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Welcome and Benvenuti to All my lovely Followers around the World,

20180603_104928What a beautiful morning it is, here in our little bit of Chianti in Tuscany.  So much so that I thought you might like to see a picture of our garden my man having cut the grass, or rather the weedy stuff, yesterday!  No matter what else is going on in the world, we always have our lovely haven to return to.  Foto P Finnigan.

A little later, my man and I were tootling down our track to the main road, when we came across a big display of white balloons and several members of our neighbour’s family standing outside their little cluster of cottages.  Their ten-year old son was dressed in a long white gown and obviously about to go off for his Confirmation.  This Catholic Doctrine ‘enables the faithful to be sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit’ or so it says in Wikipedia.  Based on the look on the ten-year old’s face, I think he would rather be off for a game of football.

From Puglia to the lumbard, geography of the Conte government  

Meanwhile, back in the world of Politics, we finally have a new government!  Yes, it has been rather thrown together as the time-lapse between the elections and now, has become an embarrassment in Europe.  Conversation in our local bar evolved around the pressure from Germany and France coming down on Italy with heavy threats of ‘involvement,’ I dread to think what that might mean!  So, we have a coalition, and a virtual unknown for Prime Minister, Giuseppe Conte from Puglia, who almost qualifies for Hunk of the Month but not quite!  He is, after all, a politician.  Check out next weeks blog for the June Hunk of the Month.  Foto Yahoo.

2018-06-03 09.28.25Anyway, back in the real world, yesterday (Saturday) was Festa Della Repubblica.  Another holiday and yes, everything was closed apart from a sprinkling of enterprising bar and shop owners.  Goodness only knows what the tourists were thinking when they found whole towns and villages virtually shut down and on a Saturday!  Meanwhile, the Festa itself, was in full swing in most towns and villages, commemorating the institutional referendum held in 1946, in which the Italian people were called to the polls to decide on the form of government, following the Second World War and the fall of Fascism.   Phew!  At the same time, the male members of the Royal family, The House of Savoy, were sent into exile!  Foto La Nazione.

2018-06-03 09.31.57Enough of that!  What about our Motorcycle racing hero Valentino Rossi who, at the age of thirty-nine, has just clocked up his 55th pole position after completing a new world track record in advance of the World Grand Prix.  Sadly, he was to come third in the actual event on Sunday afternoon, but a brilliant effort nonetheless!   Foto La Nazione.

2018-05-29 08.13.15And so to my other love, my man being my first love, Rock Music.  Firenze (Florence) will shortly be hosting an incredible line-up of iconic rock bands.  Be there, or be square I say.  The concerts are over four days from 14th to the 17th June.  The difficulty is, which day to attend?  I would not want to miss any of these, but four days might be tough going.  I think I would probably go for the Guns N’ Roses line-up but then what about Iron Maiden?  Oh and Ozzy, what to do?  Mama Mia!  I think I had better let you decide so here is the link for the ticket office; you had better act fast as the tickets will rapidly sell out! Tickets & Info

If you fail to get tickets, or even if you do, you can always come to my own Rock Concert Garden Party on 22nd June.  This is by personal invitation only and you will need to email me at june.finnigan@virgin.net.  It will be The Rock Chick Band’s 8th annual event and I am already getting very excited.  Our first rehearsal is this coming Saturday!

OK, time to organise Sunday lunch; perhaps I can persuade my man to pop out to a local ristorante.

Have a great week and do drop me a line.  Oh and, don’t forget to visit my Official Author Site at Junes website

Salute June x

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Welcome and Benvenuti to all my lovely Followers around the World,

2018-05-19 09.03.04I would be impossible to start the day and feel balanced, if one had not gone for morning coffee here in our little bit of Chianti.  Now I had reason to go to Certaldo yesterday (Saturday) so we made a beeline for Jam Caffe for our early morning fix.  And, what a beautiful day it was, glorious sunshine and cheerful chatty Italians.  Foto J Finnigan. The Chef at Jam Caffe is called Andrea, and is a brilliant cook and all round lovely guy.  They bake all their own pastries, so you can be assured of really fresh and delicious pastini.  I am so lucky to have persuaded Andrea to do a finger buffet for my Concert Party on the 22nd June. Rock on!

