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Posts Tagged ‘Prato’

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

20180815_101857Yes, it’s that time of year again, Easter Weekend and the Tourists have poured in from every part of the globe.  Cars and mini-buses are cruising past our Old Monastery Farmhouse with big-eyed faces staring out of the windows.  Then there are the walkers.  As we are surrounded by agriturismo places to stay, it’s normal to hear the sound of footsteps on the gravel track and wondrous voices in many different languages.  But, we don’t mind, as this weekend heralds the run up to summer and it’s a pleasure to see and hear visitors enjoying themselves.  Anyway, we have our giant spider guarding the gate; just in case.

2019-04-22 09.48.18Now the tourists will have found ninety percent of shops, bars and restaurants closed on both the Sunday and Monday.  This includes our usual haunt La Dispensa in Fiano as Fabio, Sandra and Rossella have taken a well deserved two-day break.  The Italians like their festa days and most will have gone off to the seaside or mountains.  But if you know where to go it’s not a problem.  On both days we dropped down to Certaldo and Jam Caffe where you will find the best pastries in the region and of course very good coffee.  The weather is beautiful at the moment so you can enjoy sitting outside on the big terrace.  We like to be inside looking out.

2019-04-10 08.58.05#1On the subject of coffee, which the Italians serve up so much better than anywhere else in the world, on Saturday I spotted this advert for illy coffee.  Yes, I know, the hunky guy in the advert did draw me in.  But look at his face; which look do you like?  Clever advertising this; Classico, Intenso (intense) & Forte (strong).  I must say I do rather like the Intenso look; that hint of danger in the eyes…..  Sorry, where was I?  Oh, yes, I was about to mention that I do buy the tins of illy classico coffee.  I like the tins, they look great on the sideboard and the coffee is seriously good too!

2019-04-20 10.18.47On Saturday morning, the Mercato in Certaldo was heaving.  We stocked up with fruit, veg and Cheese, but our lovely plant lady had not turned up again.  I asked one of the neighbouring market holders and was told she had not been there for months.  But the good news is, I suddenly remembered a flower kiosk at the top of the hill next to the old cemetery, where our old friend Simon Moody rests in peace, bless him.  The kiosk was busy, but to my delight I found lot’s of plants for sale as well as flowers.  I bought quite a few, but will need more, so will go back next weekend.  I’ll send you some fotos of the finished pots next time.

2019-04-17 08.40.05OK, what else.  obviously the National news has not been too good this last week, what with the Notre Dame fire.  Here in Italy we have a Joint Deputy Prime Minister who likes to dress up in various uniforms, depending on where he is appearing, so it was inevitable that one of our Italian cartoonists would come up with this cartoon of Matteo Salvini.  We quickly move on….

2019-04-17 08.37.35Meanwhile, the various Leonardo exhibitions and festas continue and for a change I will mention Prato, which is a rather attractive town between Florence and Pistoia, where there is an Ingenuity & Textile Exhibition going on at Il Museo del Tessuto.  I’ve always been fascinated by machines, big and small.  I love steam trains and the workings of clocks and watches.  In fact anything that is not dependant on electricity or technology.  Prato is also good for historical buildings and excellent restaurants!  website

Anyway, today is Monday Bank Holiday, as the Brits say, and we must make the most of it and enjoy the remaining sunshine.  The hedgerows are bursting with Poppies, Acacia blossom is just peeking out, the Cuckoo is back and life eeez very good indeed.  So, take the time to read a good book, preferably one of mine, and relax.

Have a great week.

Salute June x

PS  do visit my website at My site

NB.  Newspaper fotos are extracted from La Repubblica.  Other fotos J Finnigan.

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

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Oliver and Nicola on the right. My Hunks of the month.  Foto J Finnigan

Visiting Florence is a wonderful experience at any time and we don’t do it often enough.  Last Tuesday we not only went to that beautiful city, we also had an appointment with Sartoria Vanni a hugely popular bespoke tailor with a history going back two hundred years.  My man needed a new city suit and this is where we were recommended to go.  We were greeted by Nicola Papa and Oliver Scavetta, lifetime friends and both, I have to say, absolutely gorgeous.  Oh dear, now I’ve lost track!  Oh yes, for the next hour Nicola was my man’s personal tailor and I was truly impressed with his attention to style and detail.  My man looked pretty good when we arrived there, but in Nicola’s final mock-up suit he looked amazing!  We have four weeks to wait for the final suit, so that will be another excuse to return to Florence. Yay!   Quote Nicola Papa – ‘Self-empowerment and success can all start with your diligence to apparel. When you dress your best you’re empowered to become your best.’  Absolutely, I say!  Visit the Website  for full details of their traveling service.

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The cool courtyard setting of Ristorante Quinoa. Foto J Finnigan

Now for ages I have wanted to visit Ristorante Quinoa, a completely gluten-free restaurant in Vicolo Di Santa Maria Maggiore.  It was a bit of a walk for me, but I was really determined to enjoy a good lunch after our visit to Nicola and Oliver.  I was not disappointed.  We walked into a lovely cool open courtyard with colourful seating and a menu to die for!  I ordered a vegan burger, which came with big slices of avocado and lots of other trimmings in a crispy home-made gluten-free bread roll.   This was just heaven to me and washed down with a delicious dry white.  I should have taken a picture of the food, but I was so ravenous that I had eaten the top of the bread roll before I thought of it!  Sorry.  Anyway, I must recommend this place to you, particularly if you are gluten-free like me; they cater for meat eaters, veggies and vegans.  Visit Website

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The freebie newspaper ‘Florence is You’ Foto J Finnigan

As I walked to the bagno, I noticed a table with the free newspaper ‘Florence is You’ on top and this reminded me of our meeting the lovely Editor in Chief, Anna Balzani, a couple of years ago.  Her paper is brilliantly put together and caters for Italian, English, Chinese and Russian visitors and residents.  Not only is it newsy, it also has great interviews and articles about the most interesting people and places.  I read the paper on-line and you can too, just visit Website

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Meanwhile, in the world of Rock Music, Prato, a small city north of Florence, is currently hosting seventeen days of Afterhours shows in the Piazza Duomo.  Now this is a very popular location for festivals and is very beautiful too.  Prato is also famous for its textile industries and is very popular with the Chinese as a place to live.  Foto La Nazione

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What else?  oh yes, I read over coffee in our local village of Fiano, that Silvio Berlusconi is currently on the hustings for his party Forza Italia, in Sicily.  Well, I don’t want to hint at anything, but in the colourful world of Italian politics, I can’t imagine he will have any trouble getting votes there!  Nudge nudge, wink wink.  Foto La Repubblica.

Ok, now today is Saturday and I can’t make up my mind whether to cook lunch and go out this evening, or to go out for lunch and tuck in with an aperitivo and snack this evening.  I’ll check with my man, back in a minute…….  We are going out to lunch, so that’s good, I can relax and finish this blog.

Well, the weather is cooler now but we still need more rain.  High winds are currently whirling around the house, so something might be on the way!  Fingers crossed.

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

Salute June x

PS Visit my author site at June’s site or visit any Amazon site around the world.  Or, simply google June Finnigan.

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