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Buon Anno a tutti i lettori di ‘Un po’ di pepe’, vicini e lontani!  Spero che 2023 porta buona salute e gioia a voi e ai vostri cari
.  Happy New Year readers of  ‘Un po’ di pepe’, near and far.  I hope 2023 brings good health and joy to you and your loved ones!

I usually write a Buon Anno / year in review post on New Year’s Eve , looking back at the blog year.  I am late in writing this one, since we celebrated my parents’ 60th wedding anniversary on Dec 27th and I posted some of their wedding photos in Diamond Anniversary. I also slipped and took a tumble down the stairs 3 weeks ago and have been moving at a slow pace. Guess I should stop practicing the Wednesday/Mercoledi dance!

2022 was the year I wrote the least amount of posts.  Mannaggia!  Post pandemic creative block was partly responsible, and I was also away a lot.  I attempted to make up for 3 years of not travelling, and did quite an epic job of it.  Read all about my travels in Post Pandemic Travel Postcard.

WordPress keeps end of year stats which I love to share because they are so interesting.* In 2022, Un po’ di pepe had almost 14,000 views from over 100 different countries!  I wish I could visit all of of them!  The top posts of 2022 are listed here, in case you missed any of them.  All of the links included in red!  Based on the number of views, the top posts of 2020 are:

#10 Beat the heat-Surviving Summer in Roma This post is based on my many years of travelling to Roma in the heat of summer.  It was published while I was in Santorini in June. 6 weeks later, I was in Roma, having to take all of my own advice! The recommendations are specific to Roma, but the information is useful for travel anywhere in Mediterranean Europe during the summer. 

#9is a tie 9a Hairstyling in Ancient Roma I am sooooo beyond thrilled to see this 2017 post on the top 10 list for the first time!  It needed some love. Join me as I study ancient hairstyling practices by looking at Classical sculptures and paintings. Most of the research was done at Palazzo Massimo.  Yeah for archeology nerds! 

Exquisite mummy portrait in encaustic wax on wood panel, Hawara, Middle Egypt, 120 AD. Photo National Museum of Scotland

#9b Polignano a Mare In this 2016 post about the stunning clifftop town on the coast of Puglia, read about my probable encounter with the mysterious ‘stair poet’  and learn what infraditi are.  In June I was back in Polignano!

#8 The Last Medici As an art history nerd, this 2020 post was my personal thanks to Anna Maria Luisa De’ Medici (AMLDM) the last of the Medici family, for leaving Firenze and the world her family’s legacy of art treasures.  If you have been to the Uffizi or Palazzo Pitti, you will know what I mean.  I was thrilled to see it on the list again! It  comes up #5 in google search for the topic!

#7 Grano Arso a Pugliese gastronomic tradition that honours the resilience of our contadini ancestors. Grano arso is also the subject of my first non- diabetes related publication! There is not a lot written in English on grano arso, which explains why this 2015 post comes up 6th on Google search and this post is in my top 10 every year.

#6 La Grande Cacata  Wow-or should I say merda! I couldn’t believe this 2018 post where I attempt to be an art critic was one of my top 10.  If you need a good laugh, my scathing review of a bruttissima monumental excremental sculpture in Piazza della Signoria in Firenze should do the job.  #5 In my kitchen in Puglia 2022 My summer cucina and the amazing barrel-vaulted stone ceiling were sorely missed during the pandemic! Check out the photo of Mamma cleaning octopi at the kitchen sink. This post was written as part of the ‘In my kitchen’ worldwide blog linkup hosted monthly by Sherry’s Pickings.

#4 Matrimonio in Puglia In June I went to a wonderful family wedding in Puglia, which included an 1100 year old church, a dress made by a 91 year old Nonna and dancing under the olive trees. Auguri Federica e Antonio!

#3 Napoli Street Art I absolutely love Napoli a perfect place for self-expression since the last few thousand years.  Join me on a graffiti/street art tour in the Centro Storico. This 2020 post comes up 5th in Google search. I went to Napoli again, so stay tuned for more posts and even more street art.Madonna con la Pistola Banksy Napoli street art

#2 L’Arte sa Nuotare  made my top list again! During a 2019 trip to Firenze with my nipotina Viaggio con Isabella we were on constant lookout for street art by Blub, the talented artist who plunges famous works of art underwater. This post also comes up 2nd on Google search!  Spread the Blub love- read about more Blub in Blub a Napoli.Putto Raffaello Firenze street art Blub#1 Italiano per Ristoranti-How to Pronounce your Restaurant Menu, this handy Italian menu pronunciation guide has been #1 every year except one.  In a google search for ‘Italian pronunciation guide restaurant’ and ‘Italian menu pronunciation’ it comes out as the top suggestion! Molto cool! This post is available as a 6 page downloadable PDF via a link at the end of the post and. I would still like to expand and turn it into an ebook someday. Speriamo! If any of you have experience publishing ebooks and can give me some advice, let me know! 

Bruschetta (broo.SKET.tah)

For 2023 my goals are simple….lots of travel-although not as much as last year- less stress, more exercise, more art and writing! 

I would love to hear which post you liked best, and what you would like to read more about in 2023 on Un po’ di pepe?  Let me know in the comments.  Looking forward to writing more cose interresanti /interesting stuff in 2023. I have a long list of posts to write based on 2022 travels.  Next month, I also plan to do a writeup on this year’s Festival di Sanremo as I did last year.  

Vi auguro un 2023 piena di gioia e buona salute!  Ciao, Cristina

Check out Italian Christmas Vocabulary for help understanding my seasonal greetings,

*Note…WordPress’ method of collecting stats is odd.  The newest post counts as a ‘Home page’ view until the next one is published and this does affect the results, especially for those of us that do not post often.