2018-05-13 11.21.40At the weekend, and assuming the weather is good, we do like to pop over to Montespertoli for aperitivi.  Foto J Finnigan. The town will shortly be hosting the annual Wine festival, which is really worth going to, however, I should warn you that historically it tends to rain a lot during the two weeks of festivities!  You can also book a Horse and Wagon excursion, which will take you on a wine tasting tour!  The dates are 26th may to 3rd June; enjoy.  For more info visit the town’s Website

2018-05-16 09.19.41And on the subject of wine, did you know that one hundred and sixty-two thousand tourists visit Italy every year and consume seventy-three thousand bottles of Vino Rosso (red wine)?  The bulk of these visitors are American, German and French.  Well, I wonder how they come up with those figures, but anyway, that’s a lot!  Then there’s also the Brits that are increasing in numbers each year, bless them!  Foto La Repubblica

2018-05-15 08.47.00Now on a completely different subject, although you may want a glass of the red stuff after you read this, Silvio Burlesconi is back!  I mean really back.  I heard a whisper that the courts have allowed Silvio to run for local government again!  Well, something dramatic needs to happen, we still have no government as such, as the two leaders of the largest majority holders cannot agree to work together!  Luigi Di Maio, leader of the 5* Movement has confirmed that he has no desire to become Prime Minister and quoted “I’m very satisfied, we brought to our government the program that is.” He said on Facebook, underlining  that the prime minister will be “a person who must be a friend of the people.”  Stop Press – I’ve just been told that a new Prime Minister has been selected – watch this space!  Could this be Silvio, I wonder?  But I also heard that he, Silvio, has to appear in court on 1st June on more corruption charges.  Hey ho, I doubt if that will deter him, such is the way of things in Italy!  Foto La Repubblica.

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The Madonna Lily and Poppies below our Terrace. Foto J Finnigan

On a much lighter note, and for those of you who are keen to hear about the countryside this time of year, wild poppies are everwhere.  We spotted a big field of the lovely things, but the road twisted and turned so quickly that we lost track of it and could not find it again to get a foto for you!  You have to experience these country tracks to understand what I am saying!  Also masses of Broom are painting the hedgerows yellow.  Anyway, I took this lovely foto below our garden for you to enjoy.

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The Rock Chick Band 2017 – Foto P. Finnigan

Well, it’s only four weeks to my 8th annual Rock Concert Garden Party!  So if you are hoping to come from afar, you had better get those flights and accommodations booked!  We have a great repertoire this year, covering George Harrison, Robert Plant, Pink Floyd, Patti Smith, The Pretenders, Dire Straights, and many more!  Good food and local wines will also flow!  If you do not already have an invite, email me at june.finnigan@virgin.net.  The date is Friday 22nd June; see you there!

Well, must now dash off to Montespertoli and then who knows, maybe lunch at C’era una Volta in Lucardo on the way back.

Have a great week and do drop me a line.  Oh, and don’t forget to visit my official author website at June’s Site

Salute june x

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Welcome and Benvenuti to all my Lovely Followers around The World

20180505_115604My man came rushing in from the garden yesterday, shouting “The Rose is Out!”  Now what is exciting about a rose being out?  You may ask.  Well, this rose, my friends is very special rose indeed.  In 2004 we packed our whole life up into a furniture van and loaded up our car, in readiness for our journey of no return with Bosun the dog, to Italy.  The last thing to go in the van was a metal dustbin into which my man had put some of his tools.  We took a last look around and then I saw the rose, a beautiful red English climbing rose that had really taken root and was climbing up the front of our old farmhouse.  “I can’t leave the rose behind” I whined.  The van driver said, “Sorry missus, it’s illegal to take plants across European borders, soil contamination and stuff you know.”  I was heartbroken so my man persuaded him to put it in the bottom of the dustbin and surround it with the tools. The driver would be paid well, so he agreed!  So over fourteen years, we moved five times and in each garden, we planted the rose.  Somehow it survived, not very well I have to say, but now it’s liking its current position and is blooming!  Praise the Gods!  Foto P Finnigan

