Foto Friday: Goodbye March

I know it’s Saturday. Pretend I posted this yesterday.

san petronio meridian line bologna

This is part of the meridian line in the Basilica di San Petronio. I snuck a quick snap of it on my birthday (which is in March). I was amused to see that the spelling looked more Dutch with the ij, even though the contemporary Dutch word for March is maart. (For the record, the Italian for March is marzo.) As for the meridian line itself, it’s the longest indoor meridian line in the world. More about that and the basilica itself in future posts.

Foto Friday: Fun with Italian Architecture

italian architecture

For various reasons, I haven’t had the chance to really get out and go exploring. However, when I do, I always seem to get a little lost and find myself wandering around the same handful of streets, even when I think I’m aiming in another direction. Charlie doesn’t mind and to be honest, it’s part of the fun of getting to know any city. Plus, in the process, you come across some fun Italian architecture surprises, like the one in this fantastic little corner/alley.

It’s located in Bologna’s former Ghetto Ebraico (Jewish Ghetto), which has a long — and often unpleasant — history, but the area is a wonderful place to get lost in. This little spot is just off Piazza San Martino. I love the mix of architectural elements and materials and colors, including some stylized rusticated quoins on the right. Plus, there’s the fabulous mix of angles where buildings just seem to be plopped down wherever they can fit them.

Enjoy your weekend!


Foto Friday: Walking Potatoes

walking fried potatoes chip shop patat fries
From year to year with my Utrecht blog, I’d do a Foto Friday series. They were either photos that I really liked, but just didn’t have much to say about, or they were photos that weren’t so great, but they amused me for some reason or another. I feel like starting that again. Today’s foto falls under the latter category.

It was a quick shot on the go, taken mainly because it reminded me of the chip shops in Utrecht (and the Netherlands in general). Both are essentially hole-in-the-wall places where you don’t go inside at all. You order right there on the street/sidewalk/portico. This one — one could say being stereotypically Italian — is called Amor di Patata/Love Chips, or perhaps more realistically love of chips/fries/friet/frites/patat. To be honest, I’ll take stereotypical Italian amore over the name of one of the more popular Dutch chains, which is Manneken Pis. Now, the potatoes are excellent at Manneken Pis, but the name (as they’re supposed to be Belgian/Flemish style) refers to that famous Belgian statue/fountain of a little boy peeing. Perhaps not the most appetizing association!

The other thing that amused me about this is the tag line written over the serving area. It says: patatae fritte da passeggio. Ultimately, it basically means “fries to-go”, but when you’re still learning the language and tend to take things more literally, it becomes “fried potatoes walking”. [Insert your own “Dead Man Walking” joke here.]

Hey, get your laughs wherever you can find them!

Also, apologies in advance. After spending the last eight+ years in the Netherlands (and watching a lot of BBC), having a British mother, but still being a native-born citizen of the US, I have no consistency in which term I use for fries/chips/patat/patatae fritte/frites/friet/etc. Most often, though, I will use fries, chips, or patat, but with no regard to the primary language or audience. It’s whatever comes out first!



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