Monday, October 14, 2013

Operation: Old World -- assignment posted by Mamma Mia!

We plan to use this blog as a hub to post various items for our European studies.  Unfortunately the embed code didn't work (the thumbnails would have looked nice) so I had to go with the links.  Boo.

I don't know why poor Michelangelo was given a mere two minutes versus Leonardo Da Vinci's hour-long episode.  Biography.com is clearly Team Da Vinci.

Leonardo Di Vinci Full Episode Biography.com

Michelangelo Mini Biography

 

Friday, October 11, 2013

Planning Our European Vacation -- posted by Riccardo

We've been planning our European vacation while we are studying Europe.  That way we can decide what we are most interested in seeing.  Billy is going to help us with the UK leg of our trip.  Of course, he thinks we should spend the whole time in London!

We got interested in Italy because my brothers and father went to workout and I was home with my mother and sister.  We were bored, so my mom found a movie we could watch.  The movie was called Big Night.  It is about two Italian brothers who came to the US to start a business together.  I won't spoil it for you.  But ever since that night, we started studying Italy.  My brothers and father watched it too since we loved it so much.

I also started listening to Louis Prima a lot and I began dancing at night with my mother and sister.  I serenade them with a song called Buona Sera.  I spin Mom like a tornado, and Sarah Grace like a top.




Buona Sera Lyrics

Buona sera signorina buona sera
It is time to say goodnight to Napoli
Though it's hard for us to whisper buona sera
With that old moon above the Mediterranean sea
In the morning signorina we'll go walking
Where the mountains help the moon come in to sight
And by the little jewelry shop we'll stop and linger
While I buy a wedding ring for your finger
In the meantime let me tell you that I love you
Buona sera signorina kiss me goodnight
Buona sera signorina kiss me goodnight
(Buona sera signorina buona sera)
(It is time to say goodnight to Napoli)
Though it's hard for us to whisper buona sera
With that old moon above the Mediterranean sea
In the morning signorina we'll go walking
Where the mountains help the moon come in to sight
And by the little jewelry shop we'll stop and linger
While I buy a wedding ring for your finger
In the meantime let me tell you that I love you
Buona sera signorina kiss me goodnight
Buona sera signorina kiss me goodnight


We've been watching Rick Steves' Europe.  He's a travel expert who has a great show on PBS, but we've been watching them on Hulu.  He teaches travel tips, culture, and history.  Dad wanted me to post what all we've seen so he can catch up with us.  (Sorry to our non-US friends-- Gary said he can't get this in England.)

Rome: Ancient Glory  Part one of three on the Eternal City, this episode resurrects the rubble and brings back to life the capital of the ancient world. Focusing on the grandeur of classical Rome, we’ll marvel at the Colosseum, the Pantheon, and the empire's exquisite art.

Rome: Baroque Brilliance  This second of three shows on Rome reveals a city busy with life and bursting with Baroque.

Rome: Back-Street Riches   In this third of three shows on the Eternal City, we’ll explore this grand metropolis — so rich in art and culture — on a more intimate scale, delving into its back lanes and unheralded corners.

Siena and Assisi:  Italy's Grand Hill Towns  In this episode, we explore Italy's two greatest hill towns: Siena and Assisi — plus the countryside in between. If you fall in love with Italy, good chance it'll be right here.

European Travel Skills: Part II  In this second of three shows focusing on travel skills, we’ll visit Venice, Siena, and the Cinque Terre in Italy to learn about trip planning, packing, safety, and — perhaps the most rewarding skill of all — connecting with the locals.

The Best of Sicily  The island of Sicily has a complicated past making it distinct from Italy: spicier food, a more festive lifestyle, and people who are Sicilian first, Italian second.


Also, here's a link to a slideshow from Serious Eats9 Awesome Italian Cheeses Everyone Should Know

We finished La bohème.  It had a sad ending, but it was deep.  I love Pavaroti's voice.

We finally saw The Godfather I & II.  The older kids had seen it but we Young Guns hadn't.  I didn't like all the lying, and murder, secrecy, and darkness, but it was interesting, and some parts were even funny.  I knew about the Mafia before the movie, but it gave me a better insight into how the Mafia works and how they could fall into all that.

I'm so excited to have our trip to Europe.




Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Italia! -- posted by Giorgio

I'm writing this post because my mommy is making me.  I need to write more because I don't write much.  In fact, I don't even speak much.

When we said we were on an Italian kick, we meant it.  After we watched Big Night we started studying Italy.  On my birthday, we went to the Italian festival in Columbia, where there were Italian meatball subs I loved.  I tasted different wines like Sarah's Prosecco and Mom's Peach Bellini.  We also had pizza, mini canollis, Italian chocolate custard, and Spumoni cheesecake.

We listened to Italian music from the band and we also heard some songs from Louis Prima.  We saw some ballet, and listened to opera singers.  There were Legionnaires dressed in Roman uniforms and they had grape stomping and a gondola.

We also watched the bocce tournament and we played bocce into the night.  It was a cool day and there was a nice breeze. 

After the festival we found all sorts of things for our studies.

We saw this:



Dad joked that Sarah is not allowed to marry a singing Italian tour guide!

Since we've been studying Italy we've made lasagne and spaghetti.  Will made tiramisu.  We had antipasti with prosciutto and plums and apples and tomatoes.  We had Gorgonzola cheese which is strong with a pungent smell.  I like it but it isn't my favorite.  I preferred the water buffalo mozzarella.  We had Italian bread and Chianti.  The next morning we had mascarpone cheese on bagels.

Oh, and we're starting the fourth act of La bohème, which is an Italian opera by Puccini.  It is the one performed by Luciano Pavarotti.  I like it.  I like it a lot.

Ciao!


Tuesday, October 1, 2013