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Posts Tagged ‘Berlusconi’

Benvenuti and Welcome to all my Lovely Followers

And another Irish try! Foto La Reppublica

And another Irish try! Foto La Reppublica

There was a huge shocked silence in Roma yesterday after Italy lost 10-63 to Ireland in the Six Nations Rugby.  This is doubly disappointing as we have been working hard on our Italian friends to take an interest in the sport, rather than their obsession with football (Calcio).  Now, they are not inspired by the Italian team and neither are we.  But my man and I have an advantage; whilst Italy is our chosen country of residence we are still English, so England’s win over Wales yesterday put our hearts back into the game!  Commiserations to our Welsh friends, well not really.

Donald about to gobble up Hilary. fot La Reppublica

Donald about to gobble up Hilary. foto La Reppublica

Last week I mentioned the Carnivale and the amazing giant moving spectacles.  I just had to show you this one, which will be in the carnival at Viareggio.  A tr(i)umphant Donald appears to have Hilary inside a huge burger bun and she looks terrified poor thing.  As this tableau actually moves, I can imagine his arm lifting the bun up to his mouth and back!

Silvio back at the rostrum. Foto La Reppublica

Silvio back at the rostrum. Foto La Reppublica

Now, back in Fiano I also read over coffee, that Silvio Berlusconi is definitely still playing a high-profile political role.  As leader of the Forza Italia party, he appears to be indicating that he will ask the voters about any future candidacy, and as far as the election goes he wants a fully proportional law.  Err?  Now if any of my Italian speaking friends want to look at the text in the picture please do correct me if I have read this wrong.  You know me and my conversations with Italians, I often have them rolling in the aisles!

Rock Chick Fashion. Foto La Reppublica

Rock Chick Fashion. Foto La Reppublica

Anyway, back to things I really like.  Fashion and the Rock Chick look is definitely up my street.  so I could not resist showing you this picture below.  As I am starting the run up to my next concert, I will need a new outfit, so which one do you think will suit me best?  What’s that you said?  How dare you!

But let’s finish with a gorgeous picture of Armani man.  No not Giorgio, but a model who has all the makings of a new James Bond.  He joined me for coffee earlier in the week when my man was off doing a bit of business and certainly put a smile on my face.  Oh, I think he was modelling an Armani watch, but who wants to look at his wrist?

2017-02-10-10-31-43

Armani Man. Foto La Repubblica

Ok, better go.  I’m expecting to upload the final draft of ‘The Italian Connection’ to Amazon this week.  So, if I do not already have it, send me your email address if you would like to know when it goes live!  june.finnigan@virgin.net

Have a great week and do visit my author page at http://www.amazon.com/author/junefinnigan

Salute June x

My current Books. Foto J Finnigan

My current Books.
Foto J Finnigan

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Welcome and Benvenuto to all my lovely Loyal and New followers

Silvio celebrates his 80th! La Nazione

Silvio celebrates his 80th!
La Nazione

Now the big news last week was the 80th birthday celebration of the charismatic ex-politician Silvio Berlusconi.  He spent the day with his thirty-one year old partner (gosh she’s getting on a bit) Francesca Pascale and his family, in his mansion near Milan.  He was quoted as having announced that his political career is effectively over and “I will dedicate more time to the people I love and that is the way it should be: five children and ten grandchildren have turned me into a patriarch”  he said at an interview on the big day.  Ah bless his silk socks.  But if this means his retiring from the world of politics completely, then things will be far less colourful in that arena.  I read that two out of three members want him back as the leader of Forza Italia; watch this space!

