Rio de Janeiro … People you meet & will never forget

Rio de Janeiro is a unique and wonderful city that has captivated all who have visited and is in the sights of all the people who have not. There are many things to do in Rio which includes seeing the beautiful beaches such as Copacabana Beach and Ipanema, but my favourite is …the smallest one, Praia Vermelha in Urca next to the gorgeous views of Sugar Loaf Mount.
My love story with Rio started when I was a child dreaming of visiting The Corcovado.

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Rio its restaurants and bars listening to the sounds of soulful samba & bossanova?
Its a dream of many many people around the world.
But for me what really excite and entice my world here in Rio?
Go out and about with my BB José Augusto. Everyone should have a Brother like mine. He is life itself.
Today we went out for lunch and at our arrival he already had all the tables around him hooked with his charm & simpathy before my sister, my niece Manoela & I arrived at the Restaurant at Fashion Mall, Sao Conrado (one of his favourite places to eat).
In no time we were engaged in a informal chat with the family next to our table. Anyone would think we were old friends…
These is not uncommon in Rio … You just Bound to Make new friends!
Today we met our match the Dantas met the Marques:
Ricardo, Jacqueline e Lucas…
we clicked with them straight way… Chatting about Just everything and anything over three course lunch, wine, guaraná & treats. I could write pages about our chats but I resume to that: we covered everything from our families to our travels, our lives laughing our heads off in a cross conversation about life and I will tell this…
Ricardo said” when you manage to cross The túnel from North Zone ( The working class area) to South Zone ( The posh Rio) is when you know you can make it anywhere In the world”
For those that knows Rio well know that this is Just so true!
For those that don’t come to Rio and you will find out …

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Living in Paleolithic times in Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil

Imagine a place that stoppped in time and you can go back million yrs… Lajedo of Soledad, one of the most important archaeological sites in Brazil, is located in the western region of Rio Grande do Norte, in the municipality of Apodi, 12 km from the city center. The municipality has about 33,000 inhabitants and is located about 335 km from Natal (about 4 hours and 30 minutes by car) and 76 km from Mossoró, the second largest city in the state. Natal is called The Sun City and has sunshine all year round.

Located in an area of ​​one square kilometer of limestone, Paleolithic period, Lajedo of Soledad was almost destroyed by the producers of lime in the region. But the intervention of Petrobras geologists and of the inhabitants of the district of Lajedo in the early 90s, stoppped The exploitation saving this site.

In flagstones, researchers from the Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte ( where I graduated as a journalist) found fossils of prehistoric animals like sloths and giant armadillos, tigers and mastodons-of-tooth-desabre who lived in the Northeast Glacial period, and cave paintings .

The flagstone consists of an area of ​​limestone that suffered erosion from rainfall, opening a mini canyon with caves and crevices where the petroglyphs are engraved, representing figures of species that would macaws, parrots, herons, lizards and geometric shapes . Has been the subject of 30-minute documentary on BBC London. Occupied pages of magazines and newspapers of national and international circulation. Was the subject of numerous reports on TV and several other media outlets in Brazil. It is an inexhaustible source of scientific knowledge to hundreds of researchers, including the most respected in the world. Receives per month, up to 700 visitors, of which 90% are students and teachers
Several panels of these paintings which are still preserved in a dry river bed, which can be observed in visits accompanied by guides. According to researchers, the designs of these paintings have been made by Indians who inhabited the region in pre-historic period.

The area of ​​the flagstone is situated less than 300 meters from the village houses of the residents of this district, which is 6 km from the right bank of the BR-405, which connects Mossoró to Apodi. Access is by paved road only.

According to geologists Petrobras, which in the 90s helped the population to create the Foundation of Friends of Lajedo Soledad (FALS) and installing Museum and Activity Center Lajedo (CAL), there are 90 million years, all area was covered by a shallow sea, the retreating Leffers a large expanse of limestone.
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Norwich The City of Literature

From Lauren Razavi
theguardian.com, Wednesday 3 September 2014 10.42 BST

The City of Norwich has been home to novelists from WG Sebald to A Girl is a Half-formed Thing writer Eimear McBride. Photograph: Howard Taylor/Alamy
What makes a city a literary giant? According to Unesco, it takes a rare and rarified combination of editorial initiatives and educational programmes, lashings of libraries, bookstores and cultural centres, plus a vibrant literary event scene. In short, it’s the extent to which literature plays an integral role in the urban environment – and the only city in England to have earned the status so far is Norwich.

