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

Phew, well, yet another beautiful Sunday morning in Tuscany, despite the heat and humidity.  Things were quite normal on the main road into Fiano;  an orange (the colour you go when you have been to the coast) overweight Italian in shorts and trainers (no shirt) running backwards down the middle of the road, two tourists walking on the wrong side of the road wearing pink lycra, a small group of Italian cyclists in racing colours riding impossibly thin-wheeled bikes and an deeply tanned old boy walking just in shorts and a pink cloth cap.  Yes, pink is the colour it seems.

2019-06-30 10.14.26In Fiano La Dispensa was noisy and busy, but we managed to grab the papers and our favourite places at the end of the long table.  We were joined by Italian tourists from Rome who like to come to our bit of the world in Tuscany for the weekend staying with friends, then returning home with local oil, wine and hams.  When the Tuscans claim to have the best oil, foods and wines in the country, these Romans said they were spot on! The cheeses here are seriously delicious.  Tuscan Pecorino, sheep’s cheese to you and me,  can be consumed young & squidgy and at several other stages right up to aged, when it has a similar texture to Parmesan.  I just love it and this great picture; wherever you are in the world go to your cheese specialist counter and ask for Tuscan Pecorino, they might just order it in for you!

Orane wrap dressI don’t know about you, but I have been struggling with my summer wardrobe.  Just when I think I have enough outfits to chop and change my look and still be cool, in both senses of the word, I find myself undecided on what to wear.  I don’t seem to have enough lightweight cotton flared skirts!   And dresses, nothing looks right, I have to admit my figure could do with trimming down, must have put on half a stone since this time last year.  But I need to wear these clothes now!  Do I buy new clothes a size larger or not, that is the question?  So I found myself once more flicking through the Italian fashion mags.  Wrap around tea dresses look lovely, but not from the rear if you have an extra layer on the hips!  How many of you actually look at your rear view image in the mirror?  I cannot help but notice those who never do, looking wonderful from the front and awful from the back.  Lots of flowing cottons are best I think.  Loose tops and skirts are good for me at the moment.  What are you wearing?  However, just spotted this gorgeous orange number, (see picture) I could be tempted……

I2019-07-02 09.22.10n the same magazine I came across an article to make you green with envy.  A stunning italian beauty with a massive artistic talent, namely Beatrice Venezi.  Perhaps envy is the wrong word, I think admiration is more correct.  Beatrice is beautiful and wears fabulous clothes, however, it is her talent that really draws one’s attention.  Beatrice is the award winning Principle Conductor for both the Orchestra Milano Classic and the Orchestra Scarlatti Young of Naples.  I hope she is also in love, as then she will have everything a girl dreams of!  Go to her website to be even more impressed.  Beatrice’s site

photo of woman on seashore

Photo by Maria Isabella Bernotti on Pexels.com

Meanwhile, I’m back hammering away at book four in the Joanna Wilde series.  I have just had an email from another writer, who lives near San Casciano, complaining that she is living and working in the dark in the same room, blocking out the heat with thick curtains.  Now she wasn’t really complaining, just stating a fact.  There is nothing else one can do in this scorching heat, live in the dark during the day and let in the light early morning and late evening!  Methinks this next couple of months should be great for creative thinking, drinking gallons of water and hugging the air conditioning unit.  Most sane people, and mostly Italian, have gone off to the seaside or mountains, we will have to think about how we deal with next summer a little more creatively.  If anyone has an apartment on the coast that is available for a week or two next month, let me know!

As you have probably worked out, the dust has finally settled after our rock concert and I have had some lovely messages, thank you.  There is a lot of activity on the music front in Tuscany at the moment, so if you were coming over, you’ll find plenty to do.  But do avoid August, I know I say this every year, as you will find 80% of shops, cafes and restaurants closed.  Hey ho.

Anyway, time to get this blog off to you, I’ve already overrun into Monday, sorry about that.

Do drop me a line, I love to hear from my readers, oh and visit my Author Site for lots more info.

Have a great week.

Salute June x

Fotos from La Republica.

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

Band RelaxedWhat a great evening we had on the 21 June.  Thank you so much to Stefano, Lorenzo C, Lorenzo A and Fillipo who, alongwith myself, are the Rock Chick Band.  These brilliant guys were once again seriously good at backing me in my performance of seventeen great rock songs.  I admit, this is pure indulgence for me, I just adore getting up there and singing with these guys!  And, we will be back again next year so diary date June 19 2020 now!

