips.

Bernina Pass, Switzerland

The Radishes Bahn is one of the Largest Network of Rail systems in Switzerland except for the Swiss Federal Railway. RhB section from the Albula/Bernina area (the part from Thusis to Tirano, including St Moritz) was added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 2008.

Bernina Pass, Switzerland


Enjoy some of the landscapes along the Bernina Pass.

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Information can be found on Wikipedia, – (,the Rhaetian Railway at and My Swiss


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