Posts Tagged ‘Italian Cheeses’

Welcome and Benvenuti to all my lovely followers around the world,

74219010_568403283921734_5820832841121923072_nYet another potentially beautiful day in Tuscany!  I say potentially because it is currently overcast and raining again, however, the weekend was lovely and my man and I dropped down to Certaldo for the market (mercato) on the Saturday morning.  I like to shop from the smaller stall holders who are selling the fruit and veg grown in their own garden or orto.  It all looked wonderfully fresh after the rain and it was a joy to be there in the cooler air and amongst the jolly shoppers of Certaldo.  I also bought some delicious cheeses, both sheep and goat’s cheese, again local products.  I don’t get to the market often enough and must get back to going every Saturday morning.  Not long before all the Christmas stuff will be about and Certaldo comes into it’s own at this time of year.  Exciting isn’t it!

71530727_1399845073499182_5815258218384850944_nAnd on the subject of Italian cheeses, you may be surprised to know that the country produces an awful lot more than Parmesan!  The Gran Reserve Leonardi has just won gold in the A1 World Cheese Awards, and it’s a Gorgonzola!  Just look at this massive range of cheeses made in Italy, don’t they make you salivate?  I adore cheese and I always get in a big choice at Christmas time.  Must have some for lunch!

71783322_2988290284517508_577776249246580736_o.jpgMeanwhile, I read that Andrea Bocelli has launched a new album.  (Foto from his Facebook page.)  Now, as well as books, it’s rather nice to buy albums for Christmas and this latest one sounds wonderful. Last Christmas we treated ourselves to a new record player, so all our old albums can be played again!  Andrea’s album includes wonderful duets with Ellie Goulding and Jennifer Garner amongst other guest performers.  It is called ‘Si Forever’ and can be bought or streamed Here

Sophia and 75289046_1447485298735159_2866407838446518272_nThe other thing I really love at Christmas time is old Italian films.  Some of the comedies are really brilliant and what with so many Italian actor icons dying off, it’s good to keep these films on the shelf.  Sophia, bless her, is still very much alive, but so many of her co-stars like Marcello Mastroianni, are not.  What a formidable acting team those two made!  By now you have probably worked out that I am a horder of books, records and DVD’s.  No I am not digital, well maybe a little bit.  I am a little sad that buying gifts like diaries, calendars, CD’s and watches are just not of interest to the younger lot, as everything is digital now!  Yes, my thoughts have gone all festive already.  It was not my intention to start talking about Christmas, but it is only six weeks or so away!  Foto from Facebook.

The_Man_in_Black_Cover_for_KindleNow I’m going to mention my books as we are on a Festive roll at the moment.  I really want to encourage you to buy real books this christmas.  If any of you buy my current trilogy, My Father, The Assassin, The Bolivian Connection & The Italian Connection between now and Christmas and in paperback form, I will be delighted to send you a signed copy of my short story The Man in Black.  Just email me a copy of your receipt and your postal address.  june.finnigan@virgin.net.  Visit my website for easy access to on-line purchasing.  My site

Well, enough for now, must get on with the day job.  Have a great week.

Salute June x





Read Full Post »

Welcome and Benvenuti to all my Lovely Followers

Firstly, a big thank you for all those concerned well wishers.  We have only had a couple of minor earth quakes in our area and all is fine here; no damage at all.

Florence then and now. La Repubblica.

Florence then and now. La Repubblica.

Florence – It is hard to imagine that exactly fifty years ago, Florence was under very deep water after the River Arno burst its banks.  1966 was a terrible year for the historic and beautiful city.  There has been much to say in the newspapers and there is still real concern that the defences are not good enough.  Only a few months ago, a riverside road collapsed, along with a row of parked cars.  An enormous amount of money is needed to further improve things and what with the financial crisis, this is now getting very serious indeed.

Mappa Sosmica - Seismic Map. La Reppublica

Mappa Sismica – Seismic Map. La Reppublica

I read an article in the newspaper this morning, which really shows the country’s seismic risk areas.  If it was not so serious, I would have laughed at the little men in black hats on the map, indicating the areas controlled by the Mafia who have been responsible for the building and rebuilding of properties, and blamed for the inferior quality of materials and design. I must add, that our little area of Tuscany, is outside the worst danger zone and hope it will not stop you lovely people from visiting next season.


King Crimson, La Repubblica

But to brighter things.  Thank you to our good friend Flavio who asked me if I knew that The Cure was currently touring.  I did not know, but it was too late to get tickets anyway.  But I did know that King Crimson were celebrating fifty years in rock with a celebration tour here.  What’s this, you don’t remember them? O Dio!  They were hugely popular between 1969 and 1974, when their progressive rock music stretched across to Jazz and classical.  Robert Tripp, the brilliant lead guitarist, took the band through many changes of members and styles, after reaching number 5 in the UK album charts in 1969.  In 2015 the band, with its unusual front of three drummers and four guitarists, had a very successful tour and their concert in Toronto ‘Live at The Orpheum’ was recorded and released as an album.  I love their track ‘Starless’ a lengthy piece and seriously clever, which will give you goose-bumps.  King Crimson – Starless https://youtu.be/FhKJgqxNDD8  via @YouTube

Italian cheeses at La Dispensain Fiano. Foto J Finnigan

Tuscan cheeses at La Dispensa in Fiano.
Foto J Finnigan

Anyway, that’s got my rock thing out-of-the-way, so back to Fiano and morning coffee.  Today, Sunday, La Dispensa was very busy with locals.  It’s hard to believe that the place didn’t exist three months ago!  The Italians are very quick to turn a place into a home from home, and so we are able to enjoy coffee and catch up on the newspapers in good company.  La Dispensa also has a lovely range of cheeses, which along with local wines, is my biggest downfall, so I had to buy some yet again.  Otherwise we eat very sensibly!