20180418_153446Lots of insects are now arriving.  So far no Zanzari (mosquitos) but they’ll be here soon.  An astonishing visitor was a huge Sawyer Beetle who settled on our outside airer.  Go in close and look at its amazing face.  Now, you clever clogs may beg to differ; so if you think its a different kind of insect, please tell me!  Anyway, what a privilege to see such a stunning creature in close-up.  Since last weekend we have also seen the arrival of Swifts, a cuckoo and have heard the Bee Eaters but not seen them yet.  So summer is now ready to go! Yes!  Foto P Finnigan.

2018-05-05 13.42.12Now, I’m sure you remember talking about the ancient European Oak Tree, which guards our front gate.  Well, on Friday it underwent tree surgery as many of the branches were dead and at risk of falling on our heads!  apparently, the tree is listed and could only be cut by authorised surgeons.  Well, anyway, it still looks stunning and I’m sure it will go on for a few hundred years more!  Foto J finnigan.

2018-05-05 09.24.41As you know we like to go out for coffee every morning and usually to Fiano and La Dispensa.  In the newspaper, was an article about the lovely American Ruth Orkin, who became famous for her iconic foto taken in August 1951, walking through a group of lustful Italian men, in La Piazza Della Repubblica in Florence.  Look at the guy on the scooter to the right and the guy to her right is clutching his vitals!  Almost hidden on the left is a very handsome man at a table;  was she going to meet him?  So good-bye to Ruth who died on 2nd May, but never to be forgotten.  Foto La Repubblica 

2018-05-06 09.38.32Also in the paper was an article about the Trevi Fountain in Rome.  Two pictures are printed, ‘then and now’.  Back in 1975, we see local children frolicking in the lovely clear ice blue waters collecting the coins, a normal and delightful scene during a hot summer in the city.  Now, no one is allowed in the fountain.  It remains beautiful and breath-taking, but the coins are scooped out by the local authorities along with all the rubbish that gets thrown in.  I know which era I prefer. Foto La Repubblica 

2018-05-01 09.16.33Back closer to home, new exhibitions are now open to the public at Casa di Boccaccio and Palazzo Pretorio in Certaldo alto.  If you have not visited this beautiful ancient hilltop town, you really should.  I must go and see for myself soon, but I should warn you that there are often some very strange exhibitions there, sometimes macabre or explicit.  But this is Italy.  Foto La Nazione.

2018-05-05 19.12.21And finally, before I try to find the kitchen, here is a lovely foto of our view from the old English bench under our big Ash Tree.  It was taken yesterday, after my man had cut the green stuff that is supposed to be grass, and a heavy shower of rain.  The distance was a little misty, but lovely anyway.  Foto J finnigan

OK, my man has asked for Sunday lunch at home, so once I remember where the kitchen is (it’s easier for me to find local restaurants) I’ll get some roast potatoes going.  Then whilst things are in the oven, I had better do a half hours voice exercise as it is only six weeks to my next rock concert!

Ok, I’m off, have a really great week and do drop me a line, I love to hear from you.  Oh. and do visit my official author site at My site

Salute June x

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Welcome and Benvenuti to all my Lovely followers around the World,

2018-04-24 11.53.47In a moment I’m going to wax lyrical about the plants and wild life in and around our beautiful garden here on the edge of Chianti.  As before, I am not going to talk about Italian politics, other than the fact that we still have no government; you will just have to keep watching this space.