Norfolk’s county town may not be the first city that springs to mind when considering England’s foremost cultural offerings. Dig your way past the Alan Partridge and ‘Normal for Norfolk’ jokes, however, and you’ll see why Norwich well deserves its City of Literature title, awarded in May 2012 (the other six recipients to date are Reykjavik, Krakow, Iowa City, Edinburgh, Melbourne and Dublin).

The city’s latest endeavour to promote the joys of literature and heritage is a 12-week campaign called City of Stories, which is currently exploring the city’s local culture in depth with a different theme each week (last week it was spires and ziggurats), moving beyond ink and paper to tell local stories through buildings, people, food and shops.

Authors flock to Norwich, following a tradition that dates back to the Christian mystic Julian of Norwich, who lived in the city during the 13th and 14th centuries and was the first woman to write and publish a book in the English language. Modern versions of the text, The Revelations of Divine Love, are still widely read, and the church where Julian lived is still open for visitors today. The first parliamentary debate publisher Luke Hansard was born and lived in Norwich, and generation-defining novelists such as WG Sebald and Anna Sewell (author of Black Beauty) made Norwich their abode.

Author Malcolm Bradbury set up the University of East Anglia’s creative writing department in 1970. Photograph: Joe Mckeown/Mail On Sunday/Rex
The city is also home to the University of East Anglia and its prestigious creative writing department, established in 1970 by the writer Malcom Bradbury and purveyor of the longest-running creative writing MA in England. Literature professors in the 2013-14 academic year included Margaret Atwood, James Lasdun, Giles Foden and Amit Chaudhuri, appointments that attract students from across the world to study at the institution.

“In the mid-60s, the UEA helped to change the direction of my life, setting me on the path towards becoming a writer,” says Rose Tremain, multi-prizewinning novelist and the university’s current chancellor. “It’s an exceptional institution which has stayed marvellously faithful to its chosen motto ‘Do Different’.”

Novelist and screenwriter Ian McEwan is another UEA graduate whose open endorsement of the city has aided its standing. During the bid for the City of Literature title, he said: “Norwich has turned itself into a world hub for literature. I’d be amazed if Unesco refuses.”

Writers, novelists and poets come from all over the world to speak at the Norfolk and Norwich Festival each May, at the Worlds Literature Festival each June, and at the UEA Literary Festivals each season. The current City of Stories initiative is spearheaded by Writers’ Centre Norwich, which also organises regular workshops, literary salons and reading events, many of them free, that ensure Norwich’s literary community don’t go too stir crazy in their various writing nooks.

Ziggurat-style student accommodation at the UEA, where novelist Rose Tremain is chancellor. Photograph: David Burton/Alamy
If you’re not yet convinced, perhaps Stephen Fry can help. The comedian, actor and writer has officially endorsed The Book Hive, Norwich’s only independent bookshop, as “the kind of place I dreamt of existing when I was growing up”. The city is also home to an independent publishing outfit called Galley Beggar Press. This year they published A Girl is a Half-formed Thing, the debut novel by Norwich-based writer Eimear McBride. The book went on to win the inaugural Goldsmiths Prize and the 2014 Bailey Women’s Prize for Fiction.

Historically, libraries have had an unfortunate time in the city. In 1898, the local library burned to the ground in a fire. In 1994, on the very same day, Norwich Central Library suffered a catastrophic fire, resulting in the loss of more than 100,000 books. Today, the Norfolk & Norwich Millennium Library stands on the same site, and was voted the most popular library in the UK seven years in a row from 2006 to 2013.

But it’s more than all this that makes Norwich such an incredible literary place. When you go out for a drink with friends, you’re likely to stumble into a literary event — a book launch, a poetry slam — pretty much any day of the week. Sitting in a crowded bar, you are surrounded by authors, poets and essayists. Ideas and creativity are in the veins of this city.

• The 2014 World Cities Day Challenge: champion your city’s best idea

Which other cities most deserve the City of Literature title? And are Norwich’s qualities over-rated? Tell us in the comments below.

