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

MAN'S COLLECTION

“I fancy one of those wide-brimmed Italian hats,” my man announced.  “You know, similar to the guy in the Moretti Beer adverts.” “You mean a Mafia style hat?”  I asked, just to be sure.  “Err, not exactly, but black and wide brimmed.” He mused.  So I set about researching Italian hats and found that Florence had a famous artisan hat-maker called Borsalino.  Now, like Italian hand-made shoes, you cannot buy a hand-crafted hat cheaply.  But what you get is a thing of beauty and of a very high quality and style.  So sometime in April, I might take him into Florence and visit Borsalino at Via Porta Rosso 40, 50123, Firenze. (Florence) Foto Borsalino Website

It will also be an excuse to have lunch at my favourite Gluten Free Ristorante, Quinoa.  website website

2018-03-25 08.59.08Meanwhile, back in the world of politics, there are certain romances going on.  Potential government members are wooing each other and celebrating any agreements with hugs and kisses in The House, and in full view of the cameras.  Mind you, this is Italy, the Italians don’t hide their feelings and are very touchy feely.  But I quite like this, and over the years have found myself becoming more and more that way myself.  However, my English man still prefers to shake hands with Italian men, which they find amusing once they have become good friends.  So back to the forming of a new government; well we are still waiting.  Foto La Repubblica.

2018-03-24 09.15.25On the same subject, a Roman Graffiti artist has painted a mural depicting the two potential leaders, passionately kissing.  You know, a bit like the Gorbachev picture.  Note that Luigi Di Maio, the vertically challenged one on the left, was nominated by the leader of the Five Star Movement for the leadership, as he himself (Grillo) has a police record and could not stand for the position of PM.  So nothing new there.  Matteo Salvini, the portly one on the right, who represents the Northern League and runners-up in the General Election, badly wants the leadership, so this romance may not last long!  Watch this space.  Foto La Repubblica

2018-03-24 09.12.26And what about Exhibitions in Florence?  Now here’s one I must go and see.  A fascinating historical photographic collection of ‘Women in Work’.  So, if you want proof of all the hard work women have successfully completed over the years, this exhibition is for you.  Here in the Chianti countryside, there is still an abundance of male farm workers, however, so many are imported and of course there are thousands of immigrants all desperate for work that again are mainly male.  It is easy to spot an elderly countrywoman, as she is likely be very bent over with gnarled hands.  In small holdings or allotments the elderly can still be seen growing their own fruit and veg, often under the rows of olive trees.  But times have changed, even here in the Tuscan countryside. Foto La Repubblica.

2018-03-24 09.03.38Now, I could not resist showing you this gorgeous feminine Rock Chick look, which I found in La Repubblica newspaper, whilst enjoying my morning coffee in Fiano.  As a rock singer myself, black is my signature colour, but I do love a bit of femininity thrown in too.  I’ve always strongly believed that if you are naturally feminine, you know, dresses, skirts and long hair, why hide it.  Fortunately, I was not a feminist in the sixties, I had no money and could not afford to burn my only bra!  But this did not stop me from being successful in business later on, despite the glass ceiling!  But that’s another story…..  Luisa Spagnoli website

2018-03-23 09.22.19The other thing I read in the paper was about the dangerous state of thousands of mature trees, particularly pines and famiglia trees, here in Tuscany.  They are falling over the roads and their roots are pushing up huge lumps in the tarmac!  It makes me very sad to see many of these trees destined for the chop, but needs must I guess.  Foto La Nazione

2018-03-26 08.02.32But never mind, lets end on a cheerful note.  The sun is shining and our spring/summer resident, Signore Cock Pheasant, is back making a racket so the girlies can hear him.  Last year he bedded down with a hen under our tangley  pomegranate trees, safe from the hunters in the countryside that surrounds our garden.  I hope he finds his amore soon.  Foto J Finnigan.

Well, must get on with the day job, amongst all the other things happening here.  Did you get an invite to my next Rock Concert in June?  No, then email me at june.finnigan@virgin.net

Have a great week.