2018-04-28 08.37.42So, back to our garden and what a wonderful week we have been experiencing.  Last weekend the Acacia trees started dripping with white blossoms and the Fiorentina Irises we planted last year have burst into flower!  We have been swamped with butterflies, including the Swallowtail and the birds, well, the birds!  We now have an owl which we have yet to identify, who hoots in the daytime, pairs of pheasant, Jays, Hoopees, swallows and wood pigeons.  Arriving anytime soon will be the colourful Bee Eaters.  Two visiting hares, deer and the occasional cinghiale (wild boar).  And, the weather has been glorious, so my man and I have been able to spend aperitivo time outside, breathing in all the exotic perfumes!  Fotos J Finnigan

2018-04-22 11.55.40And continuing on the subject of aperitivi, I’m really pleased to tell you that the last two weekends have seen us back over in Montespertoli for cocktails, a lovely village just twenty minutes from here.  It is a year ago that we stopped going as the pressure of writing deadlines had me working away every weekend at the keyboard.  But with the weather having turned to sunshine we have returned, and it is so nice to greet old friends again and watch the occasional vintage car rally hooting past.  Foto J Finnigan.

2018-04-29 09.57.46One friend is the lovely Caterina, or I should say The Baroness Caterina de Renzis Sonnino.  Caterina is a very hardworking lady who entertains guests from all over the world giving guided historical tours of Il Castello, Educational visits and Wine tastings.  Yesterday the newspaper printed this article about a visit by Gucci, the Label having chosen Il Castello Sonnino as one of seven cultural projects.  Now, I will try to find out a lot more when I next speak to Caterina, but in the meantime you should visit Il Castello’s website.  My man and I were very lucky to have been given a private viewing a few years ago, and believe me it is an incredibly beautiful and atmospheric place to go.  Oh, you can also stay there, so check it out here!  Website

2018-04-26 08.51.44Meanwhile, back in the world of Music, I noticed that good old Ringo Starr, or Sir Richard Henry Starkey, was in the news and is doing a tour in July/August.  He will include Lucca, Marostica and Roma.  Now I have been to outside concerts in Lucca, which is just over an hour from us, and the setting is fantastic.  Open air concerts are held in one of the most beautiful piazzas and the acoustics are amazing.  Now, in case you did not know, Ringo does do more than just play the drums; he also sings, acts and paints.  It will be interesting to hear the old boy performing, he is seventy-eight, bless him!  I think it’s great that so many of the oldies are still performing live, so there’s still hope for me being discovered at a late age and being sent off on tour!  Rock on I say.  Foto La Repubblica.  See Ringo’s dates here Website and tickets

2018-04-26 08.45.58Now, lest we forget, the 25th April was Liberation Day and it should be remembered that there are a lot of Partisans still alive today who can tell you all about the German Occupation.  Apparently, we are supposed to say Nazi Occupation these days, strange how things get changed for the sake of the modern lifestyle and the now friendly relationship with Germany.   There are some amazingly heroic stories still to be heard about the fight to rid the country of the nasty Nazi’s.  My novel ‘The Italian Connection’ includes a bit based on a partisan’s real life experience, my having interviewed a lovely man called Gianfranco in Montespertoli a few years back.  Foto La Nazione. Visit my author site at Website

2018-04-20 09.19.59Meanwhile, something else being celebrated last week was the 50th anniversary of La Vespa.  That iconic scooter that we all loved seeing in the sixties films and still to be seen today weaving in and out of the traffic in the major Italian cities, and whizzing through the country villages at the weekend, often in big convoys!  Tourists can also hire bright red ones in Florence and surrounding areas, so I’m told.  Did you ever have a Vespa Scooter or were you a Rocker like me, dangerously hanging off the back of 650 motorbikes?  Hey ho!  Send me some of your Fotos.  Foto La Nazione.  Visit Vespa’s site at Website

2018-04-25 09.51.56And finally, lets end with another beautiful Italian fashion shoot, this time found in La Repubblica magazine.  I just love this casual yet sophisticated colourful summer look.  And, the models are so enjoying wearing the clothes, which as you know is something I strongly support, not the usual miserable lot many designers employ.  Also, the weather here is now warm enough to enjoy having one’s feet back in sandals and flip-flops; wonderful. Visit Oltre’s site at website

OK, must go, things to do, places to go and people to see.  May your week be full of nice surprises and as happy as mine.  Oh, and do drop me a line at june.finnigan@virgin.net or visit my official author site at June’s site

Salute June x

PS Don’t forget if you want to come to my Rock Concert on 22nd June, write to me at june.finnigan@virgin.net and ask for an invite.