The Moose in the big oak tree guarding our gate. Foto J Finnigan

The Moose in the big oak tree guarding our gate.
Foto J Finnigan

Back in our beautiful bit of Chianti countryside, we have taken to popping outside the front door with a couple of chairs for an aperitivo before lunch, because there is some shade there at that time of day.  You will remember that our current home is guarded at the front gate by a huge ancient oak tree (querceto) and last weekend I had the strangest feeling that I was being stared at.  I looked at the tree and it had suddenly taken on the face of a moose!  Yes, I know I was on the second glass of wine, but here is the proof!  If you cannot see what I can see then perhaps I should make an appointment to go and see my lovely doctor Flavio.  Please tell me you can see it’s face….

To buy or not to buy these orange Gucci shoes that match my current handbag! La Repubblica

To buy or not to buy these orange Gucci shoes that match my current handbag!
La Repubblica

Anyway, to change the subject and taking you back to La Dispensa caffee bar in Fiano, I was reading the paper over my morning coffee and saw these beautiful Gucci shoes advertised.  The orange pair in the middle exactly matches my current handbag.  What do you think?  Would it be over indulgent on my part, to buy these on-line?

Leonardo Da Vinci Exhibition at San Gimignao La Repubblica

Leonardo Da Vinci Exhibition at San Gimignano
La Repubblica

Also in the paper I read that this is the last month to view Leonardo Da Vinci’s exhibition of ‘Le Macchine Militaria’ (I don’t think this needs translating) at the Museum of Torture in San Gimignano.  Apparently, it’s a ‘multi-media exhibition’ whatever that is!  Should I go and see it?  I’m not sure and I have heard that a lot of the exhibits are pretty gruesome.

By the way, we have house guests for a few days and whilst I continue to work and write it’s good to have some girlie time, with my sister-in-law who accompanied a lovely friend of mine from England.  Today we went out to lunch at Borgo Antico in Tavernelle http://www.borgoanticorestaurant.com after I tried in vain to buy a new travel case in the high street and found most of the shops closed; I had forgotten it was Monday.

October Hunk of the Month the Italian musician known as 'Fano' La Repubblica

October Hunk of the Month, the Italian musician known as ‘Fano’
La Repubblica

So I ended up buying a new bedside lamp in the electrical shop, and have no idea how I can stuff all my things into it when I go to England next week!  But you don’t want to know about that, I’m sure you would rather drool over my Hunk of the Month, an Italian musician called Fano!

Well, enough of that nonsense, must get back to the real world and get this blog off to you.

Have a great week.

Amore June x

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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Benvenuti to all my Lovely Loyal and New Followers

Holiday crush Chaos! La Nazione

Holiday crush Chaos!
La Nazione

“This is where he went on holiday or the commune ran out of money!  Or, there may be a demarkation line here…”  Of course my man is driving us to Certaldo and talking about the mechanical hedge trimming guy who is late trimming the roadside hedges this year, and seems to have done a bunk, as we English say.  Now in my view, the most likely reason for him disappearing having only completed half the job, is the mad dash to the seaside and mountains!

Ian Anderson and Jethro Tull wow the crowd in Cortona. La Nazione

Ian Anderson and Jethro Tull wow the crowd in Cortona.
La Nazione

Would you believe it, La Nazione has reported that 33 Million Italians have joined the fuga (escape) causing traffic, train and flight chaos.  Now this does happen every year and the last place you want to be in the first two weeks of August is here in Tuscany.  However, this seems to be worse than last year.  We went to our local Osteria for supper last Friday, and all the tables and chairs had been moved outside to cater for the non-Italian visiting tourists!   This was unfortunate for we locals, as we  actually like being inside in the cool, without having to compete with the zanzari (mosquitos) for air space.  But hey ho, life eeez good life eeez now….

But on the bright side, I read that Jethro Tull has had a brilliant concert and wowed the crowds with a whole new repertoire of tunes.  It seems that Ian Anderson the flutist has gone rather political in his older years.  But anyway, great to have him and his band here, performing in Cortona.