Salute June x

PS Do visit my official author site at My site

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

2018-03-19 09.09.05If, like us, you are suffering yet more miserable weather, you will need some uplifting music to cheer you up!   Now I only occasionally mention Italian singers and rarely Pop singers.  So when I tell you that Italy’s own Laura Pausini has released a new album called ‘Fatti Sentiri’ and is off on a world tour, you should prick up your ears!  Laura has a passionate and slightly gravelly voice, which she is this year taking around the globe at the age of forty-four.  She has been around for a few years here, but now things are really taking off for her and she has my full support and best wishes for what will be an exciting if grueling few months.  Foto La Repubblica.  Visit Laura’s website

Certaldo AltoMeanwhile, and a surprise to we locals, the town of Certaldo has been busy formulating it’s very own Wedding Package as part of its new Tourism Campaign.  we do have a number of wedding planners in Tuscany and Certaldo Alto, the hill-top historical centre (centro storica), has always been hugely popular with Brits wanting to tie the knot.  So it will be interesting to see what emerges.  I have to say, that once you visit Certaldo Alto, you will understand why it is so popular.  When I have more information I’ll let you know.  Foto Official Website.  For now, why not visit  Certaldo

2018-03-17 09.39.31Back in the world of politics, you could hardly ignore the fact that Italy has had a General Election!  The country is now considered badly split and we must wait to hear whether the Five Star Movement will merge with its nearest rival to form a government.  Watch this space.  Foto La Repubblica.

2018-03-17 09.21.43But anyway, I promised to post Italian fashion worn by happy models and I think this one makes that grade.  A lovely relaxed outfit as long as you are 5ft 10ins or more and slim.  Well I’m working on the latter, but I will need six-inch heels to make that height!  Ha ha!  I shall have to stand on a box at my next concert, and probably stick with black, that’s always a slimming and gives the impression of height.  But for the outfit in the picture and lots of other gorgeous casual stuff, go to Amina Rubinacci’s site where, yes, you can buy on-line!  Website

2018-03-16 09.10.36If you don’t mind, I want to pop back to Music as I have just read in the paper that Mick Jagger’s younger brother Chris has been in Italy for four concerts.  Chris Jagger, singer, musician, writer, actor and journalist, tours from time to time, with his trio Acoustic Roots.  Pity, I didn’t know he was here until afterwards!  You can read more about him in his interview with askanews. Visit Chris Jagger interview

2018-03-13 17.46.58Finally, a little something to make you smile and to remind all of us all that Spring will get here shortly.  Apparently, according to the locals, today Wednesday is the first day of spring so I have popped in a picture of our pot of Grape Hyacinths for you to enjoy.

Sorry for the slightly later than usual posting of this blog, but sudden events here in Tuscany needed my attention.

Have a great week and do drop me a line.  Oh, and 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

2018-03-01 08.54.56OK, let’s get it over with.  I know that many of you have seen enough snow to last a lifetime and have been dreaming about soaking up the Tuscan Sun.  Unfortunately, here in our little bit of Chianti we were not to escape the same deluge of awful weather and it is hard to believe that our view from here just over a week ago looked and felt like Siberia!  Now it is much warmer and raining, spring flowers are bursting through and when the first tourists start arriving at the beginning of April, they will find it difficult to imagine how cold and bleak it was in early March.  Foto J Finnigan

2018-03-10 09.02.27Anyway, onwards and upwards and to remember just how lucky we are to have the Italian lifestyle of morning coffee and pastries and of course, beautiful handbags.  ‘What has handbags got to do with lifestyle?’ I hear you ask.  Well, everything actually.  Without a beautiful Italian handbag over one’s arm or shoulder, a person would be improperly dressed, even in the local caffè bar!

What else?  Ah yes, I guess I must mention the Italian General Election, held last Sunday, and predictably resulting in confusion.   As usual the locals shrug and say, in Italian of course, ‘nothing will change’.  However, we do expect the new coalition, when it is eventually formed, to be looking towards leaving the European Union.  An interesting time, so watch this space!

