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

Now, I hope you don’t mind, but there is so much going on here in Tuscany by way of entertainment, this blog is rather full it!

2018-11-13 09.34.19Firstly, as you know, I mostly follow the Rock Music scene, my being an aging Rock singer, however, just occasionally I pick up on something else that really excites me.  This time it is the amazing soprano voice of the young Martina Barreca.  I must confess that what really caught my eye was the fact that she is getting together with rock musicians to do some ‘metal’ music.  Now, I am not certain if a performance will be included in her up and coming stage show in Pisa, but she is such an amazing singer that I am tempted to go anyway, purely to hear her voice.  Theatre Tickets and info

2018-11-11 09.38.39Back in Fiano drinking coffee in La Dispensa, I read in La Repubblica a two page article about that gorgeous iconic actor Marcello Mastroianni.  Brilliant actor, both serious and funny, I loved his many films alongside my favorite Italian actress Sophia Loren that we will watch again over Christmas.  I’m thinking that, if you have any really favourite old films its important to get a load in on DVD.  This is the only sure way of having them in your home; streaming has become hugely popular, but why risk having all your stuff in a cloud!

2018-11-04 18.31.58Funny how vinyl music records have become popular again.  I have a lot of original 60’s and 70’s LPs, and as our music centre has died, I have been researching for a new ‘deck’ and speakers.  I found this one, which has built-in speakers and might just buy it for a joint christmas present!  What do you think?  However, I need to persuade my man that the music centre really is dead; he never throws anything out, if it exists it’s repairable!

2018-11-07 09.57.18A band that beeped my radar last week, was Brit Floyd.  I have to admit that I am not too keen on the idea of tribute bands, but I guess and if they are good, it does keep the live music out there.  Brit Floyd have just completed their tour of Italy and I have taken the trouble to check them out on YouTube.  They have their own style and have performed some of Pink Floyd’s classics really well.  They sound and look good live, so why not give them a go!  I sing cover songs, so who am I to cast any doubts!  Their Balkan and European tour continues.  Tour dates

imageAs you know, my other love is books.  Just like my mention of buying DVD’s for your film storage, I am from now on pushing for the purchase of more paper & hardback books.  I’m as guilty as the next person for downloading onto Kindle!  The Pisa Book Festival has just finished and it is good to read there were hundreds of enthusiasts turned up to hear from the illustrious Italian authors and writers.  We must look out for this next year and make sure it’s in the diary!  So, start buying in those books for Christmas! Take a tip from Iceland where it is traditional to give a book gift every Christmas Eve and to go to bed to read it whilst eating chocolates!

2018-11-13 10.56.47And finally, much closer to home is the village of Marcialla, which has the lovely cosy little theatre called Teatro Communal Regina Margherita.  It has lovely comfortable red velvet seats and is like something out of the vaudeville days!   I have just picked up its winter/Spring performance dates and there will be evenings to suit all tastes.  From comedy to children’s theatre, Jazz, opera, classical and other concerts.  Even if you don’t speak Italian, you will love the atmosphere there.  The Theatre

Well, enough already.  Time to think about lunch.

Have a great week and do drop me a line.  And, do visit my Official Author Website at My site

Salute June x

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Benvenuti and Welcome to All my lovely Followers around the World,

MUSEO BEGOMost of you will know that early morning coffee at our local bar, is an essential start to our day.  The other benefit of this is, over the years, having met some lovely locals; some very interesting and talented.  One of these is the beautiful designer and artist, Gloria Campriani.  Gloria was born in Certaldo and her studio is still here.

SIMBOLI DI POTEREFor many years Gloria worked with well-known names in the fashion sector and this experience led her to choose yarn as one of the main medias for her artistic career and the use of recycled materials now plays a big part in her creations.   I love her work.  Fotos provided by Gloria.  Visit her website here.

2018-11-02 09.32.10And, by amazing co-incidence, this weekend is the Festa de Lane (wools) di San Martino, in Florence.  You will find everything you can imagine related to and /or made with wool.  Don’t you just love hand-knitted stuff?  I do.  Did you learn to knit?  I had the basics as a girl, but all my creations came out five times too big!  Scarves a mile long, and so on!