Silvio Berlusconi hands over AC Milan to the Chinese. La Nazione

Silvio Berlusconi hands over AC Milan to the Chinese.
La Nazione

Meanwhile Silvio has officially handed over AC Milan football club to the Chinese who may change the name to AC Peking; ha ha, only joking.  But god only knows what effect this will have on the team and the fans.  I can visualise chinese faces filling the stands and replacing some of the team members.  What do you think?

Fabulous sunset with moon last night. Foto J Finnigan

Fabulous sunset with moon last night.
Foto J Finnigan

But let’s remind ourselves how lucky we are living here in Beautiful Chianti.  It’s the time of year for fabulous sunsets and aperitivi in the shade of the Ash tree.  The humidity has gone and a breeze is wafting across these dolce hills.  So much so that my man decided to get his fitness regime going and walked across country from Fiano via Sticciano and Bacio to home after coffee last Sunday.  It took an hour and twenty minutes; Bravo to him!

Allora, time to think about getting this post to you and popping out for lunch at ‘C’era Una Volta in Luccardo’.  At least Paolo and his staff are not away on holiday!

Have a great week.

Salute June x

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

Chilled Aperitivi under the Ash Tree. Foto P Finnigan

Chilled Aperitivi under the Ash Tree. Foto P Finnigan

'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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Benvenuti to all my lovely Loyal and New Followers

Yes, I’m back with a wag in my tail and feeling full of the joys of early summer in Tuscany, despite the news from Florence that the road beside the Arno, and close to the medieval Ponte Vecchio bridge, had collapsed.  Be careful where you park!

Farty Barty curled up at my feet under the Oak Tree. foto J Finnigan

Farty Barty curled up at my feet under the Oak Tree.
foto J Finnigan

Now, many of you have asked about Farty Barty the cat and you will be very pleased to know that he has finally settled into his and our new home.  As for ourselves, we are feeling even more content having got some of our well-travelled pictures on the walls.  The house, trees, garden and surrounding countryside are so very therapeutic and I foresee great novels being written here!

Graham Nash in Lucca, great singer and songwriter. La Nazione

Graham Nash in Lucca, great singer and songwriter.
La Nazione

Back in the world of rock music it is less than a month away from our next Rock Chick Band concert and our first rehearsal will be this coming Saturday.  There is no need to smoke and take drugs to be a rock singer; believe me, I get a high immediately I am behind that microphone!  Meanwhile, the Duran Duran tour hits Florence on 10th June and they will already be sold out.  No, I am not going, I did that twice in the ’80’s with my beautiful daughter.  However, I will be singing one of their songs at my own concert; there are just a few of DD’s that I really like and this one is called Skin Divers.  Lucca, near Pisa, is also a very popular venue for concerts and the aging rocker Graham Nash is currently here in concert.  A great song writer too and I would have loved to have been there, but time is currently of the essence.

Complimentary Moscato and rose at L’osteria Casa Chianti. foto J Finnigan.

Meanwhile, here in our little bit of Chianti, we are pleased to say that we are now returning on a regular basis to a local osteria that was taken over by new owners a few months ago.  Yesterday, Sunday, it was amazingly devoid of customers and we were told that part of the road had been closed to accommodate the annual cycle race.  So we were able to enjoy a strangely quiet lunch.  The food really is excellent here and, if you don’t mind loud theatrical serving at the table, you’ll love it.  It is the L’osteria Casa Chianti where they specialise in Tartufo (truffles) and Fungi Porcini.  We indulged in wood grilled Pecorino Cheese covered in locally sourced truffle shavings, followed by the lightest creamy Panacotta with mixed fruits.  Mmmmm.  With the desert, we were served complimentary glasses of Moscato and I was presented with a little rose bud.  Of course it was the rose that did it for me, so you won’t be surprised when I tell you that I am now hooked on the place!  Go to http://www.osteriadicasachianti.it

Silvio is honoured with a special Pizza in Napoli. La Nazione

Silvio is honoured with a special Pizza in Napoli.
La Nazione

Oh yes, I know you like to hear about our Silvio so here is a little snippet from our national paper.  Down in Napoli, Il Cavaliere, also known as Silvio Berlusconi, was spotted being presented with a Pizza made in his honour.  It was a long pizza with a ‘mare’ flavour, that is ‘flavour of the sea’.   He is hugely popular down south and it’s only a matter of time before he’s back in the chair, or so they say!  I’ll keep you posted.

