Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Christmas shopping

I've just finished walking through shopping centers and Christmas markets in Rome and surroundings. I've just  finished doing Christmas shopping :)

Consequently, our Christmas tree is surrounded by Christmas gifts. 15 people will be at home at Christmas, that's why you see a lot of gifs around the tree

Happy Christmas to all my blogger friends!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Italy's most multicultural city

The two pictures above have nothing to do with running. They were taken this month while I was walking through the Italy's largest and most multicultural city. I'm talking about a Rome's neighborhood located close to the main railway station, where most people who live there aren't Italians. And it works great! Of course that neighborhood  does have its downsides:someone can't find Italian items in the shops located along that street and restaurants mainly sell exotic dishes. 
Back to the running topic, I haven't planned to run any race yet. Maybe motivation have been decreasing since last Spring ... although  I have bought a new pair of running shoes :) This week I have been so glad to hear that Stefano has planned to run the Christmas race. It will be held on December 22nd and I'll give it a try!

Monday, October 20, 2014

I am a mild over pronator

New running shoes are still in their packing box.. Last week I  bought a pair of Asics Gel - Kayano 20, after I had got my style analysed in a specialist running shop in Rome. I am a mild over pronator, that's why I chose a shoe that gives more arch support.

Weather is still hot although Summer is sadly over. And I am ready for a couple of gloomy months, when days get shorter, temperatures drop and the rain settles in. We might enjoy a second summer in the Southern Hemisphere. Have you never escaped the European and North American winter and spent some time on the other side of the world?
Nice week to everyone!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

The Pope and the lawyer

This week I am dealing with a legal matter related to compensation for damages. One of the walls of the block of flats where I live shows signs of dampness and moisture penetration. Thertin homeowners live in this building which is experiencing noticeable seepage because of a shop's bathroom  located on the other side of the wall. Unfortunately, the owner of the shop is a lawyer: he said that the moisture penetration is related to our basement. I don't think so, because it's easy to see moisture penetration only on the wall which is situated between our building and his bathroom, whose water main was built more than fifty years ago. In addition, this line of thinking is supported by two plumbers who saw both our wall and his bathroom.

This legal matter reminds me the joke about the Pope and the lawyer which I heard last Summer. It would be a good idea to share the joke, considering that I've just bored you with moisture penetration and seepage.
the joke is named "The Pope and the lawyer".
The Pope and a lawyer are on the elvator to heaven. When they arrive at the gates, dozens of angels, saints and other holy people are waiting for them.
They pick the lawyer up and carry him on their shoulders. They all cheer. They don't take any notice of the Pope who is very sad.
St. Peter sees this and goes over to him and says: "Don't feel bad. We get popes here all the times. It's not every day we get a lawyer". 
Today we have had one day of Summer sunny once again. the picture picture below shows one of the things I like most about my town: it's its running path along the sea.

Have nice outdoor adventures!
Post scriptum:  I mentioned above the definition "block of flats", with regards to the building where I live. Do you think it is correct? Could I use also the word "condominium"?

Monday, September 01, 2014

The last three week of this Summer

Today, the first day of September, it seems that Summer is going to an end sharply: wind and rain. It's easy to see that climate change worsens, and the forecast through September doesn't promise much relief.  Maybe, we are still seeing possible problems due to Mediterranean climate change.

It's a real pity that many tourists, who have just reached my country, will not enjoy our beaches this month.


The picture on the left shows how was the sky above the street were I live. I took it after I had had breakfast  this morning, Monday, September 1st. I hope that these weather conditions will be good for running.
In addition to climate change, this summer  we, Italians, have experienced also  a disease affecting olive trees in Central Italy. The two pictures here on the left show a view of my mother's small farmland: we can see olive trees without olives! Unfortunately, in fall we will not make olive oil. And black figs aren't ready yet!
Happy running/walking/byking to all my blogger friends.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Day of Assumption of Mary

Hi to everyone! Today is the day of Assumption of Mary (The Virgin Mary enters Heaven).
According to Catholic Church, August 15th is considered a Holy day of obligation.
Yesterday I was ready for my first day back at work. I had been on vacation since July 28th to August 13th: beaches and rest, although the weather wasn't good enough.