2018-11-02 09.11.25Over coffee this morning, I spotted in La Repubblica, this advert for Berwich pantalone, that’s trousers to you and me, but it was the winter knits that caught my eye.  I’d love to get the waistcoat for my man, but he may not like it as much as I do; I’ll have to ask him.  What do you think? Visit their website

2018-10-31 10.29.38Then I saw these beautiful hand-made shoes by Fratelli Rossetti.  Wow!  They are just things of beauty; if you are into flats like me, there’s no need to be dull for the sake of comfort, not here in Italy! They have a shop in Florence!  Yes!  Here is their website

2018-11-02 09.51.14Meanwhile back at our lovely converted monastery farmhouse, we are surrounded by autumn coloured vineyards.  This one is just to the left of our front gate.  Some of the most beautiful views are to be had right now.  despite the grey skies, high winds and rain.

2018-10-30 18.08.15And, last Tuesday we finally lit the log fire, having gone into denial for a couple of weeks, refusing to believe it was cold enough.  And what a joy it is, snuggled up on the sofa with my man, gazing into those warming flames!  Ah, life eeez good!

Anyway, time to think about cooking a hot plate of comfort food.  I gave my man the choice of eating out for pranzo or cena (lunch or dinner).  He chose the latter.  So best see if I can remember where the kitchen is!

Salute June x

Ps.  Do drop me a line, I love to hear from my readers.  And, do visit my website and register for updates!  Here

Pps.  My man just ask me if this blog is meant to look like a fashion magazine!  Am I harping on too much about clothes and stuff?  do be honest!

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

Now, I know you are reading this because you love to hear about all things Tuscan, so please forgive me for mentioning my visit to England last week.  You see, I really want to tell you about our stay at the ancient, and possibly haunted, Swan Hotel in Wells, Somerset.  My man and I were passing through and stayed overnight on the Sunday, then returned on the Wednesday night on the way to the airport.  The first night we had the body in the wardrobe scenario.  The doors were locked and we had to call room service to come and open it; it was a very old wardrobe and was firmly closed with the key missing.  The helpful man tried to prise it open but there was a nasty sound of wood splitting, so he stopped.  “Err, there’s something inside.”  He groaned.  “This has never happened before, we had better move you to another room!”

20181017_152822On our return, we were keen to hear about the wardrobe.  Did they find a body?  But they quickly changed the subject and strangely announced that they had upgraded us to the Cathedral Hotel Suite for the night!  Mmmm.  We opened the door and were swallowed by a massive three roomed suite, dripping in old gilt furniture and a huge bathroom with a freestanding copper bath!  When I went to the toilet in the dead of night, I heard a door creaking open.  When I came out, someone or something had opened the door to the old grandfather clock!  Oooooooh! Photos P Finnigan.  visit the website

Enough already.  Thursday evening and we were hugely relieved to be back in our little bit of Chianti.  I was away just five days and the Olive Harvest (Raccolta) seemed to have come and gone already!  Well, I think it has, because we could not see any olives on the trees, apart from a few stragglers.  Either that, or I hadn’t noticed how poor the harvest was looking beforehand!  Perhaps one of you locals could let me know!

20181020_135553Meanwhile, we have returned to C’era una Volta restaurant in Luccardo, to enjoy the Tartufo Bianco (white truffles).  Big shavings sprinkled over buttered pasta; food of the gods!  Some people don’t like the taste, so I’ve heard, but we just love it!  Photo J Finnigan.

20181021_112125And, it’s the time for roasting chestnuts (castagna or marone)!  The Italians love this season and are out there collecting bagfuls in the woodland.  Unfortunately, other hunters are about, the shooting kind, so things can get a little hairy out there.  The chestnuts are not just roasted, they are celebrated like so many other foods, with Festas across the country. Foto La Nazione.

