Growing up Maddie

This week’s photo challenge is GROWTH.

To tell you the truth, I didn’t have to struggle with the theme this time around, as I’ve been waiting for just such an opportunity to dote a little bit on my first and only granddaughter, Maddalena “Maddie” Grace.

Like her granddad, Maddie’s a Leo, too, and she’s been roaring ever since she said her first “hello” last year on July 23rd.

She was born in Rome, Italy – mom’s American, dad’s Italian – and Maddie already has a pretty good handle on what it means to be bi-lingual: “One, two, free…Uno, duo, tway.”

I live in Vicenza, about 325-miles north of Rome, so when I visit, about once a month, I immediately see the physical and personality changes from the previous visit as soon as I lay my eyes on Baby Maddie.

She’s a pretty happy camper, too – at home, with her playmates at pre-school, in supermarkets, restaurants, and in the arms of whomever, wherever.

The family, to a person, agrees that Maddie is already a “people person.”  With an incredible curiosity for everything around her, she has an uncanny ability to lock eyes with total strangers, hold them in a trance, and beckon them to come closer to find out who she is.

It sure is a joy for me watching my granddaughter’s healthy and happy progress. I can only imagine how much fun it must be for her, growing up Maddie.

©The Palladian Traveler 

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©The Palladian Traveler | ©Tom Palladio Images

Written by

Tom traded his hometown St. Louis Cardinals' baseball cap in the United States for a Borsalino and he now hangs his "capello" in the Puglia region of southeastern Italy. A veteran print and broadcast journalist, with well-worn passports that have got him into and out of 50 countries and counting, Tom fell in love with the "Bel Paese" years ago. As he notes, "I'm inspired by the beauty I find in all things that are very, very old, and reliving history, or at least meandering along the travertine and cobblestone that were laid down over a thousand years ago and just looking up and marveling at what occupies the space still today, really gets my 'Vespa' running." Tom has a good eye behind the lens and is a graphic storyteller, but he'll let you decide as he keeps his camera batteries fully charged and the posts flowing from his creative hideaway in the hills overlooking Ostuni. You can also follow his dispatches via and Anthology Magazine Ireland.


  1. “Maddie with the smiling face,” making her Granddad proud!! Uschi, my wife, is a Leo too and says you both are destined for greatness (Leo’s always say things like that about themselves). Tom, the pictures are as priceless as your model. And your doting is wonderful to watch.
    Herb Glover


  2. Herb – Thanks for reading “Growing up Maddie.” Pretty easy material to write and shoot when she’s the star. Nice to know, too, that Uschi is a member of the “Lion’s CLub,” like Maddie and me. We like to boast and roar; we just can’t help ourselves. Ciao for now. Tom


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