Category: General

Tom Hanks with Slapstick bandage
February 23rd, 2017 by willow

Just last night I was finally able to watch Inferno the movie again, this time in English and not dubbed in Italian. I was really hoping I wouldn’t be as disappointed as the first time but alas it was not to be.

Having been a fan of Dan Brown ever since he wrote Angels & Demons back in 2000 and having enjoyed the subsequent Robert Langdon books and the movies as well (The Da Vinci Code and The Lost Symbol), I pre-ordered the book and impatiently waited for May 14, 2013 when it was automatically downloaded to my Kindle in the middle of the night.

Though not one of the best of the Langdon series, I enjoyed it immensely because the story takes place in Florence and I loved recognising the places and reading about Dante and other history tidbits, some of which I didn’t know. In addition my husband was baptised in the Battistero di San Giovanni – just as Dante and many members of the Medici family – so it being part of an important clue in the Inferno story made me smile.

I couldn’t imagine it not being made into a movie by Hanks & Howard and was looking forward to it. There was of course some hype when they started shooting but I missed most of it, being in the hills of Florence and not actually in the city.

An interesting tidbit is that a 2nd unit came to our town, Rignano Sull’Arno, to shoot the outside train scene.  The train  Robert and Sienna take to go to Venice up north, is actually going towards Arezzo down south – but that’s just a fun fact.

We went to see the movie as soon as it was released but were all really, really disappointed. I’ll admit that the scenes in Florence and Venice were very much as I imagined when reading the book and I did enjoy those. But the rest of the film seemed to be just a B movie. In Italian we say “tirato via”, which basically means something done or executed very superficially.

Last night I had the opportunity to see it in English and was hoping it would be better. It was a bit… until the last scene. In fact, it’s exactly the last scene that leaves you with the B movie feeling. Two things right after the big scene where Tom and Elizabeth save the world surviving explosions, gunfire and hand-to-hand combat in the water:

1. Tom Hank’s bandaging over his shirt, really?

2. Elizabeth Sinskey walks away from the scene with her clothes all dry (possible), without wrinkles (unlikely) and still wearing her high heels (impossible!).

Observe the pictures and decide for yourself.

Tom Hanks with Slapstick bandage

Tom Hanks with Slapstick bandage


Elizabeth dry and in heels after explosions and hand-to-hand combat in water

Elizabeth dry and in heels after explosions and hand-to-hand combat in water

Posted in General, Showbiz

December 23rd, 2016 by willow

Below is a recipe for eggnog that is a combination of several recipes I have gathered throughout the years and that I have refined to perfection. Please note the  last step before serving under the directions. It’s what it makes it the best.

Approximate conversions

1 quart = 1 liter

1 cup = 250 ml


12 eggs

11/2 cups sugar

1 quart whole milk

1 1/2 cups heavy cream

3 cups of bourbon

1/2 cup of dark rum

2 cups of cognac




Beat egg yolks

Add sugar, milk and heavy cream

Add the “booze”

Beat the egg whites

Fold in the egg whites

Leave it to stand so that your

partner can empty the rest of the

booze into eggnog

Serve with freshly grated nutmeg


Posted in Food & Drink, General

Nail art Halloween Graveyard
October 17th, 2015 by willow

Halloween Graveyard by Chiara

Posted in General

October 2nd, 2015 by willow

Django was almost still a puppy himself when Camilla arrived. They were immediately BFF and have been playing together every day since their first encounter.

Then  suddenly Django disappeared one night and came back home in the early hours of the next morning.

As a true friend, Camilla showed up at 8 AM to come and play. But Django, after his night out on the town, couldn’t get up out of the chair. And so poor Camilla stayed there, waiting at the back door until he was ready.



Posted in General

November 30th, 2014 by willow

The Feast of Tuscany (Festa della Toscana) is a feast held every year on November 30 in commemoration of the anniversary of the penal reform introduced on 30 November 1786 by the Grand-duke of Tuscany, Pietro Leopoldo of Lorraine.

As a result of this reform, Tuscany became the first state in the world to abolish the death penalty, one of the most uncivilized measures perpetuated up to this date by all world governments. November 30, therefore, opened a new chapter in the history of human civilisation from the eighteenth century onwards. Along with the abolition of the death penalty, the Grand-duchy of Tuscany also put an end to the use of physical torture and mutilation.

[source: Around Tuscany]

Posted in General