Thursday, 29 May 2008

13 Pieces of Eye Candy!

Welcome to a Special Edition Thursday Thirteen!

This week, I thought I'd rest on my laurels a bit, and post 13 Pieces of Eye Candy which have been previously featured on this blog. Consider it a "Greatest Hits", if you will, even though not all of the candy has been posted before.

So, here we go, in no particular order...

Luca Argentero, Italian Actor

Dimitri Yachvili, Georgian Rugby Player (France)

Nick Beyeler - Swiss, Gymnastic Aerobics World Champion

Antonio Banderas - Spanish Actor

Constantino Vitagliano - Italian TV "Personality"

Filippo Magnini - Italian Swimmer

Mmmmm.... Rugby players from the "Gods of the Stadium" French team calendar.

Lance Armstrong - American Cyclist.

Frank Lampard - British Footballer

Roberto Bolle - Italian Dancer

Alessandro Gassman - Italian Actor

Rafael Verga - Brasilian Model

Members of the French Junior Fencing Team.

And, one to grow on... Just 'cause I can!

A Mystery(?) Rugby Player

Ciao for now, y'all!

Thursday, 22 May 2008

13 Favorite Photos I've Taken

13 Favorite Photos (That I've Taken)

Today I thought I'd share a few of my favorite photos - in most cases, they are photos that I've taken, but one or two were taken by other people instead. Almost all of these are taken in Italy, of course, since this is where my love for photography got a chance to really blossom.

So, in no particular order, here are 13 of my favorite photos! :)

I start with this one, since it's her birthday tomorrow:

Me with my mother on her first visit to Italy, September 2006. (photo taken by my hubby)

On that same visit, the next morning (my mother and stepfather's first official day in Italy), we were greeted by this sight:

Isola Pescatore (Lago Maggiore, Italy) at sunrise, September 2006.

When the hubby and I honeymooned back in 2004, we went to Tuscany (of course). That's where I took this next shot:

A Siena vicolo (alleyway) in La Contrada della Pantera, March, 2004.

And then, of course, you must see...

Venezia... September 2006.

And in this romantic atmosphere, some things come naturally to you...

The hubby and me, May, 2007.

Just last weekend, we attended a Renaissance fair in the nearby city of Quattro Castella, where I took these (if you've seen Under the Tuscan Sun, you should know what they're doing):

Flag throwing at the Ren fair, May 2008.

One of my favorite places to take photos is always Firenze, Italy, for obvious reasons:

Statue in Piazza della Signoria, Firenze, Italy.

Closer to home, however, there are special little moments worthy of note. Like this little guy, the unofficial mascot of the offices of a local bank, where I teach English:

His name is Romeo, by the way. He comes to the bank every morning and rides the elevator to the fifth floor, where he sits on his favorite chair and is given treats. He leaves shortly before 9 a.m., and sometimes returns in the late afternoon. In Winter and Summer, he stays all day, but leaves for lunch (at home). :)

Although this one is blurry, it's a favorite of mine because of the subject. :)

My hubby and his dad, Paolo. February 2007.

On occasion, we wander into the hills for a relaxing stroll. I always take my camera. Here's why:

My hubby in the Appennine foothills...

And then, there are the things you find that just demand to be pictured...

Awwwww.... Sad house is sad...

Post-World Cup Celebrants in Reggio nell'Emilia, Italy, July 2006. (This photo was taken by my hubby, btw.)

I think you can see why I enjoy these pictures, eh?

Oh, yes, there's one more photo that I do enjoy...

Scroll down...

Keep scrolling...

A repeat, but still a goodie!

Fabio Cannavaro, soccer player.


Wednesday, 14 May 2008

Real Men Wear Pink!

Thirteen Facts about The Giro d'Italia

This great cycling race, second only to the infamous "Tour de France", began last weekend. I'm pleased to bring to you a few facts about one of my favorite sporting events.

So, let's jump right in!

1. The first ever Giro d'Italia was begun May 13th, 1909, and was won by Luigi Ganna.

2. This year marks the 90th Giro. It began on May 10th and will continue through June 1st.

3. It has been suspended twice - for World Wars I and II (1915-18 and 1941-45, respectively).

4. Ever since 1931, the overall leader of the Giro sports the maglia rosa (pink jersey), which corresponds with La Gazzetta dello Sport 's pink newsprint. (The yellow jersey given to the overall leader of the Tour de France is done for similar reasons - to correspond with the yellow color of the pages of France's L'Auto sports newspaper.)

5. The different portions of the tour are called "stages". The 1909 race had eight stages. The 2008 race has twenty-one.

6. Like all cycling races, the person who crosses the finish line first is not necessarily the winner. The winner of the Giro is the person who has the overall shortest time for the whole tour.

Daniele Bennati

7. Last year's winner of the Giro was Danilo Di Luca - a.k.a. "The Killer".

8. In 2006, the Giro passed through my new "hometown". I took some photos:

In 2007, Reggio nell'Emilia played host to the beginning of a stage. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to attend, as I had to work. (Yeah, I'm still bummed.)

9. An American rider won the Giro once upon a time. In 1988, Andrew Hampsten of Columbus, Ohio, raced for team 7-Eleven.

Andrew Hampsten

The '80s were so cruel when it came to hair, weren't they?

10. The route of the Giro varies each year. The Alpine and Apennine passes are probably the most difficult stages of all, and it's not unusual for the riders to endure wildly varying climates from the beginning of the tour to the end. Occasionally, the weather is a greater obstacle than expected, as Hampsten found out in 1988:

11. Three different cyclists have managed to win the Giro five times each: Alfredo Binda, Fausto (Il Campionissimo - the Greatest Champion) Coppi and Eddie (the Cannibal) Merckx.

12. The Giro d'Italia is considered part of the "Triple Crown of Cycling", along with the Tour de France and the Vuelta a España.

13. The Giro itself was started with one purpose in mind: to boost the sales of Italy's La Gazzetta dello Sport (The Sports Gazzette). I dare say it's proven to be a success!

And there you have it! 13 tidbits about the Giro d'Italia!

Never fear... I haven't forgotten... Just scroll down...

Keep scrolling...

Mario Cipollini - Winner of 42 separate stages of the Giro d'Italia, over the years. (An unbroken record.)

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