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Benvenuti and Welcome to all my Lovely Followers around the World,

2018-04-17 17.42.00Well, thank God for that, spring is really here at last and the forecast is sunshine for the next couple of weeks.  But hang on a minute, if you are thinking of rushing out to Tuscany with your cossies, the swimming pools do not open up until the beginning of May and anyway the air temperature can still be quite chilly this time of year.  On the other hand, there are no mossies around in April, so if you pack layers and don’t want to swim outside, come anyway! Foto J Finnigan

2018-04-15 09.39.32Now for me, spring brings a big lift to the spirits and I feel much more like going out and about.  I noticed an advert for an exhibition over on the coast in Pietrasanta, which is in the Comune di Lucca.  It’s called ‘Il dolce Rumore della Vita,’ which translates to ‘The Sweet Noise of Life’.  It is all about paintings and sculpture by very talented people including the Irish sculptor Paddy Campbell and Tuscan artist Simona Dolci.  I really fancy going over, and to breathe in some sea air before the bulk of the tourists arrive.  It’s easy to get a train there too, so no need to slog along the fipili dual carriageway.  Now I just need to persuade my man to join me.   Foto La Nazione.  Have a look for yourselves, the exhibition is open until 10th June.  Perhaps we’ll see you there.  visit the website

2018-04-16 09.17.41Meanwhile, yesterday saw Florence full of fun runners and their supporters, all there for good causes.  Yes, it was the annual Half Marathon.  What I love about Italians is that they always remember to include families and particularly children.  So, not only did you have the competitive race, but also a non-competitive race of 8km, a walking race over 5km and a kids race called ‘The Tommasino Run’ over 1.5km.  The events were spread around the beautiful city and included Piazza della Signoria and Piazza Duomo.  Foto La Nazione.

2018-04-15 09.25.25What else?  Oh yes, we cannot ignore that beautiful Italian creation the actress Claudia Cardianale who is celebrating her 80th birthday!  Can you believe it?  Now, some of you younger readers may not have seen her films that included starring roles in the sixties opposite leading men like Burt Lancaster, Alain Delon, Henry Fonda, Jason Robards, Charles Bronson and Paul Newman.  Most of her films are now classics, so look them up!  Just like Sophia Loren, Claudia still scrubs up very well indeed.  Buon Compleanno to her.  Foto La Repubblica   Read about Claudia

2018-04-13 09.50.33Meanwhile, back in our local village of Fiano, relaxing over coffee and reading the newspapers, I found an article about Sulla Orma Citta Millenaria, that is ‘On the Millennium City Footprint.’  I know, it doesn’t really make sense, so one should not always try to translate literally.  What it actually said was, it is a thousand (mille is a thousand in Italian) years ago when the foundations were laid for San Miniato al Monte and other churches in Florence and the surrounding province.  A thousand years!  Think about it, that’s the year 1,018 AD or the 9th century.  These incredibly beautiful buildings were built all that time ago with no electronic or mechanical assistance.  Of course Florence is a most stunning atmospheric ancient city, and that’s not just the places of worship.  Florence was also the birthplace of Leonardo di Vinci and other illustrious designers and inventors.  So, If you have not visited yet, you really should!  Florence website

Queen 3.1Back here in our lovely bit of Chianti countryside, we had an invasion of bees in my study!  A queen had flown in the open window, yes it’s warm enough, and refused to leave.  After she eventually left, the worker bees found her scent and thought she was still here.  So my man being a gung-ho ex-marine, goes in and tries to encourage them to leave by waving a cobweb brush around.  The buzzing got angrier and louder.  “Get out of there!”  I screamed from outside the door, which opened a crack and he squeezed out.  After much discussion, we decided to shut all connecting doors and wait.  Over four hours later, all went quiet, they had finally given up and flown out into the dusk!  What a relief.  I hope they found their Queen.  At least my daft hero man did not get stung!  Foto Queen Bee – pixhark.com

OK, enough already, must concentrate on the day job now.  Do drop me a line or leave a comment, I love to hear from you.  Also note my dates for visiting the UK on my blog at My website

Have a great week.