Pasta and white truffles photo J Finnigan

Pasta and white truffles
photo J Finnigan

Meanwhile the olives have been mostly harvested now and the truffle hunters are out an about seeking that illusive Tartufo Bianco (White Truffle).  The best way to enjoy them is thinly sliced, using a truffle slicer, over buttered tagliatelle.  Not spoiled by adding them to a creamy sauce, as a certain local restuarent did the other day and my man had to send the dish back!

Finally, I’m itching to tell you that I have finished the first draft of ‘The Italian Connection.’  However, having read it and edited, I found myself launching into more chapters as my imagination suddenly took off again!  So, another couple of weeks or so and I’ll be satisfied; I hope!

Well, that’s enough for now.  My man is taking me up to C’era una Volta in Lucardo for lunch, where Paolo is currently serving up a delicious leek and potato soup, and he has the latest Tartufo Bianco on the menu.  Mmmmm.

Have a great week and do drop me a line.  I love to hear from you!

Salute June x

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

My current Books. Foto J Finnigan

My current Books.
Foto J Finnigan

Read Full Post »

Benvenuti to all my Loyal and New Followers

Every morning, whilst enjoying a lovely creamy caffè latte in one our local bars (they don’t use horrible low-fat milk here),  I scan either La Nazione or Il Terreno newspapers for interesting snippets.  Yesterday, I was joined by Winston Churchill and today by Dante, well not literally of course, both being long gone.

Coffee with Winston Churchill. Photo J Finnigan

Coffee with Winston Churchill.
Photo J Finnigan

You may already know that this year is the fiftieth anniversary of good old Winston’s funeral and the Italians are treating this as important news.  One thing you may not know is that my man, an ex Royal Marine Commando, was marching in the front row of the Marines’ contingent on the big day.  He was very young, in full ceremonial uniform of course, blues, greatcoat and white pith helmet down over his eyes.  If they happen to show the funeral on TV again, he was fourth in on the right as they march towards you.  He has other claims to fame, however, I have mentioned this one as it is so very topical.  Writing about Winston reminds me that I wanted to be a  Secret Agent during the Second World War.  Fortunately, I was born a few years after it finished!  As a child in the 50’s I used to organise the children in our area to play ‘Germans and English’; I was always the covert spy.  Co-incidentally, I am currently reading ‘Operation Garbo: The Personal Story of the Most Successful Spy of World War Two.’  What are you reading?

Coffee with Dante. Photo J Finnigan

Coffee with Dante.
Photo J Finnigan

Now my other guest for coffee, was the great poet and writer Dante.  Still looking good at the age of seven hundred and fifty, he’s a popular chappy here.  He spent his life cruising between Pisa, Lucca, Pistoia and Carrara, amongst other Tuscan hangouts.  There are currently lots of exhibitions and celebrations happening in the area.

Laura with vibrant red hair and designer finger nails. Photo J Finnigan

Laura with vibrant red hair and designer finger nails.
Photo J Finnigan

Meanwhile, back at Laura’s bar/alimentare, I notice that Laura is sporting very red hair.  She says that her hairdresser added a special ingredient to make it more ‘brilliante’.  She always has the most fantastic nail art too, I might go to see her nail lady and have fantastic nails for my next rock concert.  Take a close look.

Down in Certaldo’s Saturday market,  I go back to the lovely couple who produce the most fantastic Pecorino (sheep’s cheese) and Caprina (goat’s cheese).  I have fallen completely in love with a very young pecorino, which is really soft, full of flavour and just melts in the mouth.  Mmmm.  Also, I have been devouring bottles of Sweet Red Onion marmalade which is a speciality in Certaldo.  The two go really well together and are adding inches to my waistline!  These, along with the local Chianti wine are the reason why I have to go on a diet soon, well fairly soon.

Melt in the mouth Cheeses in Certaldo's Saturday Market Photo J Finnigan

Melt in the mouth Cheeses in Certaldo’s Saturday Market
Photo J Finnigan

I have mentioned that many businesses are closing down here.  We have tried to buy a new kingsize bed locally, but found that an antique furniture warehouse and a bed outlet have both disappeared.  Getting very frustrated, I went on-line, found exactly what I wanted in a number of UK stores, but they do not deliver overseas!  If anyone has any good ideas, do let me know.  Ideally within a an hours drive of Certaldo, Tuscany or on-line.  (IKEA don’t do a kingsize..)  Big sigh….

Well enough of that, must get on with final honing of my latest book ‘The Bolivian Connection,’ as I know you are all champing at the bit.  You will also be pleased to know that Joanna Wilde (my heroine) has already started a new adventure in ‘The Italian Connection’, which I expect to publish early next year.

I will update you on the gorgeous Silvio Berlusconi’s exploits next week.  In the meantime have a really good week and do drop me a line.

Amore June x

PS Here is the direct link for my novel ‘My Father, The Assassin’. You can also visit http://www.amazon.com & http://www.amazon.eu



Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: