Posts Tagged ‘Roberto Manetti’

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

2017-08-27 10.38.52

Fresh Tuscan Grapes on my kitchen table. Fot J Finnigan

As we strolled through the carpark in Fiano on Saturday morning the air was full of the sweet smell of crushed grapes and back in our little bit of countryside the cracks in the tarmac outside Villa Bacio were full of wine overflows, you could almost get drunk on the fumes!  So yes, the vendemia or grape harvest is almost complete and the new young wines are already being drunk by the locals.  What a wonderful, if noisy time of year!

2019-09-24 17.43.53#1Earlier in the week two copies of that gorgeous magazine Envy Italy arrived.  I do like the hard copies, but you can also read it free on-line, so no need to miss out!  My beautiful daughter Sharon is joint Editor of this lovely publication, which is full of everything you need to know about the best things that Italy has to offer.  The theme is ‘Eat, Stay, Love’ and this Autumn Winter edition has a focus on  ‘gourmet’ featuring the finest foods and wines in the Country.  Wonderful features too, so go on spoil yourselves! Envy Italy Mag

71796519_2400600350203552_4456049627824652288_oMeanwhile, Fiano is preparing for the formal celebration of the winning the much coveted banner at the Calambur event a couple of weeks ago!  If you woud like to meet the locals and join in the celebrations get your tickets ASAP!

Something else to celebrate here in Italy is the wonderful range of mouth watering cheeses.  Italy’s main source of milk for cheesemaking is from the herds of sheep, many are moved across the countryside herded by shepherds from one bit of pasture to another.

download-5.jpgThey are often assisted by the big gorgeous white Maremmena sheepdogs, easily mistaken for sheep, which certainly fools any predators! The resulting cheese is called Pecorino (Italian for sheep) and is truly delicous ranging form a very soft young version to a very mature hard one.  Other cheeses to love include Buffala Mozzarella and the creamy soft Burrata, which I adore, the latter being made from both cow and sheep’s milk, so you woud need to check if avoiding Lactose.  Foto petGuide.com

2019-09-30 09.19.49Meanwhile, yesterday Sunday, the weather was lovely and Roberto Manetti, our local sculptor, finally unvieled his lovely sculpture, ‘Le Speranza che Le Mani’, which does not easily translate into English.  So perhaps one of my local Italian readers might send me the English version.  The sculpture shows three of Roberto’s charming little characters holding hands across a globe, which signifies to me the reaching out in friendship across the world.  I love it.  Foto J Finnigan

2019-09-29 10.51.44#1And, the final celebration of the week was Silvio Berlusconi’s 83rd birthday.  Well, love him or hate him, he keeps forging on, at the edge of the political scene with his long suffering and much younger fiancé, Francesca Pascale, who was absent from the birthday party in Arcora.   How long are you normally a fiancé?  It’s been a few years now.  I wonder who is postponing the wedding; Silvio, Francesca or Dudu the dog.  There are rumours……watch this space!

Well, enough of that already.  Time to get this blog off to you lovely people and relax in the sun before lunch.

have a great week and do drop me a line.  I love to hear from my readers.

Salute June x

PS  visit my website at My site



2017-05-07 17.25.58

The Continuing Adventures of Joanna Wilde









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

Yes, it’s Milan Fashion Week and one of my favourite designers, Luisa Spagnoli, has done it again.  Just wh053_en you think a fashion designer has reached her zenith, she goes to even greater heights!  I have just watched the video of her latest collection and just drooled over the beautiful flowing and very wearable outfits.  Somehow, she manages to turn beautiful fabrics into clothes that are comfortable yet gorgeous and sexy.  Here she is surrounded by her celebrity friends and fashionisti.  Look for yourselves and let me know what you think!  magazine + video

2019-09-22 09.04.22Meanwhile, that other great Italian beauty and brilliant actress Sophia Loren, has been celebrating her 85th!  Can you believe it?  she still scrubs up very well indeed and why not I hear you say.  For me Sophia will always be the most iconic Italian actress of all time.  She was so good at serious and funny parts, playing opposite the likes of Peter Sellers and Marciello Mastroianni.  I have a whole collection of DVD’s and, dare I say, old videos of her films that I will watch again at Christmas!  Just noticed in the paper that she accompanied eight-five year old Valentino to his Green Carpet Fashion Award ceremony!  Rock on Sophia!