Well, enough of that.  Books to write, wine to drink and voice exercises to endure.  If you are passing, ignore the strange screeching, it’s just me trying to make those high notes!  And don’t forget, you are very welcome to come to my concert party on 25th June here in Tuscany, just send your email address to june.finnigan@virgin.net

Meanwhile, have a great week, do drop me a line and visit my author site at http://www.amazon.com/author/junefinnigan

Salute June x

'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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Benvenuti to all my lovely Loyal and New Followers

Well, it is Saturday morning and my man and I are off early for coffee.  We drive over newly laid strada bianca, white road, which is actually a mixture of various stones, gravel and mud and a local pheasant (no pheasant, not peasant) dashes clumsily across in front of us.  I always find them funny to watch and I say so to my man.  “Ha, you would look funny too if you were running with your arms tied to your sides!” The man of wisdom replies.  So this set the tone for the drive down to Certaldo, but the sun was shining and we were looking forward to getting a lot done in our still new garden later on.

Grilled asparagus with parmesan from recipe book.

Grilled asparagus with parmesan cheese, from recipe book.

As many of you know, Saturday morning is fruit and veg market day in Certaldo, but by the time we got there it had started raining.  So after coffee it was a case of dashing, well I don’t exactly dash, from one canvas awning to another to buy lovely asparagus, cheeses and Sicilian blood-red oranges.  Our plant lady was pleased to see me and I bought some colourful flowering plants for some of the still empty garden pots.  No, I have no idea what they are called, except some were geraniums, the others well, I’ll take some pictures next time and some of you clever plant people will no doubt tell me!

Il Bursagliere arrive in Certaldo. Photo J Finnigan

I Bersagliere arrive in Certaldo.
Photo J Finnigan

Then Sunday morning turned out much better weather wise.  Arriving in Certaldo, parking was hopeless, so my man dropped me off in Piazza Boccaccio and took the car to some remote place and walked back.  I secured our favourite table at the back of Bar Il Solferino and hogged the newspapers.  Finally, he arrived and flopped into his usual chair with his favourite pastry.  “Il Bersagliere are on the march, they were just leaving the station when I parked!”  He announced in between mouthfuls.  Now we had read about this the day before, so as soon as I heard the sound of brass instruments, I whizzed outside to take pictures.

Hunk of the Month, Band Leader Il Bursagliere. Photo J Finnigan

Hunk of the Month, Band Leader I Bersagliere.
Photo J Finnigan

Gosh, it was very impressive to see men jogging in uniform with black feathers flopping up and down on their hats and playing their instruments at the same time! These guys are famous for being a troup of Italian Army cyclists formed in 1915, and the name translates to ‘Marksmen.’ They covered horrendous mountain roads either riding or carrying their bikes during both world wars.  Well, they came to a halt outside the church and town hall.  So I took some pictures and was drawn to the band leader who stood posing in the front inviting people to photograph him.  Only in Italy would you find a military man, well band leader, with hair down to his shoulders wearing designer sunglasses and not to mention a very sexy grin.  Oops, my man may read this so I had better stop there.  Anyway, I’m sure most of you girlies will appreciate his picture and a few of you guys too!

Silvio Berlusconi. Il Nazione Sportivo.

Silvio Berlusconi.
Il Nazione Sportivo.