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ANTONELLA’s LIMONCELLO

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Antonella and her daughter Claudia with our friend Andrea in the picture.

Here in Sicily everything we try that is homemade it is an explosion of flavours. I love the homemade limoncello of our friend Antonella from Catanisseta … at her house they have it printed in the DNA … “we are food lovers”. She said everything they do contains the most amazing ingredient … Love, Passion & Patience.
When comes to her famous Limoncello, she says the lemons are not treated with pesticides, nor fertilized in any chemical way! The lemons comes from a small farm of Claudia’s boyfriend’s family in the Sicily mountains. Those lemons are special & really good, we are sure of that.
Those lemon trees of their ancestors are loaded with lemons … too bad that we could not see them … they were spectacular! So Claudia ( Antonella’s daughter) laugh when we joke that the best lemons are Claudia’s boyfriend’s lemons!
Antonella’s recipe is a special one that it’s kept in secret. Like all Italians it has been passed to her from her family which its special.
The general Limoncello recipe …
We put 600 grams of sugar per liter of alcohol but if you like it sweeter, you can put 700; so also is diluted to 50% with syrup, if you like a little ‘less strong increase a little of syrup! The process is very slow and need lots of love, passion & patience.

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Scopello & Castellmare del Golfo …Ancient Greek beaches of Sicily

Enchanting… The Tyrrhenian Sea coast of Sicily, with its clear , Turquoise sea water dotted with a profound perfume of citrus groves, olive groves, oleanders and Rosemary, charming town houses that combine invaluable testimony of an past ancient Greek and other cultures, leaving behind flavours of a gastronomic paradiso, and amazing beaches to Day dream and write of my interested.

I had Lunch in a typical Family Ristorante overlooking the sea with flavours of Sicilian Fish & seafood washed down by my a Vino Di casa perfect for the
By Zingaro nature reserve in Scopello and Castelmare, this part of Sicily offers treasures to discover …Natural parks and protected reserves, sandy beaches with gorgeous cliffs between Land and Sea stacks.

A hidden Cove in Scopello. Tottaly diferent from the One in Cefalu but also named by the Greek, Scopello derives from the Greek Skopelòs — rock, just a few kilometers from the town of Castellammare del Golfo, in the province of Trapani.
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The Life and Adventures of Santa Rosalia, Patron Saint of Palermo

Today I prayed for us all…

The Dangerously Truthful Diary of a Sicilian Housewife

I described, in my previous post, the sanctuary of Saint Rosalia, which is a baroque church facade with a drippy cave behind it. Now I’ll tell you about her amazing life.

Santa Rosalia painted by Van Dyck in Palermo, whilst the artist was desperately hoping NOT to catch the plague Santa Rosalia painted by Van Dyck in Palermo, whilst the artist was desperately hoping NOT to catch the plague

Santa Rosalia was born in about 1130, when Sicily was ruled by the Normans. The king was Roger the Second. I’ve been inside his bedroom, by the way, in the Palazzo Dei Normanni in central Palermo. It is entirely lined with mosics of tigers, mountain lions, deer and the other animals he loved to hunt on Monte Pellegrino, all of them depicted in exquisitely colourful detail against a background of solid gold chunks.

King Roger's bedroom. I've been in here but Santa Rosalia never entered. King Roger’s bedroom. I’ve been in here but Santa Rosalia never entered. He was a Norman King, but notice how Islamic the floor looks.

Before Roger…

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FAMÍLIA ITALIANA … How much I admire & love …

Italy for me has been the number 1in this trip with the most strong family values that could be a lesson for The World. The Italian families have their conflicts like all families but what amaze me is how they manage themselves to raise above all The Familly’s differences and come out stronger and much better… And celebrate life and togetherness as much as they can.
One of the joys in the life of Camping sites is that Martin & I have met many families in their hollidays enjoying been together just for the sake of the pleasure of enjoying one another company & mangiare … Eat eat & eat!
They are so organized when comes to food I am yet to see anything like it!
In a small motorhome some of these families squash together to sleep and next day they look amazing and great, all sitting around the table eating, drinking and being merry and … It’s not Christmas!!! That is what they do all year round… Oh we love these Italians and their families

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And don’t they look so glamourously close and lovely?

