Monday 19 December 2011

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all of you and to your families...

...and may the new year be less severe than is predicted!

Tuesday 6 December 2011

Was that all, folks...?

My lovely always hungry grandson Liam now 4 months
(Photo made by my son)

Saturday 3 December 2011

Friday 25 November 2011

Tuesday 8 November 2011

Happiness is... 3 months old grandson Liam
(photo made by my son)

Wednesday 2 November 2011

Monday 31 October 2011


Although an old photo...

Sunday 30 October 2011

Sunday 23 October 2011

Saturday 22 October 2011

Winemaking is not always that easy...

Pian dell'Altare, Ripacandida

Thursday 20 October 2011

By the light...

Pian dell'Altare, Ripacandida

Wednesday 19 October 2011

Then suddenly...

...autumn arrived also in Basilicata last week, while we were grape-harvesting.
Winery "Eleano"
Pian dell'Altare

Monday 17 October 2011

How green was my valley

View from the winery's terrace
Pian dell'Altare, Ripacandida

Sunday 16 October 2011

Ready for the grape harvest

Pian dell'Altare,

Saturday 15 October 2011

The scent of sunlight

It was 27° Celsius the other day when I assisted in the late harvest of the unique autochthonous "Aglianico del Vulture" grapes in the magnificent vulcanic "Vulture" area of the southern Italian region of Basilicata. The warm autumn sun accentuated the mixture of natural scents of earth, olive-and chestnut tree bark, vine leaves and grapes, while the air was filled with laughter and soft singing of the youngsters who picked the grapes.
A perfect atmosphere which I had wished could last forever.
Pian dell'Altare, Ripacandida

Wednesday 5 October 2011

Tuesday 20 September 2011


My grandson Liam is now 6 weeks old

Wednesday 14 September 2011

No, you can't!

We still have perfect summer temperatures over here!

Sunday 11 September 2011

Sunday 4 September 2011

Pagoda Tree

Garden of Grand Hotel Des Isles Boromées

Tuesday 23 August 2011

Eye contact

My first grandson, Liam, two weeks old.
Busto Arsizio

Wednesday 20 July 2011

Enjoy your summer!

Fruit and vegetable market in Arona

Saturday 9 July 2011

Wednesday 15 June 2011

Something different

I decided to do something different this time.
Two weeks ago I recorded Cry Me A River which I will sing on stage here in Arona during a big musical event on the 2nd of July.
If you wish to listen to the song, connect yourself to the hereunder indicated link.
Wish me luck!

Wednesday 1 June 2011

The Fair is in town again

Photo taken from a friend's 7th floor roof balcony.

Thursday 19 May 2011

Risotto land

Rice fields near the river Po.

Saturday 14 May 2011

Sunday 8 May 2011


The square where I live is finally open to the public again after 6 months of works, trucks, sand, bricks, stones and dust everywhere. I had previously published a photo (tic...tic...tic...) where the workmen worked on the pavement laying stone by stone. I had given them wine in the freezing cold winter so that they could warm themselves. The final result is stunning. I can overlook the newly made fountain from where I live (from the old balcony of the white building on the right) and enjoy sheer silence (no cars and motorcycles are allowed anymore!) and the magic lights of the fountain itself. The noise of water falling? Soft and pleasant in comparison with the noise of roaring motors of cars at all hours of the day and night. It was all worth it!
Historical centre of Arona 

Friday 15 April 2011

Monday 21 March 2011

When sky and lake... together with the early morning light.

Thursday 17 March 2011

Happy birthday, Italia!

Today is your 150th birthday. We know, your life hasn't always been easy and you have often been treated without the respect that you deserve, but you have been patient and forgiving. Trying to keep the family together, has not always been an easy task, especially with family members who have such different characters between them.  You know that they have not yet given the best of themselves, but they will make it, together and united as a family should be. You'll see! Happy birthday, Italia, and...many happy returns.

Tuesday 15 March 2011

Silent tears in the dark

The character of a nation comes always out in moments of need. The complex system of showing respect, which has been imposed on every single individual in Japan throughout centuries of discipline, is showing its fruits these days, with the strikingly silent composure of who is waiting for hours in endless lines to receive first-need assistance or only information. No scenes of understandable despair for the loss of loved ones, belongings or identity in this immense tragedy. Just terrified faces of adults and youngsters who would not know where to go, of smaller children who are waiting to hear a whisper of comfort . “We were all aware that “the big-one” would be coming”, says a lady with a sad smile. “And we cannot do anything else but bow to what Nature has decided for us” . She makes a small bow to whom has interviewed her briefly and steps back in line, to wait for the answers she hopes to receive. Centuries of self-discipline do not allow to shed tears onto this collectivity, therefore every individual sheds them in silence, in the darkness of an uncertain future, while making a small bow of encouragement to whom steps in line of the same queue. And I make a deep bow to them…with profound respect.