What else?  Ah yes, Silvio has been busy over the last couple of weeks.  Saying that he will not sell his shares in A C Milan football club to anyone who isn’t Italian, so that threw out the interest from the Far East.  He is also being likened to Donald Trump, or is that the other way round?  The New York Times has recently quoted ‘Both he and Mr. Trump were non-politicians who capitalized on their ability to attract extensive press coverage of their outsize personalities and business success (Mr. Trump through his celebrity, Mr. Berlusconi through his media empire).’  If I may say, the journalist has overlooked Silvio’s celebrity status, his media empire comes second to his own popularity in Italy.

Well, enough of that, I must get this blog off to you as it is already running late.  Do drop me a line and send your email address to june.finnigan@virgin.net if you are in Tuscany on 25th June and would like an invite to my Rock Concert.

Have a great week.

Salute June x

PS do visit my author page 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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“Why do we always talk a load of trivia, first thing in the morning, on the way to coffee?”  I am thinking aloud but my man picks up on the question.  He is the logical one in this partnership and has an answer for everything.  “Well, its obvious really.  Before we wash down a nice strong espresso, we need to get our jaws working and the brain functioning, so we can move on to the more serious and intelligent conversations later on!” He glances at me looking perfectly serious, as he is driving and needs to keep an eye out for crazy Italian drivers.  I nod and hide my snigger, as the next maniac comes around the bend towards us on the wrong side of the road, just as my man is trying to avoid a pothole!  We swerve, my man corrects the car and we carry on.  So nothing unusual this morning.  The trivia we talk about can include the state of the roads, Italian drivers, blossom appearing on the cherry trees, Italians walking their dogs or children with the little ones on the traffic side rather than on the inside, the weather and/or why the people who own the horses haven’t moved them out of their wet muddy field to higher ground for a few days!  But enough of that.  We are not really complaining, just being observant!

Hot tasty Ribollita Soup. Foto J Finnigan

Hot tasty Ribollita Soup.
Foto J Finnigan

Wood fire grilled vegetables. Foto J Finnigan

Wood fire grilled vegetables.
Foto J Finnigan

OK, so lets catch up.  The last couple of weeks has seen the return of some delicious winter warmers to the restaurant tables including Ribollita and wood fired grilled vegetables.  Ribollita is a Tuscan soup made with any vegetables, beans and importantly stale bread from the day before.  My man loves it.  For me I just adore the grilled veg, and come spring I’ll be able to order the same, but with that oozy soft cheese Burratta.  Mmmmm.

Fog filled valleys, below us, at dawn. Foto J Finnigan

Fog filled valleys, below us, at dawn.
Foto J Finnigan

Also over the last two weeks, what with the heavy rains, we have woken to see the valleys filled with fog.  The view is spectacular from here, the only downside is having to drive down into it for coffee!  But I have some good news.  The resident butcher in our local village of Fiano, which is higher up and less likely to be foggy, is rescuing the Bar/Alimentare and it will reopen at Easter!  Hurrah for the villagers and for us of course.  We do like to ring the changes and look forward to once again splitting our time between Fiano and Certaldo for morning coffee.  Also Fiano has some lovely people whom we haven’t got to see for a while.

Silvio Berlusconi's facebook picture.

Silvio Berlusconi’s Facebook picture.

So, back in Certaldo we read in L’Espresso, the Italian news magazine, that the American Ambassador has been summoned to Rome to answer reports that NSA has spied on Silvio Berlusconi and his close associates during the 2011 Euro zone crisis.  This has been revealed through certain WikiLeaks documents.  O Dio, we all say!  It seems the US was allegedly concerned with Silvio’s relationship with Vladimir Putin and that he may be profiting personally from energy deals between Italy and Russia.  Now in my view, Silvio has always had plenty of energy of his own, I mean, in 2011 he was seventy-five and also being accused of being full of zest during his Bunga Bunga parties!  But anyway, this puts our man back in the headlines, some say bad news is better than no news in the political arena.

OK, so what next?  Well, we are gearing up to move house and will be signing a new rental contract on 24th March, after which I will be able to tell exactly where we are going!  But I can tell you that it is only a short distance away and will be great for our annual rock concerts!  Watch this space…..