20190621_222033Also taking a turn at the mike was our good friend John Reilly, whose UK stage name is The Bare Guitarist.  (Think what you like)  His song “zombie jamboree” has a big history and, most of the versions are not the same as Johns (Circa 1966 Sierra Leone) on a white label record which was banned from all West African States  as it was more akin to a horror song for juju believers…..  Thank you John, despite the history, the audience loved it and you really got them up and dancing!  Zombie Jamboree

Terry and Andrea 2019And, thank you to our local celebrity potter, Terry Davies, on the left, who was prompted to get up with his guitar and sing a couple of excellent rock songs.  Thank you Terry.

image1And, what a great audience!  Well done Fiano for being strongly represented.  Fabulous friends came from all over the world, including Andrea and Norbert, who ‘spontaneously’ hired a small plane in Germany, flew themselves over the Alps and down to Tuscany just for the concert!  Love you guys!

Andrea and buffet 21 juneMeanwhile, Andrea and his lovely lady, from Jam Caffe in Certaldo, were busy in the kitchen preparing a delicious buffet and the excellent wine was once again provided by our good friend Claudio Corbinelli.  Thank you all!

Well, I really look forward to doing it all again next year, but must get fitter!  If Mick Jagger can leap around on stage at 76, even after heart surgery, then so can I!  My being considerably younger of course and, touch wood, I don’t have a dicky heart!  Anyway, am now getting physio and massage to relieve my aching joints.  Do not worry, as long as the voice holds out, I’ll be back!

glassesOh, by the way, did you leave a nice pair of reading glasses behind?  Well, they are perfectly safe, waiting to be claimed.  Drop me an email at june.finnigan@virgin.net 

Whilst the concert and entertaining friends & family was all consuming, I cannot ignore all the other important things that were happening around us.  Fiano saw the arrival of it’s latest baby; welcome to little Zoe!  A new Defibrillator has been fixed to the wall next to the Farmacia, so if you spot someone having a heart attack you have the means to save a life, and local artist Gloria Campriani opened the new Public Park in Certaldo, near the swimming pool, where you can see artistic creations and instillations any time of day!  Oh and the Ciccadas have arrived and are in full chorus as I write this blog. Phew!

Goodmorning Tuscany june 19And finally, yes it’s baking hot here and other than the evergreens and vines, everything has turned into crunchy brown crisps.  Thankfully, old Tuscan properties have thick walls and are easier to keep cool than most.  But we still need the air conditioning and gallons of drinking water.  I noticed the local campsite was half empty this morning, more than likely they have headed for the cooler mountain regions, or, if you are a grandparent you are probably at the seaside apartment with your grandchildren, doing your traditional thing, whilst the parents work and go down at the weekends.  

At this point, perhaps a glass of fizzy white would be appropriate.  I’ll finish this off a little later, I’m sure you won’t mind……

Well, I’m back and refreshed and will now get this blog honed and off to you.  Have a great week and stay hydrated!

Salute June x

Visit my website at My site

Fotos P.Finnigan, j.Finnigan, Andrea and Norbert.

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DSCN3433This is a very difficult time of the year for me, but a truly exciting one too.  Difficult, because my head is full of song lyrics as I am practising daily for my up a coming concert and this has the effect of drowning out all the other things in my brain that I need to focus on too!  Exciting because it’s the time of year to get back together with The Rock Chick Band and to make fabulous music!  My man has to keep my feet on the ground and to remind me not to forget simple things.  I keep a hard copy diary.  It’s big and red and sits on my desk and cannot get lost like a cell phone or accidentally deleted like an electronic one, things I am prone to do!  The repertoire is now finalised and our first rehearsal is on Sunday.  Email me at june.finnigan.virgin.net for an invite to the concert on 21 June here in Tuscany.

download-1.jpgMeanwhile, a visiting fox has discovered the fruits of our mulberry tree, but Phil the pheasant isn’t happy with that.  He has been noisily complaining and shooing the poor thing away.  I am also worried about the fox turning on Phil in a stand off.