20181013_091622Ah, and not to forget.  I always keep a look out for Autumn Fashion to drool over every week and I thought you might like these ‘hand-made in Italy’ shoes, from igi & Co.  Chunky smart shoes and ankle boots are all the rage here.  Visit  The website

Ok, must get on with the day job!  But, do drop me a line, I love to hear from my readers. Visit my official author site at June’s site

Salute June x

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

2018-09-19 09.11.30Yes, it has been Milan fashion week and as my man and I enjoy coffee in our local village of Fiano, the papers & magazines we are reading, are full of it.  As you know I love clothes, but this year I am even more convinced that ninety percent of designers are on speed.  The bulk of the designs are any old bits of mismatched stuff, draped over or stuck to miserable looking models desperately trying to hide their embarrassment.  Basically, the outfits are unwearable.  I will not give up on the belief that it is possible to buy wearable clothes and still be fashionable.  Now, as many of you know, I am a bit of a rock chick, so I am keen on black.  However, I also love Autumn colours, so I have included an Etro picture, which is a compromise and also satisfies the gypsy in me.  The models at least look at ease, despite the fact they are not quite smiling.  Now, I took it upon myself, to go onto Etro’s website and I was impressed.   To see a video of the whole range, mostly stunning, despite the long faces and presented in Milan, go to Website

2018-09-22 10.27.19#1Another of my loves is chunky Jewellery.  To go with your autumn wardrobe, this lovely design by Angela Caputi is right up my street.  You can visit her site at Website

2018-09-22 10.26.24OK, now you are decked out in beautiful autumn clothes and jewellery why not pop down to a local bar for an Autumn cocktail.  Now here’s a great idea, fresh strawberry juice with Prosecco and topped with whipped cream and blueberries!  Mmmmm.  Foto La Repubblica Mag.

And, so to one of our favourite restaurants, Osteria La Gramola in Tavernelle, where yesterday’s menu included Spaghetti con pesto di Barbabietole 2018-09-21 14.04.51Rosse e Mandorle, that’s spaghetti with Red Beetroot & Almond Pesto to you and me.  Foto J Finnigan.  It was a flavour so exquisite I scoffed the lot, despite having had a filling antipasto beforehand!  Visit La Gramola at Website

2018-09-22 18.49.25Whilst there, we bumped into our lovely artist friend Patrizio Landolfi, who has his studio just down the road.  He has just recently sold a huge abstract painting of David Bowie to a Canadian billionaire for sixty thousand euros!  2018-09-21 13.18.47-1Very impressive.  And, to think we were considering buying it ourselves……!  Well done to him and you can see more of his paintings in La Gramola restaurant.   Foto from his book Antologica & cutting from the magazine Panorama.  Visit his website at Website

I was asked the other day, what are the Autumn smells in Tuscany?  Well, right now the air is full of the smell of crushed red grapes that have left dark stains across the local tracks.  You could get quite tipsy on the smell alone!  Then of course the smell of roasting chestnuts will be with us soon and the glorious smell of white truffles (Tartufo Bianco) grated over eggs, pasta and other dishes.  And, the countryside generally smells glorious.  We are desperate for some rain, so the smell of dried grasses still fills the air.  Sadly, sitting outside is still restrictive due to the mosquitos (zanzari) that will eventually go in late October.  But it’s lovely for strolling around in the unseasonable hot September sunshine, with ones arms and legs protected!

2018-09-22 10.11.00Anyway, here is some good news.  With all the fashion fotos around, I have found us the September Hunk of the Month!  Now I may be a Rock Chick, but I do love the Italian classic look and a handsome clean-shaven face.  This is not so trendy here in Italy.  Younger men are tattooed and bearded, somehow I find this unattractive, I know that most Italian women under forty will disagree, but there you go.  I hope you like my chosen man and you can visit the designer Tagliatore at Website

OK, enough already.  Do drop me a line, I love to hear from my readers.  Oh, and do visit my Official Author Site at June’s site

Salute June x

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

Yet another beautiful day in Tuscany!

2018-09-16 09.51.05Well, last Sunday morning was busy at coffee time at La Dispensa, in our local village of Fiano, with lots of locals wearing their team Calambur T-shirts, in readiness for the exciting contest due to start at two-thirty.  This was going to be a hard-fought contest for the coveted victor’s banner, which the team can keep displayed in their zone for the next twelve months.  Our Fiano team is called La Fonte, and our colours are red and white.  The village was festooned with flags as was Certaldo, where the big event was to be held.  The event is a bit like the ‘It’s a Knockout’ contest we used to have in the UK and is very entertaining to watch, but taken very seriously indeed by the contestants.

