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Posts Tagged ‘August in Tuscany’

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

wine-windowI am firstly going to take you to Florence as there are two things I want to tell you about.  Firstly, have you heard of the Wine Windows?  These medieval windows, of which there are more than 150, have re-opened to serve wine to the tourists!  This is most appropriate, because back in the late Middle-Ages these windows were created to serve wine to the people of Florence due to the Buconic plague or Black Death, that had swept across Europe, wiping out half of the population!  So these windows provided protection for the winery owners whilst at the same time serving the much needed ‘Italian Water’ to the populace.  There is actually a society that keeps all the windows registered and looked after.  At the following site you can find all the windows and where they are.  Fascinating stuff!  Wine Windows

Give by Loenzo QuinnSecondly, I was really taken with the installation of a beautiful sculpture in the famous Boboli Gardens in Florence.  It is called simply ‘Give’ and is the creation of  Lorenzo Quinnard.  Lorenzo had always wanted to have the honour of placing a sculpture in these gardens and he will tell you a lot more about this on his website.  I love the fact that an olive tree has been planted in the centre symbolising peace and love.  He also made the hands that appeared to be reaching up from the canal in Venice, holding up a building!  Lorenzo Quinn

band-relaxedMeanwhile, back in our little bit of the Chianti countryside, I was itching to get down to my sound studio to do a bit of singing.  You may recall that my man and I had tried to work out the technical side of things, linking the synthesiser to speakers and mics etc.  Well, the good news is, we seem to have it up and running.  To make things perfect I need to download backing tracks in the correct key for my voice.  Now, you may not be aware that each song will need a different key.  My voice is quite low and some songs, designed for men, are OK.  But most aren’t.  So I was delighted to get an email from ParisMusic this morning telling me they can adjust the keys on downloads without any problems!  Hurrah!   We have decided to go ahead with next year’s concert on 18 June 2021, with or without an audience.  Fingers crossed; I’ll keep you posted!

images.jpgAnyway, lets bring you down to earth and talk about wasps!  Here in Tuscany, this time of year is the busy building of wasp nests (Macro of wasp) and they can be a real problem, trying to set up home in the most inappropriate places!  My man found a nest attached to the outside of the kitchen door of the appartment downstairs, where we have the Sound Studio and Gymnasium.  So last night around 9pm he donned protective clothes and went down to spray it.  Now we hate doing this, but we have both been attacked in the past as they keep a sentry outside just waiting for anyone getting close!  I was relieved when my man returned unscathed and this morning confirmed it had worked.

download-1.jpgSo, what next?  Well, we are now overun with tourists, mostly from northern Europe: Poland, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Austria and some French.  Most are being strict with their face masks and distancing in our local village of Fiano, but I can’t speak for the more popular tourist hot spots.  Meanwhile, the locals are very busy using up the glut of tomatoes to make passatta, including my daughter who has run out of jars and is scrabbling around for more.  The countryside is pretty noisy, with constant strimming of the dried grasses and squeaky tractors cutting the meadow hay below our farmhouse.  We hear laughter from nearby swimming pools and the cicada’s continue to chirp away.  But it is far too hot to stay outside, between 35c and 39c this week.  So we batten down the shutters, turn on the air conditioning unit and fans and settle down to work in our studios.  But life eeez good, life eeez now.

OK, need to get back to the day job now, but will be thinking of you all.  Please stay safe and well!  Do drop me a line, I love to hear from my readers!

Salute June x

PS Visit my website at June’s Site

 

 

 

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

August in Tuscany can take your breath away.  Yes, it’s beautiful, but in reality I am talking about the heat, humidity and lack of breathable air!  Even in properties like our own, which is old and built of thick stone walls, you will struggle to stay cool.  The problem is the roof, concrete under tiles, which heats up during the day and fails to cool down sufficiently over night as temperatures are not going lower than around 21 degrees.  Today, Monday, temperatures will be up to 38 degrees again and wow, by 4pm we are gasping and changing into our third set of clothes.  So, it’s full pelt for our air conditioning unit and fans.

2019-08-06 09.24.37Of course the high temperatures have been perfect for the bathing beauties parading in front of the judges for the Miss Toscana contest.  Here in Italy it is still a very popular event, despite the rest of the western world frowning on the so-called exploitation of young women.  Lets face it, Tuscany has some very beautiful young women and if they choose to put themselves on show, so be it.

If this is not your cup of tea, and it’s not really mine, there is a lot going on in our lovely province.  It is the time of year for outdoor picnics, parties and festas.  A favourite site for me to find lots of organised events is at discoverTuscany  You may already know this, but you will not find most of the usual places open as Italians, by tradition, go on holiday for most of August.  But there is still lots to do.

torre-mozza2

The 15th August is Ferragosto, or the Feast Day of the Assumption of Mary, which is the ‘taking of the Virgin Mary bodily into Heaven,’  whatever that means!  Anyway, everything closes on that day, absolutely nobody works, but they do play!   This week the motorways to the seaside will be nose to tail with traffic, cars loaded up with three generations and enough food to feed an army.  Unless you have already booked a hotel or apartment with their own bit of beach, you will not have a hope of finding a patch of sand to pitch your sun brolly.  Foto torre-mo222.jpg – before the invasion. Extract from discoverTuscany.

2019-06-02 09.43.55Meanwhile, I have been seeing adverts in the paper for Autumn and Winter fashions!   I never fail to be amazed at the number of successful Italian designers.  I noticed this advert for the man in your life; of course all men’s clothes look better worn by Italians, yes I know I’m biased, apart from my English man  who looks good in anything.  It seems you can even find Pal Zileri’s made in Italy clothes at Harvey Nichols in London!  I must say, I love the slightly half-mast trouser look and the flash of socked ankles.  Pity about the model’s long faces though, but we can’t have everything I guess!  Pal Zileri

20190812_132332We have just got back from C’era Una Volta our local ristorante, where it was nice and quiet and gently cooled by the air-conditioning.  Now Paolo, the owner, has a liking for hot spicy food and makes the meanest chilli sauce.  It has been said that in very hot weather you should drink hot tea to cool you down.  Well, Paolo came out of the kitchen with his own cooling down recipe, home grown baby tomatoes cooked in a very hot (picante) sauce.  Here he is displaying his huge pot of the stuff!  My man quite likes the occasional pasta arrabiata but this, whilst smelling delicious, would blow your head off!  We declined a tasting (assaggi) and went for the salsa pecoraia instead.  If you are a meat eater, Paolo will bring out your huge raw Fiorentine Steak to view before he cooks it!  All part of the theatre.

OK, enough already.  Must get this blog edited and off to you.  Back to the day job!

Have a great week and do drop me a line.  june.finnigan@virgin.net

Salute June x

PS Visit my website at My site

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