250px-Fasan-male-1347.jpgPhil is quite formidable and frightening when he’s angry, but he would also make a good dinner for a hungry fox and it’s family and, he has a family of his own to protect in our garden!

porcupine1On the subject of wildlife we had the rare sight of the shy porcupine run across the track in front of us the other day.  Unlike the UK, we do not get a lot of road kill, but nevertheless it can happen.  So we were glad to see it in time.  It’s surprising really, what with the fast and crazy driving in Tuscany, that we don’t see more poor dead creatures.  We often see deer and cinghale (wild boar) cross the road, sometimes whole herds, which is fabulous to see.

20190608_110617Anyway, what next?  Ah, yes.  We have just celebrated something very special in our local village of Fiano.  The local school children worked with potter Terry Davies and The Caba Association Culturale, to create ceramic tiles to line the  front of the steps of the amphitheatre in the Gardens of Fiano.  I am so impressed with this cultural innovation and the children are so proud.  The steps were unveiled after a grand brass band performance.  Screen shot taken from Terry Davies facebook page. Terry was one of the first people we got to know, all those years ago, when we arrived in this little bit of Chianti.  He makes wonderful unique pots and ceramics, exhibiting all over the world.  You can visit his workshop and showroom in the countryside between Certaldo and Bacio, but why not visit his website for lots more info first.  website

2019-05-13 09.14.16Now back to the subject of Made in Italy and the first things to spring to mind, well mine anyway, is fashion and handbags.  In the local papers I spotted two beautiful images that I loved.  The colour red always gives me a lift and it goes with anything, so here is a beautiful shoulder bag from Felisi to drool over.  website

20190608_091538And what do you think of this frock?  I think the simple cut and the gorgeous harbour scene print is so eye-catching and irresistible.  Pop it on I say, head for the coast, then simply take a stroll.  You’ll be turning heads for sure!  You’ll need to click ‘find a store near you’ if you want to buy from this collection.  Website

Well enough of that, I’m still searching for an Italian hunk of the month, so if you have a nominations let me know!

Have a great week and do drop me a line.  Your summer reading can be found on my website at my site

Salute June

(Wildlife fotos from Poke Community, Living in Italy and Tierdoku.com) 

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

2019-05-29 08.55.40What’s that you said?  A European Election?  Oh, yes that one, I had noticed.  Don’t get me wrong, but I promised myself I would not write about politics this week.  But how can one ignore it, especially with the massive move to the right in many of the European countries.  But it’s hardly surprising.  Apart from Tuscany, Italy has followed the lead of the very proactive Matteo Salvini, currently the Minister of Internal Affairs, who’s Lega party has swept it’s way to a massive victory.  Sig Salvini has spent many months out and about wearing various uniforms and T-shirts, making himself as visible as possible and shutting the ports to the immigrants, as Italy is supposedly sinking into the sea with the weight of the thousands already here!

2019-05-29 08.56.31The most surprising election victory was for the Forza Italia party in Milan, where the veteran of politics and purveyor of scandal, Silvio Berlusconi, has won a place at the big round table in Brussels.  At the age of 83 there is no keeping Silvio out of the spotlight.  From a non-political point of view, I’m quite pleased to see him back, it makes for more colourful reporting.  When allegations swirled about escorts and ‘Bunga Bunga’ parties, Silvio admitted “I’m not a Saint, you’ve all understood that.”  Watch this space…..

2019-05-26 09.38.09Meanwhile, back here in our little bit of Tuscany, our local village of Fiano hit the news when it was chosen as a place to interview the locals on their view of the impending election.  We were delighted to find our favourite cafe bar and shop singled out for this purpose and in the foto you will see our lovely friends Fabio, Sandra and Rossella at La Dispensa.  If you are in Tuscany, do pay them a visit.

2019-05-22 09.49.45Well, I thought I would change the subject and talk about Italian interior design.  We live in an ancient converted Monastery Farmhouse, which has it’s original brick floors and beams.  Modern Italian furniture designs really lend themselves to old properties.  The contrast makes for a perfect blend.  As does modern art.  We have recently bought new sitting room furniture, comfortable but modern.  It is also possible to muddle in a few antique bits here and there; somehow in this property it works.  A set of modern furniture in a large high ‘ceilinged’ villa also looks great; like in the enclosed picture.  website