Saturday 12 March 2011

Meet Ray

I met Ray Heffernan only recently when a mutual friend invited me to go and listen to this Irish singer, who writes and sings “what he feels and sees around him”. He lives on one of our beautiful lakes here in northern Italy and I now often attend the trial sessions with his newly created band composed of high-level musicians. His music is excellent, just like the texts he writes: vibrant, intense and elegant. He really deserves to find his place high up in the international musical firmament.
At a friend's house

Friday 11 March 2011

"Pièce unique"... his name...and he is!
At a friend's house

Monday 28 February 2011

The wedding car

This authentic 1935 Fiat Balilla was used by friends as their wedding car last saturday and stood in front of the 12th century church San Siro di Struppa in the City of Genova where the beautiful wedding ceremony took place.

Friday 25 February 2011

Monday 7 February 2011

Early in the morning...

...notwithstanding the cold, I sit there to watch the colours change for a new day to start.
Lake front

Thursday 3 February 2011

Spring is in the air...

Lake front this morning,

Wednesday 2 February 2011

Tuesday 1 February 2011

A new start

A delegation of approximately 150 present and former heads of state, ambassadors as well as academics from the Arabic and Muslim world, guided by the President of Senegal and backed by Unesco and the Municipality of Paris, and accompanied by another 100 representatives of various international Jewish, Christian and Muslim communities, will visit the former concentration camp of Auschwitz in southern Poland today.  I’d like to see this important event as a new start of better understanding and more respect between populations with different cultures and different religions. As long as all parts will act in good faith and with trust towards each other.    
The Grand Friday Mosque in Malé (Maldives)

Monday 31 January 2011

When colours are...

Malé fishing harbour,

Friday 28 January 2011

The boat service

Olhuveli Island (Maldives)

Thursday 27 January 2011

Bewitching colours of the sea

The sandbags are there to protect the beach against the difference in water level between high and low tide. Many groups of islands of the Maldives have been badly affected by the enormous tidal wave of the 26th December 2004. With an average ground level of 1,5 meters above sea-level, this unique archipelago, featuring 1.192 islets of which only 200 are inhabited, is vulnerably exposed to all possible extreme natural hazards and is slowly disappearing, due to a constant sea-level rise which has been calculated to be of 59 cm by the year 2100. This, if the leaders of our planet do not take drastic action against the negative effects of global warming. Actions aiming at saving many areas of the world from going under water and consequently saving the growing world population from loosing precious sources of food and sweet water. Otherwise, nobody can stop the repeat of the historical migrations in search of survival with its devastating consequences.
Olhuveli (Maldives)

Wednesday 26 January 2011

Olhuveli Island

I just stood there watching the sun rise from behind the ocean, while I let the soft talcum-powder sand of the beach glide through my fingers.  An athletic young man ran along the shoreline. He looked perfectly fit and I felt a hint of envy rising in me. I looked down on the curve of my stomach and knew that I should be doing the same and should have started a long time ago, but as he disappeared from my sight, the feeling of envy ran away with him leaving me alone with the sun breaking through the thin sheep-clouds which slowly moved away from the horizon. The grey colour of the sea gradually changed into silver-green with red glints generated by the first sun-beams, while the soft pink colour of the sand turned into white. I waited for Nature “to do better than this” and was immediately rewarded: the shadows of the clouds gliding over the surface of the water made the silver-green turn into deep-turquoise with glints of dark blue and yellow-gold. At the other side of the sea, tall palm trees on a long sand bank softly waved their leaves  in the breeze with a constant rustling sound. As I walked back to the apartment under a tangle of tree branches and flowers, to accompany my wife to the restaurant for our first breakfast in Paradise , I suddenly knew that Nature would surprise us more during the days to come… and without limits.  
Olhuveli Island (Maldives)

Tuesday 25 January 2011

Paradise is...

I have no other words to describe this miracle of Nature.
Olhuveli Island

Saturday 15 January 2011

Trimming and pruning

All our lime trees and plane trees along the lake are being prepared for Spring.
I will be absent for 10 days, off to the Maldives. An 11 hours long flight from Milan, followed by a 40 minutes transfer by boat from capital city Malé to the Olhuveli atoll over the cristal clear waters. I can't wait to arrive there and make the photos I will post on my return. Take care of yourselves in the meantime!

Wednesday 12 January 2011