This and That

Random bits of my life

Archive for June 18th, 2012

Winged Lion, Symbol of Venice

Posted by Avital Pinnick on June 18, 2012

Winged Lion in Piazza San Marco

This photo was taken from the bell tower opposite San Marco Basilica. The winged lion is both a symbol of St. Mark the Evangelist (= San Marco), patron of Venice, and of the City of Venice itself. Winged lions are depicted in many piazzas. This lion on the stop of the standard is actually higher than the dome of the basilica itself. The telephoto lens compresses the distance so that it appears as if the lion is just above the tourists on the ground.

You can see the relative distance below:

Saint Mark's Basilica, Venice

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Venice in the Rain

Posted by Avital Pinnick on June 18, 2012

Venice in the Rain

We arrived just after several days of heavy rain. I could see the flooded fields from the airplane window as we approached Milan. Venice has a very different character in the rain. In bright sunlight, the tourists are streaming through every side and main street and your eyes are dazzled by the ubiquitous sparkly masks. After a heavy rain, Venice has a quieter, softer, more solemn feeling. Colors are muted.

Canal Grande, Venice
The gondolas were in the dock, covered with plastic.

Gondolas in the rain

Even the normally packed Piazza San Marco is quiet. I liked the jaunty red chairs with no one to occupy them, so I rendered the rest of the photo in B/W.

Red Chairs

San Marco Basilica, Venice

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Recipe: Azzime Dolci, Unleavened Cookies in Venice

Posted by Avital Pinnick on June 18, 2012

Azzime Dolci

Azzime Dolci translate as “sweet unleavened,” so a Google search will take you to a lot of Italian Passover recipe sites (but not these cookies, alas). I took the photo above at the cafe of the Jewish Museum in the Jewish Ghetto of Venice. The lower photo was taken at Panificio Volpe, the kosher bakery around the corner from the Jewish Museum (you can buy azzime dolci there as well, and that’s probably where the Jewish Museum gets them).


I didn’t taste the “unleavened bread” (pano azimo = matzah) in the second photo but I did have the Azzime Dolci. They were very tasty, a bit tough, with whole anise seed. I tried to find a recipe on the Web, without success. However, I did find it in my stained copy of Edda Servi Machlin’s Classic Cuisine of the Italian Jews (Giro Press, 1981), vol. 1. It’s a Passover recipe and calls for Passover flour. You probably won’t  have access to Passover flour, so I suggest you use all-purpose flour and make it during the year when it’s not Passover.

Azzime Dolci al Vino (Sweet Wine Matzot)

2-1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 teaspoons anise seeds
1 teaspoon salt

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and form a dough. Turn out over an oiled surface and knead until smooth. Roll into a cylinder; then cut the cylinder into 6 equal slices. Roll each slice down to 1/4-inch thickness. Pinch two concentric rows of holes [see note below] and arrange on a lightly oiled and well-floured baking sheet. Bake in 450°F oven for 15 minutes. Serve as a wholesome snack or breakfast food.

Note: The instructions for making the holes are provided in her recipe for matzah.

To trim the edges: place your thumb at an angle at the edge of the disk and then pinch with thumb and index finger to create a small bump. Repeat this motion at the same angle all around so the bumps are the same distance apart. Now for the holes: a quarter of an inch from the pinched border, attacking the disk from one side, pinch a piece of dough with thumb and index finger, making two holes. Move the index finger into the hole made by the thumb (toward you) and pinch another hole. Repeat all around until the first loop of holes is completed. A quarter of an inch in from the first row, pinch the dough and make another loop of holes.

Yields 6

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