2018-09-17 09.31.21At the end of the day it was La Canonica team from Certaldo who came out victors, despite our team putting in a superb effort.  La Fonte did win two years ago and I remember the beautifully embroidered banner being displayed in La Dispensa.  Oh well, there’s always next year!

41632253_2158631247686062_3080309205630976000_nMeanwhile, there has been a lot of busy preparation for the Truffle (tartufo) Hunting Season, which starts on 22nd September.  Lots of tourists include this rather exciting event in their holiday itinerary and if you visit EnvyItaly on-line you will find an article all about it.  Click on ‘Magazine’ then ‘Best Experiences in Italy’.  There are also hunts available locally to us; I can put you in touch with the right people.  Foto Envy Italy.

As I have just mentioned the magazine Envy Italy, I should also tell you that it is a new publication co-published by my very clever daughter and her friend from Ireland.  As a writer, I have been very impressed with the articles and professional way the magazine has been put together.  This is one for you if you like the very best that Italy can offer.  I love it!  Go to the website

2018-09-16 09.50.26And, so to my other love, Italian Autumn Fashion.  The papers and magazines here are filling up with gorgeous Autumn colours, my favourite time of the year.  I noticed that Burberry in England has taken on a new look, but believe me, Italian designers do have the edge when it comes to style.  I just adore this fringed coat, couldn’t you just snuggle up in it?  MaxMara’a models are not the most cheerful lot, but I have let this fact pass for once.

2018-09-16 09.36.51The other advert I found, was for a pair of comfy shoes!  Arrrgh, I hear you say, fashion and comfort just don’t go together!  I have spent a lot of years trying to combine both, and yes it’s difficult.  However, what do you think of these shoes?  Are they stylish enough or too clumpy?  I’m almost tempted to buy some, but I’m not sure…..

2018-09-14 09.37.50#1And back in the real world, yesterday, Monday, was back to school day.  Lots of nervous children and students were starting the new term and some, like my 13 nearly 14-year-old granddaughter, a new senior school in Siena!  The Italian school holidays, particularly the summer one, is very long, almost three months in fact, so parents and grandparents alike are sighing with relief.

Anyway, enough already.  Oh, in case you were wondering I am still on the hunt for September’s Italian Hunk of the Month.  So if you spot a candidate send me a pic! My email

Have a great week wherever you are in the world.

Salute June x

PS If you did not manage to download my free short story, The Man in Black, you can now purchase it for just 99p or the equivalent $ or Euro.  Go to my website at June’s Site

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

2018-09-08 09.26.33Firstly, we were really delighted to see the arrival of a community Drinking Water Fountain/dispenser in Fiano, our local village.  I am so very pleased because if this is happening in all the communities, then Italy is already making a massive leap towards reducing the plastic bottle problem.  Tap water in Italy has always been a little suspect, so the demand for bottled water has been enormous.  Now we can just refill our existing bottles with fresh still water absolutely free!  In the picture is Milko demonstrating how to use a plastic card, which you can purchase from his Cartalibreria next to the Fountain, should you want the chilled or fizzy variety.  The cost for these is only a few centesimi per litre.  Brilliant!  Foto J Finnigan.

Equally exciting is the arrival of the new red wines which many Italians like to drink young, not aged.  This year the grapes are very healthy and the harvest is expected to be an excellent one.  It is a time of celebration.

Rione "Le Fonti" Fiano's photo.Meanwhile, Fiano is gearing up for Il Calambur and the big annual dinner will be held in  Piazza Gasparri this evening.  This then marks the run-up to the Calambur contest itself,  which will be held in Certaldo on Sunday 16th September.  The contest involves the five teams of the Commune di Certaldo wearing medieval outfits, who compete to win the coveted banner.  Fiano’s team is all in red and is called Le Fonti.  The contest involves all kinds of races and intelligence tests.  It’s all sooo exciting!  Visit the website for lot’s of colourful pictures from last year.    Website

2018-09-08 08.54.39Meanwhile, I spotted this gorgeous jacket in La Repubblica as I was enjoying my coffee in La Dispensa this morning.  I know, I do go on a bit about fashion and particularly those modelled by happy models.  And, yes, Luisa Spagnoli has done it again with a jacket you could wear smart or with jeans & T-shirt.  OK, she is not cheap but in my view something like this is timeless and therefore a very good investment.  website

OK, enough all ready.  Next week I hope to have found my September Hunk of the Month and more Autumn Fashion colours for you to drool over.

