Posts Tagged ‘Befana’

Happy New year & Buon Anno to All my lovely followers around the World,

2016-03-01 07.04.17

‘I’m back, to let you know that I can really shake them down.’  Yes, I know, ancient song lyrics again!

As I write my first blog of 2020, I can see the sun rising and trying to break through the heavy mist, which left everything dripping wet overnight.  The valley below us looks like a lake with little Islands dotted about!  This is quite normal in January and when the sun does break through it will be another beautiful day in Tuscany.

Museo Galileo 2020Now, this is a great time of year for getting out and about, particularly visiting museums and art galleries.  There are less tourists about, so we can enjoy a rather more pleasant experience, particularly in Florence.  Il Museo Galileo, which is dedicated to the great man, is an amazing place for children and adults alike.  Fantastic collections of antique scientific instruments and some great hands on experiences for those budding scientists or physicists.  I love this sort of stuff.  And, it’s only a short walking distance from the Uffizi Gallery and Palazzo Vecchio, beside the River Arno!  It’s also a good excuse for going to Florence for lunch! Lets go together!  Museo Galileo

download-2.jpgIn the evenings we are currently tucked in with the log fire and the DVD player.  We have been wading through the whole of The Sweeny series from the 1970’s.  A reader recently asked me what did I watch on TV?   I rarely watch TV here in Italy, however, I love the TV series Don Matteo; it’s about the only thing that will encourage me to switch the television on!  Terence Hill plays the local priest who has a shoulder to cry on and a clever detective brain for helping solve crimes.  A new series has just started, hurrah!  I also want to mention that Terence has made a new film in memory of his side-kick actor Bud Spencer.  It is called ‘Il Mio nome e Thomas’ (My Name is Thomas) and was shown on Rai 1 television on New Year’s Eve.  I am checking out the availibility of streaming or dvd purchase.  I’ll let you know.  Can’t believe that Terence is 80 now!  And, he is Italian, so I  have nominated him Senior Hunk of the Month! Foto Wikipedia

la Bafana 2020Yesterday was a festa because of Befana, the friendly witch who arrives to check on the childrens’ behavour over the festive period.  If they have been good they get a present, if not a lump of coal.  I can’t honestly say that I have ever seen a child holding a lump of coal or sporting black hands in evidence of being naughty.  Befana also celebrates the end of the festive period, so life can return to normal!  Phew.

82192680_511107459510843_716851666862735360_nWell, in many ways it’s good to return to work and to see all the shops and restaurants opening normally.  This week we celebrate men’s fashion with Pitti uomo and you will see some amazing sites in Florence from today through to Friday.  All the male fashionisti are strutting around the streets, trying to outdo each other.  But oh, they have such style.  Only in italy!  Of course the fashion shops are open now too, so we have to go!

Well, enough for now, places to go and people to see.

May you all have a very good working week and belated if heartfelt wishes for a Fantastic 2020.

Salute June x

Visit my website at My site  or drop me a line at june.finnigan@virgin.net







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Bentornati to all my lovely Loyal Followers and Benvenuti to all my new ones,

Well, today the 10th January is very special as it is my gorgeous man’s birthday and I adore him.  The sun is shining and it may just be warm enough to have lunch in the garden!  He wanted to have a quiet relaxed day today as we went out for a lunch with friends yesterday.  So we popped down for coffee in Certaldo and, on cue, everyone shouted ‘Auguri e Buon Compleanno’ as we entered Caffe Il Solferino and my man grinned from ear to ear.  One of the things I love about Italians is that if you have something to celebrate, complete strangers rush over to shake your hand, so my man felt very special before the day had barely started.

The witch known as Bafana. Il Nazione.

The good witch known as Befana.
La Nazione.

Cedrino digestivo. Photo J Finnigan

Cedrina digestivo.
Photo J Finnigan

In Italy, the first week in January is considered almost as special and exciting as Christmas week.  Particularly because Befana, otherwise known as Epiphany, is celebrated on 6th.  It was the day when the three kings came to visit the newborn babe with gifts.  Italian children wake up all agog as they hope that the good witch, Bafana, will have considered them well-behaved and deserving a present.

The whole country takes a holiday (yes, another festa) and do daft things like going for a swim in freezing water wearing witch’s masks and little else.  Bafana sometimes arrives on foot, by bicycle or even ab-sails down from the church tower depending on where you live.  We decided to go to Ristorante C’era Una Volta for lunch, which is unusual for us as it is sometimes best to avoid festa days.  But we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves as the place was full of friendly faces and good cheer.  Paolo presented us with a bottomless bottle of home-made Cedrina, a delicious and very strong lemony digestivo, to drink at the table.

The Trevi Fountain re-opens in Rome. LaNnazione.

The Trevi Fountain re-opens in Rome.
La Nazione.

The hugely popular series 'Don Metteo' La Nazione.

The hugely popular series ‘Don Matteo’
La Nazione.

Other exciting things to happen since 1st January, when by the way, it was warm enough to eat outside, were the re-opening of the Trevi Fountain or Fontana di Trevi in Rome (it sounds so much better in Italian) and the return to TV of the ‘Don Matteo’ series, which I love.  The latter is a humorous, sometimes serious, drama starring a speeding priest on a bicycle in flowing robes and a hapless station of Carabinerie (Italian Policemen) in a beautiful nameless hilltop town somewhere in Italy.  We watched the first one last Sunday and there’s another one tonight.  The only thing is, it reminds me how, after eleven years in Italy, my Italian is still pretty basic!  Hey ho, must do better!

I’m going to take a break now and will come back to you this evening.  I’m off to cook stuffed Chick Pea flour pancakes and baked pears for my lovely man.  The sun is still shining and hot enough to eat outside; hurrah!

An evening with VinSanto on the upper terrace. Photo J Finnigan

An evening with Vin Santo on the upper terrace. Photo J Finnigan

Here I am after a lovely lunch in the garden and a much-needed siesta.  I wanted to tell you that the New year always excites me, because my next concert is only a few months away and I have been concluding my final repertoire over the holiday.  I’ve added some fabulous new songs including Paul Weller, Dire Straits, Robert Plant and Peter Gabriel.  Watch this space for more news.

Well must tidy this blog up and get downstairs for an aperitivo with the birthday boy.

Have a great week and see you next time.

Salute June x

PS Grazie to all you Christmas buyers of my books.

Visit my author site at http://www.amazon.com/author/junefinnigan

'My Father, The Assassin'. Book one in the series.

‘My Father, The Assassin’. Book one in the series.

'The Bolivian Connection' Book two in the series.

‘The Bolivian Connection’ Book two in the series.



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