2019-05-21 10.03.23Then of course, if we want to get into Summery Fashion designs, I’m all for it.  The weather has been terrible and we have been out and about wrapped in winter jackets every day in May.  The poor tourists have been drenched in rain for weeks on end, however, we are reliably informed that summer starts tomorrow!  Do you get maudlin after lengthy periods of grey skies and rain?  I am a naturally cheerful soul, but just lately it’s been hard to keep a smile on my face.  Anyway, I love the relaxed look in the enclosed foto.  Whilst my signature colour is black, the occasional colourful outfit will catch my eye and this look has both.  Website

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The Rock Chick Band

So, what next?  Ah yes, the excitement is starting to build!  It’s nearly June, my favourite month of the year.  My next Rock concert is on 21st and my birthday is the 23rd.  I’m so looking forward to having a house full of friends & family and concert goers.  If you would like an invite, email me at june.finnigan@virgin.net

OK, I’m a little late sending this blog out, my apologies.  Do drop me a line, I love to hear from my readers at june.finnigan@virgin.net or pop your comments into the box below.

Have a great week.

Salute June x

ps visit my website at My site

Newspaper fotos extracted from La Repubblica, La Nazione.

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

Yes, I’m back, I am not 100% but feeling a whole lot better.  Thank you to all those lovely people who sent their best wishes!

2019-05-17 11.24.07Well, I always say that if you are feeling a little down, buy clothes or better still a new handbag!  And, that’s exactly what I did on Thursday.  My man felt sorry for me and offered to drive me across to Barberino val D’Elsa and my favourite atelier Colleregio Firenze.  I have mentioned this place before; for me it is the ultimate shop for all types of bag, purses, belts and hats.  However, I must fill you in with the run-up to buying this, my latest bag, and the importance of understanding how these specialist shops operate.  Or don’t as the case may be.  Two weeks ago I did the round trip to Barberino and arrived at the shop during opening hours, to find it closed!  OK, well things happen, so I decided to ring and check that they were open before going for a second time, this time with my man, and yes the nice lady said she would be there.  Guess what, they were closed!  So late afternoon I ring again only to find that the nice lady had been waiting at their other shop in Castellina in Chianti; apparently the telephone number goes through to her wherever she is!  But no worries, the shop in Barberino would open for us that evening.  We arrived and yes the nice owner Francesco, had come up from Florence to open it for us!  Thank heavens they had the bag I wanted, otherwise, I would have sunk into a bout of despair.  The moral to this story is ‘be very precise.’  If you ring a shop, make sure they know which shop you want to go to, as they may have more than one, If you turn up on spec you may be disappointed.   It was all worthwhile, I love my new bag!

2019-05-17 09.13.57Anyway, Last weekend was a pink one.  Yes, pink or Rosa in Italiano.  Montespertoli and Certaldo were bedecked in pink balloons and flags as it was the first time that the big cycle road race, Giro D’Italia, had passed through in sixteen years.  Pink is the colour for this very popular event, the winning cyclist ended up being presented with, yes you guessed it, a pink shirt!  There was a lot of excitement being generated in our local village of Fiano, which is half way between the two towns!  The Tuscans love a festa and especially if it involves cyclists!

STREET_FOOD_web.jpgAnd, this weekend was another celebration, that of Street Food!  Certaldo hosted a street food festa over a long weekend in Piazza Boccaccia, which is normally the central carpark.  I walked through it on Friday evening and it was heaving with people and children enjoying the fairground type rides.  I couldn’t help but notice two tourists who had obviously arrived by train, pulling their cases through the crowd heading for the funiculare, the little cable train which would take them up to the safety of Certaldo Alto, the historical centre.  They both looked scared to death!  There had also been a train strike that day, which only ended in the early evening!  Poor things.  But they will love Certaldo Alto!

My other reason for being in Certaldo was the need to get a lawyer to certify a copy of my passport and identity card for forwarding by email to London.  I won’t bore you with the whys and wherefores, but it turned out to be another Italian learning curve.  Never expect anything to be straight forward.  The very nice lady avvocato explained that whilst she was a lawyer, there were different types.  In Italy, one type could do certifications, another could not.  She finally agreed to do it as we explained it did not matter to the London lawyer which type she was, just her signature would do nicely.  Two hours later, we emerged having had her very obliging assistant do all the necessary scanning and emailing, so let’s hope the London guys are happy.

2019-05-07 09.11.00But enough of that.  Life eeez good, life eeez now!  back in Fiano and reading the papers over coffee, I notice that a new film is about to be launched simply called Leonardo.  You may think that there have been enough films and documentaries made about the great man, but apparently this is not the case.  I really enjoyed the Medici films so I will look out for this one too.