Luigi Di Maio, the Italian 5-Star Movement's leader, poses with party founder Beppe Grillo, right, in Rome, Monday, March 5, 2018. With the anti-establishment 5-Stars the highest vote-getter of any single party, the results confirmed the defeat of the two main political forces that have dominated Italian politics for decades - Forza Italia and the center-left Democrats - and the surging of populist and right-wing, euroskeptic forces that have burst onto the European scene. (Alessandro Di Meo/ANSA via AP)ALESSANDRO DI MEO
 Luigi Di Maio, the Italian 5-Star Movement’s leader, poses with party founder Beppe Grillo, right, in Rome, Monday, March 5, 2018. With the anti-establishment 5-Stars the highest vote-getter of any single party, the results confirmed the defeat of the two main political forces that have dominated Italian politics for decades – Forza Italia and the center-left Democrats – and the surging of populist and right-wing, euroskeptic forces that have burst onto the European scene. (Alessandro Di Meo/ANSA via AP)ALESSANDRO DI MEO
2018-02-20 09.17.55OK, and so to Italian Fashion.  In my last blog I promised to only post Italian fashion worn by happy models.  So here for your delight, and mine too, is a beautiful outfit in my perfect colours.  The great thing about the internet is that most of the designers can be accessed and purchased on-line these days.  As much as I like to go to gorgeous Italian designer shops, time is of the essence.  So for this beautiful outfit visit Dixie (pronounced Dixieh) at Dixie Fashion Florence
2018-03-12 09.22.37 Dio, what to say, what to do about Italian Rugby?  Our great team here in Italy has managed to lose six consecutive matches in the Six Nations.  Sadly, the only newspaper foto was squeezed into the bottom right of La Nazione sporting pages and hardly noticeable.  I do wonder if the lack of investment into the sport here makes a difference.  Italy is so orientated towards Football (Calcio) and the children are encouraged to join local teams at an early age.  Another interesting fact is that the schools here do not have their own sports fields;  Children have to go to outside clubs in the evenings or at the weekend.  Siena has a great rugby club where our grandson is playing with the under 18’s.  However, the facilities are pretty dire and, for strength reasons, they have recently merged with Arrezzo, which has not proved too successful.  But the players remain ever enthusiastic!
2018-03-12 09.19.35Don’t worry, I have not forgotten my hunk of the month.  However, having decided to choose the great Sicilian detective, Montalbano, I was devastated to read that he actually gets married in his most recent series!  No, I know that should not preclude him as Hunk of the Month, I was just a little bit shaken, that’s all.  In fact, even my own heroine, Joanna Wilde, gets married in my latest book ‘The Italian Connection,’ which will not preclude her from continuing to have exciting new adventures!
OK, time to get on with the day job and to catch up with all my colleagues in London.  Have a great week and do drop me a line.  I am about to send out invites to my Rock Concert Garden Party here in Tuscany, so if you want to be included send an email to june.finnigan@virgin.net.
Have a great week
Salute June x
PS Do visit my official Author Site at June’s Site
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The Trilogy – The Continuing Adventures of Joanna Wilde.

 

skysports-rugby-six-nations_3877729OK, what to say about the Rugby?  I am almost speechless after watching England’s terrible performance, losing to Scotland yesterday.  However, we do want to congratulate the Scots on a game well played.  On Saturday we watched a much more exciting match between Wales and Ireland, which followed a disappointing meeting between Italy and France.  Italy did put up a good show in the early stages, but they still have so much to do to improve their game.  So for us, being English and living in Italy it was a poor weekend of rugby!  But never mind, life eeez good, life eeez now!  Foto SkySport

2018-02-25 09.18.18Meanwhile, there was a snow warning in place for the region of Florence, so we have dashed to the local village and stocked up for a few days.  La Dispensa shop and caffe bar is such a godsend for us and the local people in the Fiano area.  Back in our cosy converted Monastery Farmhouse, it’s good to be in the warm and to watch the heavy snowflakes from inside my studio.  Despite this, daffodils and snowdrops are popping up; roll on spring!  Foto La Nazione.