2018-09-09 10.34.57Oh dear, I nearly forgot!  My man’s new Man Bag, which we purchased in Barbarino Val D’Elsa last Thursday, is really beautiful.  Hand-made (fatto a mano) and it fits his apple lap-top perfectly.  So he’ll be swanning around London posing in his hand-made shoes, bespoke suit and his new bag casually slung over his shoulder!  Don’t you just love him?  I do.

Well, must go and organise Sunday lunch.  My man wants to cook today, which means starting early and finishing late, as he has to weigh everything due to his lack of experience in the Kitchen.  He has just told me, the lack of experience is nothing to do with it, he just likes to be ‘properly organised.’  Does your partner cook? I resort to restuarants as often as possible……

Have a great week and do drop me a line, I love to hear from you.  Salute June x

PS.  Visit my official Author Site at My Site  and thank you for all your support for my short story publication!

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

The_Man_in_Black_Cover_for_KindleFirstly, just to remind you that my Short Thriller story can still be downloaded absolutely free of charge from any Amazon site around the world, or directly from my site at My Amazon Site  Last day is tomorrow the 5th September!  Enjoy!

Meanwhile, back here in our beautiful little bit of Tuscany, it is the mass return to work for most Italians.  We love this time of year because shops, restaurants, Markets and caffe bars reopen after the long August holiday, which inevitably overlaps into September.  The towns and villages morph from ghost towns into bustling welcoming places, and it is such a relief.

2018-09-01 10.25.14In the countryside, the Vendemmia (grape harvest) is underway; the white grapes are already in and the red harvest is just starting.  And, droves of tourists are arriving to enjoy watching and being part of the harvest.  Many are taking organised vineyard treks that take wine lovers through miles of picturesque vineyards, stopping off for the odd tasting here and there.  A very productive and satisfying time of year.

2018-09-04 12.08.49Oh yes, I really must tell you about the discovery of a Leather Atelier in Barbarino Val D’Elsa near Tavernelle.  I was out and about with my visiting sister-in-law yesterday and went to the town, because I had seen an Artisan market advertised.  The town is a tiny hilltop place, beautiful and old, but little to offer in the way of restaurants or caffè bars.  But then we discovered the shop Colleregio (Firenze) owned by Francesco Bojola!  Well, you know what I am like with handbags, so you can imagine how I felt when we walked through the door.  Everything was handmade and beautiful, no rubbish there, oh no, and the prices reflect this of course.  To me a handbag bought from a place like this is an investment.  It also occurred to me that this was the ideal place to bring my man who has his Italian shoes and suits hand-made, and he really needed a smart shoulder bag to carry his Apple Mac and stuff whilst in London.  So we took the man in this morning and he was impressed.  The lovely owner, Francesco, will have just what is needed brought over from his other shop on Thursday, so watch this space!  Foto from their brochure.  Website Colleregio

2015-09-11 14.16.13

Whilst mentioning my sister-in-law, who likes to photograph herself in front of every old Italian doorway and under every archway, we do get to go out and eat rather more often as she likes to do this a lot.  So we have made two return trips to Osteria La Gramola in Tavernelle, two to C’era Una Volta in Lucardo and one to  Osteria Casa Chianti near Fiano.  Once Tuscany has shed more of its tourists we will head up to San Gimingiano (see foto J Finnigan) for some sophisticated dining.  San Gim is better visited out of season and for eating, in the evening.  Can’t wait!

2018-08-25 19.13.49And so to the beautiful month of September in Tuscany.  As if by magic, with the arrival of the new month, the weather changed from hot and humid to sunny and fresh with the odd shower, overnight.  Although not really autumn yet, I do love this season for the weather, the return to normality and the fashions.  It is also the time for new wine and the run up to the Olive Harvest, which will be in full swing come October.  Wonderful.  Foto – our September garden – J Finnigan.

Well, what else can I say, except ‘life eeez good, life eeez now’!

Do drop me a line or leave a message below, I love to hear from you.  Visit my official author site at My website

Salute June x

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