The picture above shows the small black cat who lives close to my mother's house. When I took that picture he was sleeping sweetly. 
At the moment I am not running as much as I should, considerng that I would like to run a half marathon in October. Moreover, I have low back pain:  muscles were torn or overly stretched because of sudden movement while I was digging in my mother's garden. I hope I can run again as soon as possible. The problem is that I don't dig every week ... the sudden increase in digging the  garden is rapidly followed by injuries. Do you know how to avoid back pain conditions relating to gardening? 
Nice weekend to all my blogger firends!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

My 200th post

Hello everyone! This is my 200th post.
I haven't been blogging since last month.(sorry for delay). Next week I'll be on vacation and my best destination will be the Ponza Island. Two days ago, my  sister sent me the picture below which shows the place where I'll spend a three days next month. It's the place where my mother usually lives in Summer which is situated in the hills close to Gaeta. Her house's rooftops are covered with photovoltaic panels. We are going to celebrate her birthday on August 2nd.
I have never seen such stunning rainbow through that valley.
As usual, in Summer I lose the ability to run over a long period of time without getting tired. I haven't plan to run any race in the next two months. That's why I didn't run the 10km race which was held yesterday in my hometown. On the other hand, I gave my support as volunteer, providing water along the track :) and got the t-shirt of the race although I didn't run it. Some runners from Sweden and Netherlands ran that 10km race as they were here in Italy on vacation. Beautiful atmopshere before the race.
I'll probaby sign up for a Half Marathon which will be held in October. The running path will be around the "Vico lake" here in Central Italy. So, at the moment I am trying to maintain my running shape considering that our body sometimes needs a break.
Happy Summer to all my blogger friends!

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Fruit, vegetables and water

Since the 1st week of May I've been reading some good posts  about the importance of fruit, vegetables and water.  Blogging writers have focused their  posts of the fact that we, runners and walkers who live in the Northern emisphere, are headed into the warmer months. This reminds me the importance of rehydration. I always put into my body more than 2 bottles of water a day and I drink three cups of water before breakfast. There is always a small bottle of water in my handbag (not sparkling water). I try to do the same in Winter too.  Other bloggers talk about food: the more the fruit and vegetables, the less the risk of heart disease. We would have to teach good behaviour rules about food and drink ... our children are watching us.

The picture above shows the starting line of the race for the cure which I ran on Sunday May 18th. Fantastic! I didn't run too fast because I decided to enjoy the atmoshpere and the landmarks along the track. A fantastic race for a great social cause!
Nice week to all my blogger friends!

Saturday, May 17, 2014

All posts should come with a picture

Few people who live in my town really know the fountain of Vanvitelli. It' s a symbol of Civitavecchia. It's the gateway to the town, so  it almost guards Civitavecchia and the sea.
I took the picture yesterday while I was running along the port.

Last week I went to Rome twice for job and tomorrow I will be still there where I will run the "Race for the cure".  Its goal is to raise money for a specific type of cancer research.
Nice weekend to everyone.


Monday, April 28, 2014

The last two weeks of April

Since Aprile 6th I haven't been running as much as I should, that's why last week I visited my mother on April 20th and decided to do a long run up-hill.  The  road  passes through the countryside and  it even becomes a dangerous track as you can see below. 
While I was running on the way back I saw those two street plates representing a cow and a landslide. 

... and two  minutes later I saw those two cows along the street.
 It may be dangerous especially in the dark

Saturday,  April 26th, was our 24th wedding anniversary and we spent all the day with the kids in Rome where we  visited  the exhibition of  a selection  of  seventy works created  between 1848 and 1914  by the  great French masters, such as Monet and Van Gogh.  Those extraordinary works were  in  Rome for  the first time and will be there  until June 8th.
Paradoxically, although we have been to Paris twice since 2001, we haven't visited the "Musée d'Orsay" yet. As it is known, there are many things to visit in Paris, such as Saint Germain de-Prés, Montmartre, Le louvre, and Notre Dame, but we hadn't enough time. So last Saturday we visited a small part of the "Musée d'Orsay" in Rome. I had took three photos of the paintings before I learnt that it is forbidden to take pictures. I was sorry for that although I took the pictures with my mobile phone and without light which might damage the painting. Here below on the right, I post a picture of a wonderful work made by Claude Monet in 1878, the "Rue Montorgueil" in Paris. The photo doesn't represent the painting nearly as well as it should: while I was watching that work it seemed that those flags were moving. Extraordinary!

