Dicomano with Le Pera family!

On Sunday we got up very early and went to Mass on our way to The Le Pera family’s house. Mom and Dad first met Tommy and Erminio 32 years ago when they first moved to Italy-near Florence to be precise, weeks after getting married. We have remained friends with them throughout the years and we kids (they have two daughters, Eleonora and Gaia) have grown up together.

Driving up to Florence area

Our early morning faces.

Driving to Florence

The surrounding area

After a family dinner outside of Florence, Italy

One half of the table (the sweet one I have my arm around and the one Augustin is sitting on are Gaia and Eleonora. The rest are different friends)

After a family dinner outside of Florence, Italy

Other half of the table. Mom and Dad, Erminio and Tommy. ūüôā

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It was also the day of a big feast day in the little town they lived in so the church was decorated with flowers. What you see above is all flowers.

After a family dinner outside of Florence, Italy with some friends

Another cute shot of (from left to right) Mom, Dad, Erminio, and Tommy.

 

I would like to apologize for not having posted anything on this site in such a long time. Our internet has been non-existent for the past little bit, except for data on the smartphones. And wi-fi is necessary to upload photos. However, I am going to try and catch you up on what we did!

 

 

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St. Paul Outside the Walls

St. Paul Outside the Walls is one of Romes four major (papal) basilicas. We were lucky enough to go visit it with some friends of ours. The Basilica was originally founded by Emperor Constantine I over the burial site of St. Paul in 370. In 386 it was renovated and extensively remodeled under Theodosius I. Throughout the years, St. Paul Outside the Walls has been damaged by natural disasters and human inflicted damage, including Saracen invasions in the 9th century.  

St. Paul Outside the Walls, in Rome, Italy

Panorama taken of the facade.

Mosaic facade of St. Paul Outside the Walls, in Rome, Italy

A closer look at the incredible mosaics on the facade of the church.

Columns up to St. Paul Outside the Walls, in Rome, Italy

A walkway up to the church entrance.

Columns at St. Paul Outside the Walls, in Rome, Italy

The intricate scrollwork on each column

Column at St. Paul Outside the Walls, in Rome, Italy

A shot from an interesting angle, again of a column.

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The main nave of St. Paul Outside the Walls.

Boys at St. Paul Outside the Walls, in Rome, Italy

One of the side naves with a couple of little buggers (Augustin, Christian, and Antonio) posing for a photo. ūüėČ

 

 

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Villa d’Este and Dad’s Birthday!

On Dad’s birthday we went to one of his favorite places in Italy, Villa d’Este. Villa d’Este was originally commissioned by Cardinal Ippolito d’Este. Cardinal d’Este had been lobbying for the papacy and was appointed governor of Tivoli (where Villa d”este is located) by Julius (who had been elected) to earn Cardinal Ippolito’s loyalty. When Julius started building a palace and gardens, Ippolito took over a Monastery and started building what is currently known as Villa d’Este. Hundreds of fountains are supplied with water from the Aniene River.¬†¬†

Mom and Dad at Villa D'Este, Tivoli Italy. Outside of Rome

Mom and Dad right after we got there.

Fountains at Villa D'Este, Tivoli Italy. Outside of Rome Mom at Villa D'Este, Tivoli Italy. Outside of Rome IMG_2986

Mom and Dad acting like an old married couple (oh, wait, they are an old married couple. :))

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Momma looking like a movie star.

Fountains at Villa D'Este, Tivoli, Italy. Outside of Rome Fountains at Villa D'Este, Tivoli, Italy. Outside of Rome At Villa D'Este, Tivoli, Italy. Outside of Rome Mom and Dad at Villa D'Este, Tivoli, Italy. Outside of Rome

Mom and Dad on the stairs leading up to the Villa.

Villa D'Este, Tivoli, Italy. Outside of Rome

Please note Andrew being a creeper at the end of the bushes on the right hand side.

Staircase in Villa D'Este, Tivoli, Italy. Outside of Rome

A spirally stair case.

Villa D'Este, Tivoli, Italy. Outside of Rome

Alex

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Ostia Beach with the Family

Mom and Dad got back late last night, so today we all went as a family to the beach. It was very windy and rather chilly, so we didn’t do any swimming, just walking around. It was a very nice time just relaxing with the family.

But first. this is how we started our day… (you will probably see a lot of this little guy as he lives just below us)¬†¬†

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Teaching him bad manners…. Crazy boys!

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Jakob taking a rest with Big Al.

 

On to the beach!

Ostia beach, Rome, Italy IMG_2394 Philly and Alex at Ostia beach, Rome, Italy

Me and Alex looking at something interesting. I can’t remember what.

Mom at Ostia beach, Rome, Italy

Mom enjoying the waves

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To be perfectly honest, this picture wasn’t SUPPOSED to look like this. Gus was digging in the sand…. Andrew saw a piece of wood….. I had a camera…. It just happened…. I am not sure Augustin actually knows we took this picture. We’re sneaky like that. ūüôā

Andrew doing a handstand at Ostia beach, Rome, Italy

Andrew doing a handstand!