Salute June x

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Welcome and Benvenuti to all my Lovely Followers around the World,

Well, how are you?

Firstly, you will be glad to know that I will not be mentioning Italian Politics, other than the fact the country remains ungoverned due to no agreement to form a government.  So it looks like we can expect another General Election!  Enough.

2018-04-08 15.55.55So, to much brighter things and especially to our beautiful Tuscan Garden here on the edge of Chianti, which is now full of flowering tubs.  Yes, the weekend was glorious and we were able to get all the pots planted up with colourful flowers.   The grass, or green weedy stuff, was mowed and we sat out in an evening temperature of around 24 degrees centigrade to admire our hard work.  Now it is raining and is likely to do so all week.  A little sad for the tourists that have started arriving in their droves.  But hey ho, life eeez good, life eeez now!  Foto J Finnigan.

2018-04-07 18.13.22Now I must mention the Star of Jerusalem, which is an herb said to be helpful to people suffering from depression, when taken in oil form.  They pop up all over the ‘lawn’ and are really pretty.  I have just read that these lovely plants are the bane of landscape gardeners as they spread like crazy.  Well my man likes them so much, he mowed around them, bless him!  What would you do?  Foto J Finnigan.

2018-04-08 10.12.43Meanwhile, the legend that is Bob Dylan was in Florence on his Italian leg of ‘The Never Ending Tour’.  He performed his first tracks seated at the piano, starting with ‘Things have changed’ his voice in excellent form and singing to a packed Mandela Forum.  His visit to the city was very low profile and the reporters were unable to find out where he was staying or anything about his itinerary outside of the concert!  Well, good for Bob, I say, privacy is everything.  Did you go to the concert?  Do tell me about it, as I could not get a ticket!  Foto La Repubblica.

2018-04-08 10.11.54Back in our local village of Fiano and over morning coffee, I noticed in the paper a mention of World Book Day, which is apparently on 23rd April, so we must remember that.  I’m not sure how one is supposed to celebrate this, other than perhaps buying or reading a book.  Mine are always available of course, assuming you like romantic thrillers and adventures that take you around the world.  Supporting an author is a good idea, me in particular!  I will be in Wells and Exmouth in the  West County of the UK the week beginning 21st May, so if you have a book group or any other club where you would like me to visit, do drop me a line.  Visit My website   I would love to meet you. Foto La Repubblica. 

2018-04-08 09.58.27Now, I think I should mention, if you are coming to Italy and hiring a car, that the roads have never been as bad as they are now.  The recent cold snap, after a few days of early spring weather, has made things considerably worse!  The roads have never been particularly good here, however, we are now reading about it in the papers so things have seriously deteriorated!  In the UK, the local authorities would have paid out millions to drivers for the damage to their cars over the last year, here in Tuscany it’s accepted as the norm.  As we currently have no government, what can we do?  So, I recommend a high wheel based car, particularly if you are visiting me.  Foto La Nazione.

2018-04-08 13.56.40Well, enough of the grumbles, there is a lot to be grateful for, like good restaurants!  With our local one being closed for ten days, we decided to go back to another favourite in Tavernelle, which I may have mentioned before.  I’m talking about La Gramola.  It is newly refurbished with big modern paintings on the wall, and has a fresher and more spacious feel to it.  Thankfully the chef, Cecilia Dei, has not changed and we enjoyed a really delicious meal there on Sunday.  I had Crostini di Cavolo Nero (black cabbage on toast) followed by spaghetti con verdure.  (seasonal vegetables.)  Just to remind you, La Gramola also specialises in gluten-free.  Let me know if you are visiting and perhaps we’ll take you there.  Foto J Finnigan.  Visit La Gramola at Website

Well, must get on with the day job.  People to see, places to go and deals to be done.