The picture above on the left shows  the Geoffroy's work "Visit day at the Hospital", made in 1889.

As you can see through the following pictures, the weather was perfect for a walk along the old side of the town. The streets close to the main Rome's landmarks were really crowded. In addition to the usual tourists, there were hundreds of thousands of people from all over the world who were filling the town (and they are still filling St. Peter Vatican square) for a historic event involving four popes.

Nice week to everyone!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Happy Easter!

I'd like to show you this picture taken yesterday while I was running in the hills near to the town. We (my wife and I with our friends) have planned to spend there Easter Monday. As you can see in the picture, yesterday the weather wasn't sunny enough and it still is so cloudy. I hope it will be better during this Easter weekend, considering that my daughters have planned to go on the beach.   

Happy Easter to all of you!

Monday, April 07, 2014

Vivicittà 2014

Yesterday I ran a 12 km race on a sunny Sunday. My average pace was 04:20 min./km and it is the same pace I did when I ran the two races last month. 
Maybe I tend to run the same routes and repeat the same kind of training week after week. 
Before I had run the race I got a purple shirt with the logo which you can see in the picture. I'll post the pictures of the race as soon as possible. 
Have a nice week!

Saturday, April 05, 2014

Running in the green hills

The third week of Spring is upon us and we can't enjoy the typical sunny weather of this season, as you can see in the picture below: cloudy and rainy weather since March 21st.

This post shows three pictures which I took while I was running though  the  countryside. I did running reperats and tempo runs there during the last two weeks. The picture below shows three olive trees which are 200 years old. As you can see the running path is soft: that's great because I don't like to run on concrete or asphalt.

I've planned to run  a 12km  race tomorrow and  I will be careful because the track is mainly up-hill and down-hill. In addition to this, information about weather forecast aren't good enough.
Nice weekend to everyone! 

Sunday, March 23, 2014

plate street name

Vatican Square

I'd like to share two pictures which I took last week while I was in Rome for job: The first is about a seagull walking in the middle of Vatican square. Vatican square is located about 30 Kilometres East from the sea! How can that seagull go there? The second one shows a snapshot of one of the main streets of Rome without cars or trams. In addition to the subway, Rome's urban environment offers beautiful streets to be walked. 

Via Ottaviano, Rome

Marienkirche, Berlin

I have been reading many posts about benefits of running, such as cardiovascular health, endorphin production, enjoying environment and so on. And with regards to this topic I would like to highlight another benefit that I have recently thought: running through the urban environment in the early morning gives us the opportunity to discover some details of the town such as corners, particular buildings and landmarks. Of course, we couldn't see those things while we are driving or going shopping. For instance, the third picture here above shows a small church that I discovered (and I took the picture) while I was running along Berlin's streets in the early morning. It's Marienkirche and it is one of the things I like most about Berlin because it wasn't distroyed during the II World War. I discovered it thanks to running.

Borgo Odescalchi, Civitavecchia

Last week while I was doing a warm up session, I saw a particular plate street name which I had never seen before. It indicates the name of an old Civitavecchia's neighbourhood. Names of streets are written on white marble plates in Rome and surrondings.
There are beautiful plates with the names of the most important streets around the world and each town has its typical colours and specific written characters.
Rue de Seine, Saint Germain des Pres, Paris

The picture here on the left, which I took in Paris (Saint Germain des Pres) three years ago, shows a typical French plate with the name of the street. 

I'm so curious to see some plates street name of the towns were you (blogger friends) live. Could you post a picture of a typical plate from your town? Of course, only if you have time. I took the two pictures of the plates  (Borgo Odescalchi and Rue de Seine) while I was running and you could do the same.

I am still trying to maintain my running shape: this morning I ran 15 km at 5 minutes per kilometre and this running session may be useful for the next race.

Nice week to everyone!