On the Rocks at Ostia beach, Rome, Italy

 

A cool picture of Alex. However, after I took that picture (I may have not warned him there was an enormous wave coming. I wanted a good picture…) His expression changed to….

Alex at Ostia beach, Rome, Italy

(actual picture, I continued snapping as he jumped down, his back soaking wet.)

Dad at Ostia beach, Rome, Italy

A nice picture of Dad.

kids at Ostia beach, Rome, Italy

The four kids. Unfortunately at this point our camera lenses were coated in water and salt.

Philly at Ostia beach, Rome, Italy

Me, no that is not a horn sprouting, that is a wild lock o’ hair!

Mom and Alex at Ostia beach, Rome, Italy 

Mom and Alex

The boys at Ostia beach, Rome, Italy

The three boys (again, wind, salt and mist made for a hard time capturing photos)

 Philly at Ostia beach, Rome, Italy

Me again.

The three boys also went across the street at some point during the day and have this gem to show for what they do in their free time! gelato

 

 

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Making Mozzarella di Bufala

We went to a little cheese and meat shop to watch how they make Mozzarella di Bufala on the recommendation of one of our friends here. Mozzarella di Bufala is made of the milk from water buffalo that generally are raised in the Campania region of Italy.

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The milk arrives already curdled at this shop. Before they get it, the Buffalo milk is curdled and then strained into the mass you see above.

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The curd is then cut into pieces and ground up.

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After it is removed from the grinder, it is tossed around to loosen up the curd that is now in small pieces.

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Boiling water is then added to melt the curds down and make them pliable.

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After that the mixture is then strained of most of its water while still allowing little pockets of flavorful milk mixture to form in the mozzarella.

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The cheese continues to be stretched and pulled by one guy while the other two prepare the next step.

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A piece of Mozzarella about the size of a man’s head is pulled off and taken over to a brine of cold water.

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With one man pulling, the other man quickly shapes balls about the size of a baby’s head until the original large piece is almost done. The little bit remaining is thrown back in to heat back up until it is pliable. This is continued until that entire vat is empty. Then they start all over again.

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As you can see Mozzarella isn’t the only cheese that this shop makes. But it is certainly our favorite.

 

If you are interested in reading more about Mozzarella di Bufala, this site is very informative and interesting.

 

*The pictures were taken with an iPhone mainly through a glass door, I am sorry they aren’t very high quality…

 

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The Three Musketeers (or Stooges) on their own

The three boys went into Rome on their own while I went around with a friend of ours and her adorable baby, Jakob.  Jakob

Jakob getting ready to eat

Jakob in Rome, Italy

Sleepy boy

The boys went to the Liberation Museum which was the Prison and headquarters used during the Nazi occupation in Rome. (Sept. 11, 1943 – June 4, 1944)

Liberation Museum in Rome, Italy

Entrance to the Museum.

Cell number 1 in the Liberation Museum, Rome, Italy

Cell No. 1

Letter in the Liberation Museum, Rome, Italy Letter in the Liberation Museum, Rome, Italy

Various official Nazi documents.

Second Lieutenant A. Paladini, condemned to die, written in the Liberation Museum, Rome, Italy

Writing in the wall reading “Lieutenant A. Paladini sentenced to die.” Arrigo Paladini was born in Rome and after getting involved in some resistance work was caught by the Gestapo on May 4, 1944. He was tortured until June 4th, 1944 when he happened to escape while on his way to be shot.

Calendar from a prisoner of the Nazis in the Liberation Museum, Rome, Italy

 

A calendar on the wall from one of the inmates.

British flag carved in the wall in Nazi prison that is now the Liberation Museum, Rome, Italy

A British flag also carved into the wall.

"Courage Mama" in bread in the Liberation Museum, Rome, Italy IMG_0562

A sign reading “the bread of Ignazio Vian with his final farewell to his family” Ignazio Vian was in Torino, Italy, on a mission when he was arrested by the¬†Fascists. He was tortured repeatedly but would not give any information about the resistant forces. He tried to commit suicide in prison so that he couldn’t be forced, in a moment of weakness, to reveal anything he knew, but the attempt failed. He was later “tried” and hung.

 

After the museum the boys went to the Janiculum Hill where a howitzer is fired off everyday at noon.

Howitzer on the Janiculum in Rome, Italy

Getting ready!!

The view from the Janiculum in Rome, Italy

Andrew enjoying the view

Janiculum hill, Rome, Italy

Alex enjoying the view

The boys then walked to the Vittorio Emanuele II Monument and went to the top to look around Rome.

View of Rome from the Vittorio Emanuele (Vittoriano, and Altare della Patria [Altar of the Fatherland])

In the background the Colosseum and in the foreground the church San Giuseppe dei Falegnami (St. Joseph’s of the Carpenters)

View of Rome from the Vittorio Emanuele (Vittoriano, and Altare della Patria [Altar of the Fatherland])

Colosseum from the Vittorio Emanuele Monument

Gelato from Old Bridge.

 

No explanation needed….. ūüėÄ

 

I, on the other hand….¬†Spent most of my day like this.

Philly with Jakob

 

 

 

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