Have a really great week and do drop me a line.

Salute June x

Ps.  Visit my official author site at June’s site

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The Trilogy – The Continuing Adventures of Joanna Wilde.

 

 

 

 

Benvenuti and Welcome to all my lovely followers around the world,

2018-04-01 10.08.07Well, it’s April first, yes really and the sun is shining.  This morning we drove down to Certaldo for coffee as, quite rightly, La Dispensa in Fiano is taking a couple of days off for an Easter break.  Jam Caffe, our favourite bar in Certaldo, was heaving with big family groups, several of which had returned home for the Pasqua (Easter) celebrations.  Few Italians can bear to be away from Mama’s or Nonna’s Easter lunch and the traditional gathering of clans.  In this picture, the caffe looks quiet, but behind me the bar was chocker!  My man waxed lyrical over his pastry, which was freshly baked on the premises, as we met and greeted old friends.  What a pleasant start to the day! Foto J Finnigan.

2018-03-30 13.46.31Looking back to Good Friday, we were invited over to our daughter’s lovely home between San Gimignano and Volterra, for a delicious lunch.  The desert was my man’s absolute favourite, Strawberry Pavlova and the remaining strawberries were dipped in chocolate!    Fortunately our daughter and granddaughter like to cook, so we were extremely happy to be treated.  They live in untamed woodland with a view to the distant sea, such a lovely spot to live in.  Grazie la Famiglia xx  Foto J Finnigan.

2018-03-30 09.06.04Meanwhile, earlier in the week, we were enjoying our morning coffee in Fiano and I found some really nice fashion in La Repubblica for you to enjoy.  All made in Italy, of course, and with a wonderful air of Spring about them.  For the clothes visit Oltre’s Website

2018-03-30 09.08.19       It has been a strange time here in Tuscany, the trees are only just in bud and a number of young trees have not survived the terrible unseasonal cold we have suffered over the last couple of months.  But the forecast is looking good now, so time to think about the Spring wardrobe at last!  I’m going to look through my things tomorrow!  For the shoes go to Frau’s website

2018-03-30 08.48.07  Once you have sorted out your Spring wardrobe, you may wish to pop over to Florence for a great Artisan Exhibition.  There is nothing like viewing or buying products with the ‘Made in Italy’ label or sticker, so this is something you should try not to miss.  This annual, traditional exhibition has been running since 1978 and is to be found in the 16th Century fortress, Fortezza da Basso, in the heart of Florence close to the railway/bus station.  There is lots of parking in the area too, but I would always recommend taking a train or bus in if you can.  Why not stay in Certaldo and travel from here, we could go together!  You have plenty of time to plan for this, as it starts on 21st April.  For lots more information go to The Website

2018-03-29 18.14.10Back at our lovely home, a converted monastery farmhouse, my man has been stacking the latest wood delivery.  He also brought in a pile for our inglenook.  “Look at this!”  He said indicating the most peculiar shaped log.  I stared and gasped.  “It’s a dinosaur’s foot fossil!” I squealed.  “Don’t be daft,” he sighed. “It’s obviously the bottom of a tree, with some of its roots still attached.”  “No, no, it’s a fossil with a tree wrapped around it!”  I argue.  My man goes off to do more useful things.  To burn or not to burn? That is the question.  What do you think?  Foto J Finnigan.

2018-03-29 09.34.47Back again in the coffee bar in Fiano last weekend, I read about the sad loss of a hugely popular TV celebrity, Fabrizio Frizzi.  At only sixty, he has left our screens forever, having hosted numerous TV quiz shows; he was always around doing something entertaining.  His funeral attracted thousands of fans and many celebrities too.  Addio Fabrizio.  Article by Di Piero Degli Antoni.

But enough of that, to happier things.  Next Saturday I look forward to going down to Certaldo’s market to buy lots of pansies, primroses and other colourful plants for our pots, that will come out of the cantina into the fresh air again.  Grazie Tuscany.

Auguri June x

PS Do leave a comment and/or visit my Official Author site at Junes Site

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