2018-02-24 09.38.33Now, I know I go on about fashion and I know that last week I groaned about the miserable looking models on the catwalks, but I have to inform you that I am now campaigning for happy models that look as if they are enjoying the clothes they are wearing!  If you look at the pictures in the paper, no don’t, of the shows in Milan this last week, you would have cringed.  So each or every other week I will share with you a fashion shot that will make you smile.  Only beautiful things Made in Italy of course.  Foto La Repubblica.

2018-02-24 09.34.20A question; are you nervous about carrying a clutch bag?  I am, as I’m always afraid it will be snatched or I will put it down and forget it.  Well here is the answer to both those dilemmas, a clutch with a wrap around strap, brilliant and I love this one too!  Do send me a picture of your own favourite bag!  foto La Repubblica.

2018-02-22 09.06.00Back in the world of good Italian food, I just read this great article about 3D Printed Pasta!  I’m also quite keen on an artistic presentation in the right surroundings, and these creations hit the spot.  Produced by BluRhapsody in Emilia (Foto La Reppublica), you can take a look at their amazing Website

2018-02-25 09.20.40And last but not least, Julia Baird, John Lennon’s sister, has written a book dedicated to their mother, called Imagine This.  It is the true story of John Lennon’s childhood.  She is currently in Italy on a book promotion tour.  Foto La Nazione.  If you are a fan of JL you may want to buy a book at amazon link

OK, enough of that.  Time is rushing by and I must get this blog off to you today.  Oh, lest I forget, I will be sending out my Tuscan rock concert invitations in early March, so make sure you send me an email, if you are not already on my mailing list.  I would love to see you there!  write to june.finnigan@virgin.net or visit my official author website at June’s website

Salute June x

PS In next week’s blog, Italian Hunk of the Month!

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Benvenuti and Welcome to all my Lovely Followers around the World

Well, I’m starting off today with the music scene, here in our lovely bit of Italy.  I could write the whole blog and never leave this particular subject, as so much is going on musically.  But worry ye not, there is much more to read about below.  But I am sure you would want to know that the aging Bob Dylan will be gracing us with his presence on 7th April, appearing at The Nelson Mandela Forum in Florence.  I was interested to read that last year he was made Poet Laureate for his song lyrics, unusual choice, but open to discussion. Foto Tour promotions.  For details of all his Italian concert dates go to Here

2018-02-08 09.50.31Also touring during February and March is the hugely popular gravelly Italian  singer, Zucchero.  Zucchero translates to sugar, and a very sweet man he is too.  His real name is Adelmo Fornaciari and is described as a blues artist who has sold more than sixty million records in his lifetime!  At sixty-three he’s still going strong.  Foto La Reppublica.  Buy tickets at Here

Back here, in our beautiful bit of countryside near Certaldo, the last week has been full of wildlife.  Firstly, we came to a sudden halt on the main road to Certaldo, to wait for a herd of Cinghiale (wild boar) that were racing across countryside to our left and were obviously going to cross the road in front of us without stopping.  There were twelve or thirteen, led by a big male followed by a few adults and a lot of youngsters.  They thundered across in front of us in single file and at a terrific speed.  We were very pleased to find a group of hunters further down the road, facing in the wrong direction; the cinghale were long gone!  Then, during the same week, we twice came across a herd of deer, crossing the track between our house and the main road, again keeping out of the hunters’ way.  It is a sad thing that these beautiful creatures are hunted so fiercely this time of year.

2018-02-17 08.59.22Anyway, on a brighter note, I found this gorgeous Sodini handbag in La Reppublica’s weekend magazine.  I think it is truly beautiful and it’s so nice to have a relaxed happy model in the picture.  Oh, dear, I have just discovered that the brand can be bought in Certaldo, at Magnolia in Via Giugno.  What to do?  My man will kill me if I buy another handbag!  I’ll have to find an excuse somehow!  Visit website  Also shown below is a beautiful outfit, again with a relaxed happy model, wearing a MaxMara number, which is right up my street.  Perhaps I’ll refrain from checking where I can buy it; on the other hand.  Ooops, just did, far too expensive, but never mind.  Go to website      2018-02-17 08.57.39Just lately, I have been getting really put off the fashion shows as so many designers use these awful miserable looking models that don’t even seem to be enjoying the clothes they are wearing!  Sorry, I just don’t understand it.  They may as well just use remote-controlled robots, that would at least be more interesting.