Well must get this blog edited then off to C’era Una Volta for more lovely winter warmer meals.

Have a great week and do drop me a line.

Salute June x

Go to 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.

 

 

 

 

 

Read Full Post »

Benvenuti to all my Loyal and New Followers

Mimosa blossom in mid-January! foto P Finnigan

Mimosa blossom in mid-January!
foto P Finnigan

Very cold here, but bright sunshine and amazingly the Mimosa tree is already in blossom.  The Mimosa flowers are very sought after on La Festa Delle Donne, which does not normally arrive until the first weekend in March.  So we have a dilemma.  The beautiful yellow flowers are already out and they will definitely not survive until March, when bunches are cut and given to all one’s favourite female family members and friends.  Yes, I know, its much the same all over Europe, a long drawn out Autumn and then a sudden turn to cold weather when plants and trees have already been fooled into believing it is spring already!

Certaldo's history of slow food. La Nazione

Certaldo’s history of slow food.
La Nazione

Down in Certaldo, where we are more often to be found having our coffee, I read an article in the paper about Certaldo’s history and slow food.  The area does produce its own seasonal fruit and veg, cheeses and meats.  The most well-known veg is the Red Certaldo Onion.  A delicious sweet onion that is often turned into marmalade or bottled in olive oil.  I use them for everything, including frying in butter and piling into baked potatoes. Mmmmm.

Made in Italy - mens fashion article. La Nazione

Made in Italy – mens fashion article.
La Nazione

Also in the paper, there was an article on men’s fashion, ‘Made in Italy.’  Now the Italians much prefer to buy Italian.  Bright peel off stickers will be found on ready-made clothes, sporting the green, white and red of the Italian flag.  This does not necessarily mean you are paying more for the privilege as, unfortunately, Italian clothing workers are not paid high wages.  Of course these days, a lot of migrants are also being paid to do it.  But the quality of Italian clothes remains high.  Unlike, for example, Marks & Spencer in the UK, who I used to depend on for good lingerie; the finishing on knickers is awful and needless to say, produced in India or Pakistan.

The James Bond Archive Book foto J Finnigan

The James Bond Archive Book
foto J Finnigan

But enough of that.  You may remember it was my man’s birthday last week and I bought him, amongst other things, The James Bond Archive Book.  It’s immensely heavy, but beautifully put together and covers all the films in pictures and print right up to Skyfall.  Yes, OK, I confess I do love the Bond films and perhaps I wanted it too, well just a little….  The Italians also love James Bond, and the gorgeous Daniel is often in the news.

Silvio at a recent 95th birthday. La Nazione

Silvio at a recent 95th birthday.
La Nazione

A huge percentage of Italian women, and a sprinkling of men, are still having imaginary affairs with their own star Silvio Berlusconi.  Putting aside the politics, he was once a singer of ballads by the way, at the age of seventy-nine he still has charisma, perfect hair and a perma-tan.  The fact that he is short and rotund, does not seem to matter!  Of late he has been regularly back in the news and here he is attending a ninety-fifth birthday party.  Yes, another foto opportunity.

Farty Barty in his terracotta pot on windowsill. Photo P Finnigan

Farty Barty in his terracotta pot on windowsill.
Photo P Finnigan

Well, here in my studio, the work is piling up.  No, I am not swanning around like Farty Barty the cat, I am currently busy writing a Cyber Crime Thriller for a client, my third ‘Joanna Wilde’ novel titled ‘The Bolivian Connection’ and putting in several days work each week with my company.  But ‘life eeeez good, life eeeez now’ as the Italians like to say, in Italian of course.

OK, time to get this post edited then off to ‘C’era Una Volta for lunch.

Have a great week, do drop me a line and visit my author site at http://www.amazon.com/author/junefinnigan

Salute June x

'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.

Read Full Post »

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