2019-05-13 09.09.18OK, where are we?  Oh yes, just a little cautionary story.  Italy is a very welcoming country and particularly Tuscany.  But down in Rome, some not very nice eatery charged two tourists 81 euros for two hamburgers and coffees, which is totally unacceptable.  So just beware of the tourist traps!

And, to end on a much brighter note, the sun has just broken through the rain clouds and my man is taking me out to lunch at C’era Una Volta in Lucardo.  I went to the manicurist yesterday, so will be flashing my bright orange fingernails!

Have a great week, I certainly will!

Salute June x  Visit my website at my site

PS  Great to see Mick jagger almost back to normal.  Rock on that man!  I will be performing ‘Paint it Black’ at my concert on 21 June!  Email me at june.finnigan@virgin.net for an invite.

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Ciao Tutti,

2019-05-11 17.48.08So sorry, but am down with a nasty virus and my creative brain cells are not functioning.  So I am sending you this lovely picture of the gorgeous green Tuscan countryside, viewed from our garden, for you to enjoy.

I’ll be back…..next weekend for sure.

Salute June x

Visit my website at My site

2017-05-07 17.25.58  35973101_10156419065890917_7876909049508265984_n

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

2019-05-04 17.30.23Well, who’d have thought it.  The first week in May and we have been swamped with rain and thunder storms.  Una bomba d’aqua!  If you are visiting, do not be dismayed; when the sun comes out even briefly, you will see the how the light will change and once again everything becomes an artist’s dream.  Just stand still in the countryside, no electronic equipment please, hear the rain dripping off the trees, soak up the lush view of many shades of green and the glut of white Acaccia and Elderflower blossoms, oh and the bright yellow Broom.  The perfumes will intoxicate you, and then you will see that 3D effect as the sunlight picks up every hill and valley, every row of trees and vines, it will take your breath away!  Close your eyes for a second, open again and you will see that you overlooked the steam rising from the valleys as the hot sun starts to dry things out.  Then there is the birdsong, the Cuckoo, newly arrived Bee Eaters, the Hoopoe and all the other beautiful regulars.  Well, enough said.

2june_2007_367.jpgThe bad weather prevented us from going down to Certaldo on Sunday morning for the annual parade of I Bersaglieri (Marksmen) who are the wonderful running infantry soldiers who wear plumed hats.  We watched them arrive in town last year, running and playing their brass instruments at the same time.  They are so impressive to watch and I must say the leader was a bit of a hunk.  Do go on to Youtube where there is some great footage.  Also visit Wikipedia to read about their fascinating history.

20190504_165739Meanwhile, back in our local village of Fiano we are all delighted to welcome the lovely Gabriella Carbini and her Ceramic showroom and studio, Ceramiche D’Arte Carbini.  The ‘shop’ is in the main street, Via Firenze, and is full of beautiful traditional ceramics for you to drool over.  Your problem will be what not to buy!  In addition to the ceramics, Gabriella (on the right in picture) will be pleased to welcome small groups to demonstrations of her work in her studio.  You can telephone her on (0039) 346 418 8211 or email ceramichecarbini@gmail.com  We attended the opening yesterday evening and can’t wait to go back and start buying things!

2019-05-05 10.18.16Still in Fiano and enjoying coffee at La Dispensa, I read an article about the dark side of Italy, that being the Italian Mafia.  Of course they have always been around but more predominantly in the south.  We do not see much evidence of their existence here in Tuscany, but then we are not really looking for it either!  Anyway, this article was about a new film release called Il Traditore, The Traitor.  The Plot is about revenge and betrayal revolving around Tommaso Buscetta, “boss of the two worlds”  It is directed by that great master of film, Marco Bellocchio and will be released on 23rd May.  Watch this space!

2019-05-04 09.45.20And, on a much brighter side, the lovely Fiorentine Iris has once again survived the winter and is standing proud in the garden.  I had promised to post pictures of our new potted plants but due to the heavy rain most remain under cover and will be planted as soon as we have a rain free day.  So I hope you enjoy seeing the Iris!

Anyway, enough already, time to get this blog finished and off to you.  I love to hear from you so do drop me a line.  Oh and visit my website at my site

Salute June x

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