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This is the Mulone Family, Salvatore & Ninni have a gorgeous family which I had the pleasure to meet nearly all of them and falled in love with their belissimas daughters Roberta & Federica ( she speaks excellent English and acted as the interpreter among us) . All together they were so nice together and still adopted me with open arms like so many other families I met here in Sicily especially I must say!
Will post it here later! Viva la Familia! Viva la Mamma e la Nonna the matriarchs of all Italians MAMMA MIA!

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Bellissimo Sicilian Wedding in The Hill Town of Polina… next to Cefalu

Stefania & Sergio… A Sicilian Wedding, belíssima  Sicilian experience in Villagio & Camping Rais Gerbi… Run by The Cherrito Family!

Love is in The Air ...The beautiful Sicilian wedding of Sergio & Stefania … We had The pleasure and The honour to be part of it and celebrate this moment so special in their Life and of those who had The privilege to be invited … What a marvelous Sicilian Experience!

Finalle di Polina going to Village Rais Gerbi The best Camping of Sicily
Sergio is from Polina Hill Town and Stefania from Finale de Polina The Sea Coast Town. Their love story had a happy end with lots of friends. They were such a lovely crowd …we followed them around …Mr MG took over 600 fotos so here are Just few… A taste of Italian as its best … Families!!!Chiesas belas di Polina

 

Interior of the church of San Salvatore, Petralia Soprana, Sicily

Stefania has such good taste! From The Chiesa to all The details Of the wedding… Everything to perfection making this a day to celebrate!

Martin took loads of photos and filmed but I can only show you these pictures for now

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I was all smiles with Ana, Ceccina & Claudia my Italian Girls so gorgeous!

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This family picture says talks a thousand words…Viva la Famiglia!

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Its all about FOOD, VINO and more FOOD! Mangiamo bene in Sicília.
In Camping Rais Gerbi ….Perfectly located on the sicilian tyrrhenian coast, only a couple of kilometres away from the fabulous small city of Cefalù, the Camping / Village Rais Gerbi appears to you. It satisfy all exigencies, but always with the scope of complete immersion with the nature.
The camping is naturally furnished with spaces for tents, caravans and camping cars: at least 216 places, 96 having water and 120 water and electricity.
These places are small and comfortable oases, the ground being a mixture of earth and cement, always fresh due to an opulent vegetation and artificial shelters. The swimming Pool? Just relax and come to have The most amazing time in Camping Rais Gerbi.

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The perfect Sicilian Wedding Hill Town & Seaside at Villagio Rais Gerbi
At Finnale the Pollina, Cefalu

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Chilling out …its to hot to do anything here in Sicily…

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Life in this camping site it’s relaxing …
I think you got an idea… You can even do horse riding around the pool.
There goes Ana in Salvatore’s beautiful horse …a beauty really

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Andrea Mento our life guard always ready to assist anyone so friendly… with my new friends Claudia e Antonella. Mamma & daughter

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Someone is brave enough to Adventure alone The Tyrrhenian Blue Sea

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Boats everywhere… Wher

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The owners must be chilling out somewhere else… As they do here…
This is Sicily The Land of plenty and no hurry… We like it here ….

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Palermo by photos…Fantastica and Hot Hot Hot

I first learned about Palermo when I was very young by Domenico D’Andrea. He was the father of Sabato D’Andrea, my Aunty Lelia’s husband. He immigrated to Brazil from Palermo when he was young and like many Italians he made a good & prosperous life in Natal, Brazil. He never returned to Palermo but what he did, he made me curious to visit Bella Palermo and here I am with Martin.
It is 40 degrees in Palermo today! It feels like the “chiroco” ( A hot wind that comes from Africa) is here in Sicily… Everyone is having Gellato or Granita.
Although there is so much to write about Palermo and its controversy of Mafia & Great People, I am just going to show you by photos.
Starting by one of my favourites.
Palazzo Ajutamicristo

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The Culture is so rich… Its Arquitetura di rara belezza.

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Teatro Maximo? Just Spetacular A casa da Opera Italiana!

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Above the sea, Monte Pelegrino where The Santa Roselia Sanctuary is visited by all the catholic believers that believes in her miracles.

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