Posts Tagged ‘Castello Sonnino’

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

Yet another beautiful day in Tuscany!

2018-07-18-09-06-46.jpgWell, as the dust settled after the five-day Mercantia Festival in Certaldo, our local village of Fiano was gearing up for its own three-day event Festa in Fiano.  This is a lively annual event and today, Sunday, is the final day.  So if you are nearby, head over to Fiano for the final evening’s blast.  Great music, food and wine; what more can I say!

2018-07-18 09.07.36Yesterday, two of Fiano’s handsome locals were crying out for a foto, so they very happily posed for this blog.  Fotos J Finnigan


Now the highlight of the last week for me was a visit to Castello Sonnino in Montespertoli with my two lovely American friends.  Thank you to Caterina for squeezing us in to a busy July schedule and releasing your lovely assistant to give us a history tour of the Castello.  And, the history is to die for.  Foto from website.

olive1Sidney Sonnino  was twice Prime Minister of Italy and later Finance Minister during the First World War.  The current Sonnino family have proudly dedicated their time to preserving all the archives for that time and more.  They have also built an enviable income producing estate to help preserve the castle, its history and the land.  Read lots more on their beautiful website.  You can even stay there, so check it out!  Sonnino website

UnknownMeanwhile, down in Florence, the new T1 Leonardo Tram-line is up and running.  Foto from official website.  In issue 247 of the Florentine Weekly is a great article all about it.  The Tram stops at lots of interesting places, twenty-six in all, over 11.5 Kilometres and you can jump on every  four minutes!  Brilliant I say!  Can’t wait to get on board!  Go to The Florentine website

If, however, you want to go around the city on bicycle or further afield by vespa, you can also arrange this in Florence.  We often see the brightly coloured vespas whizzing along through our bit of the Chianti hills.  Not a lot has changed since the ’60s!  Looking at their website, you could have a great day out this way!  Go to Tuscany Bike tours

osteriacasachiantitramonto_542cddc7ff3014dee37d577767518aaa_tAnd what about eating?  I hear you say.  Well if you want a real Tuscan experience, you only need to drop down below Fiano, our local village, to find Osteria di Casa Chianti where you will not only find local food, wines and oils, but a bit of theatre too.  In the evening the sunset from the big outside terrazzo is fabulous.  Foto from website.  Now this place gets very busy, is only open in the evenings and for sunday lunch, so booking is essential.  My man and I had an excellent supper with our American friends last Friday, to whom we wish a safe journey home and hope to see you next year!  Visit The website

Well, must get this blog finished and off to you.  It’s a little cooler today, so we are feeling fresher, thank goodness.  Hope you are too!

Have a great week, drop me a line and do visit my official author site at June’s Site









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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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