Well, enough of that.  What with all the election rallys going on and famous, or should I say infamous, people turning up locally to drum up votes, it’s been a little difficult to ignore.  Alessandra Mussolini, granddaughter of the original, has just visited Certaldo, trying to help drum up support for Forza Italia and its local candidate Stefania Scarpati. 

2018-02-17 08.52.07This is also Silvio Berlusconi’s party, which is currently holding third place in the opinion poles.  Posters are now appearing on the big metal boards erected a couple of weeks ago.  Although we are residents here, we don’t appear to have voting rights.  Mind you, I would not have a clue as to who to vote for, but then I felt the same way when we lived in England in the distant past!  I’ll keep you posted.  Foto La Nazione.

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The Rock Chick Band 2017

OK, time to get the pictures into this blog, then to get it off to all you lovely people.  Do drop me a line and if you would like to be added to The Rock Chick Band’s invitation list for our concert on June 22nd, drop me an email at june.finnigan@virgin.net.  Initial invites will go out shortly.

Have a great week.

Salute June x

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

2018-02-11 09.27.41OK, I have warned you about Italian Romeos in the past and this week girlies of all ages should take extra care.  Anyway, from now up until the fourteenth, beware of Italian men offering you red roses.  One rose is supposed to be very romantic, however, it might also indicate the size of his wallet!  Ask immediately if he lives with his mother.  If yes, then he’s probably after a bit of slap and tickle.  If he gives you a sob story about his aging or ailing mother, he may be looking for a replacement!  Either way, if he’s good-looking and invites you to dinner in a decent ristorante, why not!  Enjoy!  Foto La Nazione.

2018-02-11 09.30.28Meanwhile, the papers continue to be full of the forthcoming elections.  Villages and towns have had the big metal boards erected ready for the posters that go up shortly.  Matteo Renzi, the former Prime Minister, seems to be talking himself into a big political hole, rather like David Cameron did in the UK.  Both he and Silvio Berlusconi are now paying heed to the female political advisors, I’m glad to say, however, no sign of a likely candidate from their ranks for PM yet.  Foto La Repubblica.

Meta and Moro suspended

OK, so how did the Sanremo Music Festival end? I hear you ask.  Well, the winning act was Meta and Moro.  Meta was obviously doing a Doctor Who impression, aka Tom Baker!  The guys nearly didn’t make it after they were suspended pending allegations of violations of the festival’s rules by the song presented by them.  But all turned out rosy in the end.  To watch the video and get an idea of how ‘high’ the standard of entries were, go to Youtube Video No comment.  Would you believe, 12.2 million Italians watched the final on TV , the highest recorded since 2002!  Foto Sanremo official website. 
2018-02-08 09.49.27Guest appearances at the Festival included Sting.  The music man is fully entrenched into Tuscan life having a villa and land just a few valleys away from us, and the Italians love him.  His music is regularly played on the radio and he holds the occasional private concert party in his garden.  He has obviously taken a lead from me and my Garden Rock Concerts in June each year.  More news on that soon!  Foto La Repubblica
2018-02-11 09.32.36Well, back here in our beautiful bit of Chianti, it is cold and raining.  Contrary to popular belief outside of Italy, February can be chilly and wet.  Despite that Crocuses are beginning to show their heads, the Mimosa and some Cherry trees are in full blossom and life is good.  Local towns and villages are finally getting over the Carnivale Period and things are finally a little quieter; until the elections of course!  Foto La Nazione.
Soon, you will have more news about my books.  I will shortly finish and publish my short story, The Man in Black, and am making big strides with the fourth book in the series ‘The Continuing Adventures of Joanna Wilde’ called ‘Assassins List.‘  So watch this space!
Have a great week and do drop me a line; I love to hear from you.  Oh, and do visit my official author site at June’s website
Salute June x
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