Archive for the ‘love thursday’ Category

Love Thursday: Los Angeles’ Watts Towers by Simon Rodia, Italian Immigrant

This week’s Love Thursday comes from our trusty correspondent Salena who recently did a great 3-part series on the Watts Towers by Simon Rodia over at her place, The Daily Rant. Salena saw a special theme emerge as she was taking beautiful photos of this amazing creation, though, and she was kind enough to share with us:

Love Blooms in L.A.

I had never even heard of this magnificent structure — so imagine my surprise when I found out that the Italian immigrant who built it actually went to America to work in the coal mines of Pennsylvania. Rodia was from Ribottoli, outside of Naples, and his real first name was Sabato.

In 1921, Rodia purchased the triangular-shaped lot at 1761-1765 107th Street in Los Angeles and began to construct his masterpiece, which he called “Nuestro Pueblo” (meaning “our town”). For 34 years, Rodia worked single-handedly to build his towers without benefit of machine equipment, scaffolding, bolts, rivets, welds or drawing board designs.

Besides his own ingenuity, he used simple tools, pipe fitter pliers and a window-washer’s belt and buckle.

Construction worker by day and artist by night, Rodia adorned his towers with a diverse mosaic of broken glass, sea shells, generic pottery and tile, a rare piece of 19th-century, hand painted Canton ware and many pieces of 20th-century American ceramics.

Rodia once said, “I had it in mind to do something big and I did it.”

The tallest of his towers stands 99½ feet and contains the longest slender reinforced concrete column in the world. The monument also features a gazebo with a circular bench, three bird baths, a center column and a spire reaching a height of 38 feet. Rodia’s “ship of Marco Polo” has a spire of 28 feet, and the 140-foot long “south wall” is decorated extensively with tiles, sea shells, pottery, glass and hand-drawn designs.

Thanks so much Salena for sharing these photos and

this inspiring story about a man, a dream, love, hard work, and persistence.

Happy Love Thursday to all!

[All text in block quotes comes from the Watts Towers website.]

Love Thursday: Family and Friends Edition

This week’s Love Thursday is quite special because the photos come from two friends made via Internet and my very own niece, Mia:

From L-R:

(1) My friend Beth’s daughter Sarah made a batch of  peanut butter cookies and this heart came out.

(2) My friend Lucy of On my way 2 work and Other Stuff spotted this branch-formed heart.

(3) My niece Mia caught this heart-shaped puddle before it dried up.

(4) Again, Mia’s eye saw a heart in this pork cutlet.

I have *no* idea who Mia takes after!

Happy Love Thursday everyone!

Are you ready for the weekend?

I sure am.

Love Thursday: Hearts Sprouting Up Everywhere

This week we have two reader submissions, but first let me direct you to a Love Thursday post I put up over at Goat Berries a few weeks ago: Pinta’s Heart-Shaped Stain:

I’m sure it *shocks* you to learn that one of our kids was born with a heart on her side…BUT there’s even more to the story, so do check it out!

Now, the first reader submission is from Funda in Connectict, whose mother happens to be from Puglia. Funda wrote:

I wanted to share a little love with you, that appeared among my seedlings. I recently planted some seeds indoors for my garden, and among the little tomato sprouts was such a sweet surprise.

Love it, Funda! Thanks so much for sharing!

And here are some wooden hearts from Austen in San Francisco:

Austen wonders if holding these hearts might be good luck…I’d be willing to try. They’re gorgeous! Love the lighting in the photo too.

I also want to take a moment to thank all of you who snap these wonderful photos and send them to my inbox; it’s always such a happy surprise to find them in there, on any given day, and to feel the love and warmth that comes through. Please do keep sending them in!

Have you seen or felt love sprouting up somewhere lately?

Has anything happened to make you more aware that love is all around? Do tell!

Happy Love Thursday everyone!

A Fresco Painter’s Love Letter to Calabria

The other day I got a wonderful comment on an old post about my village, Badolato, and was introduced to what is sure to be a new friend.

Liana Sofia Tumino is an Italian-Canadian fresco painter who not only has amazing southern Italian scenes in her repertoire, she also has the video below, which I’m calling “A Fresco Painter’s Love Letter to Calabria.”

Because it very much is.

You see Liana Sofia also has deep roots in Calabria, and she has been painting scenes from this gorgeous land for nearly 20 years.

As Liana Sofia wrote in her comment:

My mother and grandmother are from Ferruzzano…I think it must be close in proximity to Badolato and so beautiful as all of Calabria is! I look forward to following this blog and admire your ability to move back…perhaps reversing in a small way the exodus you spoke about that has left so many villages in various stages of abandonment. For this reason I have been painting Calabria for over 17 years in fresco with love and passion for a place that I hold very dear…this summer I created a short video called “My Italy” . . . that showcases the beauty of this place so many love but as you mentioned, perhaps they only return to once a year in August…please watch it as I know you will enjoy it and share it with those that would like another “taste” of Calabria and its beauty!

I will warn you, the beauty of this video made me cry, and I live here and see very similar sights every day. Just a gorgeous work of art, this film . . . I know you will enjoy.

Please do visit Liana Sofia at her website,, check out her frescoes, and say hello (she also has a blog there).

Happy Love Thursday everyone!

Love Thursday: Hearts in Venice and Bellagio

I recently learned of another heartspotter when I got this email from faithful reader and friend Dana:

Just got back from Italy. Thought I’d share a few things. The first 3 are looking out the window of my hotel in Venice. The last I found on a walk in a Bellagio neighborhood.

BTW, I’ve long loved hearts . . . and stars (though not Lucky Charms), so I’m happy to find them.

But . . .

I didn’t notice it here . . .

Or here . . .

And then I saw it . . . and zoomed in.

And this, on a driveway in Bellagio. Intentional, but sweet nonetheless.

Thanks so much for sharing Dana, and
Happy Love Thursday to all!

Michelle FabioMichelle Fabio is an American attorney-turned-freelance writer living in her family's ancestral village in Calabria, Italy and savoring simplicity one sip at a time. 

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Homemade apple butter
Green beans, potatoes, and pancetta
Glazed Apple Oatmeal Cinnamon Muffins
Pasta with snails alla calabrese
Onion, Oregano, and Thyme Focaccia
Oatmeal Banana Craisin Muffins
Prosciutto wrapped watermelon with bel paese cheese
Fried eggs with red onion and cheese
Calabrian sausage and fava beans
Ricotta Pound Cake