Monday, March 17, 2014

A flat 10km race

Another place, another race. A well organized 10km race was held yesterday in Ladispoli, near to Rome. The runnning event was really successful considering that more than  1400 people crossed the starting line (I ran with the number 1427). The Spring weather and the soft running path were wonderful. The race started at 10:00 am and I ran its main part  through a pine forest near the sea. The track was mainly flat and I crossed the finish line after 43 minutes and 23 seconds. My average pace was 04:20 min./km.
Nice week to everyone!

Sunday, March 09, 2014

2014 Montalto's 11 km race

It was the first time I had ever run a 11 Km race. I have heard about 10, 12 and 15 Km races but not of 11 Km. Anyway, this morning I ran my third race of the year on a sunny Winter Sunday. The main part of the track was along the sea and through a particular oaks forest. I also ran about three kilometers up-hill through a strong cold wind that originates from North. On the contrary, while I was running down-hill the wind was behind me.
The time taken was 48 minutes and 31 seconds. I've learnt that the small investment of time I have been making in repeats workouts, tempo run and up-hill training has paid off today: I am really delighted with my average pace of  04:21 min./km. Good weather conditions and beautiful environs: perfect for running a race. I still feel relaxed completely.
Nice week to everyone!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Still in Rome on a sunny Saturday

Since last week I have been making a small investment of time in running repeats. And I hope it will pay off next month when I will be running a 10 km race. I have been enjoying both the workouts and the sunny weather which is unusual in February here in Italy.
Although Saturday is usually my day off, this morning I went to Rome for job. I saw thousands of people from Scotland who were gathering the oldest  Rome's streets. They were going to watch the match Italy vs Scotland game of 6 nations rugby. It was a precious  victory for Scotland over Italy in Rome. 21-20 that's the score.
Scottish rugby supporters were friendly and wore their typical clothes, the kilt, as you can see in following pictures.
They asked me some information about the location of the stadium. And while I was talking about the underground I didn't remember the difference between the words subway and tube. 
They were very kind and said that  tube is British English and subway is American English. Of course the meaning is the same.
How do you translate the word underground in your language ? I'm curious!

In addition to the underground, we can still travel through Rome by an old public transport, trams (or streetcars), which you can see in the picture on the right. It is really useful and looks great on the cobblestones through some Rome's narrow old streets. When I go to Rome I sometimes use the transit system, struggling to cope with severe traffic congestion.    
Next week, on Wednesday, I shall go to Naples and visit my mother and relatives. I shall travel by high speed train which takes one hour from Rome to Naples
The picture shows the Frecciarossa (red arrow). They are  high speed trains in Italy which get us from Milan to Rome in under 3 hours. At the moment Frecciarossa are among the most luxurious trains we can find anywhere in the world. I'd like to show this picture because our blogger friends, Johann, always loves watching pictures of trains and railway (or railroad). The picture below shows the exit of the main Rome's railway station.

Nice weekend to all my blogger friends! 

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Day of remembrance

February 10th is the day of remembrance here in Italy (but it isn't Public holiday). It reminds us the mass killings perpetrated by Yugoslav partisans and directed against native Italians during late world war II. That ethnic cleansing of Italians has something to do with running as last Sunday a 5 km race remembered the more than 10,000 Italians put into the foibe (See: ).
The race was held in Rome and I ran most of that 5 km race through the rain. After I had run that "wet" race I noticed that my previous workouts in the rain had paid off: I haven't got a cold. On the other hand, I ran with beanie hat and scarf as you can see in the picture which I found through the web. It was taken while I was running the race and shows clearly my happiness. The picture reminds me that running stimulates endorphin production which improves mood and makes us feel good.
As usual, Stefano and I enjoyed the race although the track was tough and hilly. The organization wasn't good enough and volunteers weren't helpful. After the race I got a medal, a T-shirt and a very small loot as you can see in  the picture (pasta and Gatorade).


I crossed the finish line after 23 minutes and 11 seconds (4:38 min./km) and noticed that since last month my average pace has been increasing slightly (compared with my previous 5 km race which I ran in January at 5:00 min./km pace). 
The last picture below shows runners who didn't wear beanie hat and scarf while they were running the race ... How could they wear summer clothes while they are running in February? Didn't they get a cold? In Winter, the problem  is before the race on the starting line, when runners are waiting for the signal to begin the race ... on a rainy Sunday.  That's why I wore beanie hat and scarf  :)

Have nice runs!