2019-09-22 08.59.31Back in our local village of Fiano, my man and I take our morning coffee and read the newspapers at La Dispensa.  By the way, La Dispensa translates to The Larder.  An English friend thought it was a little confusing because it sounds like Dispensary, which is normally found in Chemists.  So here you are, the true meaning is correct as it is a grocers, butchers and bar combined. Back to yesterday’s paper and I noticed an advert for a new Festive Art Exhibiton at the famous Palazzo Strozzi in Florence.  This one I must attend as it brings together the likes of Gauguin, Matisse and Picasso!  It starts on 28 September and runs until 12 January.  Yes, I know, yet another excuse to have lunch in Florence!

2019-09-22 08.57.05Meanwhile, September is the month for the Annual Slow Travel Fest, which is hugely popular and takes walkers slowly and gently through the Tuscan countryside whilst stopping off for wine and food tastings, Art and Music.  What a lovely way to spend three days.  Go to Travel Fest

20160305_143212Roberto Manetti, our lovely sculptor friend and all round nice man, has donated a sculpture to Fiano, but oh no, heavy rain has postponed the unveiling so make sure you are there next Sunday 29 September at 7pm instead!   The sculpture will be unveiled in the Communual Gardens behind the apartment block opposite La Dispensa.  My man and I visited Roberto’s studios a couple of years ago, his characters seem to be part of their own world of little people and, most of his works have a little dog or cat looking out.  I just love them.  See next week’s blog for pictures of the actual event!

Well, must get this posted and get on with my current novel!  I love to hear from my readers, so do drop me a line.

Salute June x

PS Both Italy and England have won their first round Rugby matches!  Hurrah!

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Benvenuto to all my Lovely Loyal and new Followers

Roberto Manetti Photo P Finnigan

Roberto Manetti
Photo P Finnigan

Now, by Friday morning I had planned out all the fun things I wanted to tell you, then I bumped into Roberto Manetti, our local world-famous sculptor.  We were both in the chemist (farmacia) in Fiano and I asked him if he had a lot of work on.  “Come and see for yourself!” he whispered, only because he speaks that way after an operation.  “Come tomorrow, I’ll meet you in the Piazza and you can follow me to my studios!”  “Well,” said my man, “Thats another morning gone!”  But I was really excited as I had never had the honour of visiting his studios before, and I had heard that he was an amazing artist.  So, Saturday we were in the Piazza at ten sharp and there he was with a big smile on his face.

Roberto's fabulous studio and exhibition centre. Photo P Finnigan

Roberto’s fabulous studio and exhibition centre.
Photo P Finnigan

We followed his big car/truck to a turning down a track only five minutes away from Fiano.  We drove over a stretch of concrete and back on to a dirt track, which was lined with terracotta pots filled with blooming shrubs, and into a small carpark fenced in natural wood.  We climbed out and breathed in the welcome smell of woodland, then down a few steps into the garden of a most amazing Art Decco type property with fabulous views.  I can honestly say it took my breath away.  Roberto had designed and built it himself thirty years ago as a studio and exhibition centre.  You would never know it was there from the road above.  Yes, people came by invitation only and he explained that he would often have groups of people who not only enjoyed the exhibition, but the huge garden too.

The exhibition. Photo P Finnigan

The exhibition.
Photo P Finnigan

Couple, dog and cat at window. Photo P Finnigan

Couple, dog and cat at window.  This is three dimensional.  If you go round the back you will see the bottoms and tails of these lovely characters!
Photo P Finnigan

Firstly, we were shown where he worked and there were two statues in progress.  Then into the exhibition centre and we were overwhelmed by the wonderful original work he had completed over many years, some of which have been in exhibitions all around the world.  My heart swelled when I realised how much he loved dogs and cats, these appeared in many of his creations.   My man was snapping away with his camera as Roberto and I did the rounds and he explained the background to each one.  Do take a closer look at these pictures.  My man and I agreed that we would ask him to do a statue of our last dog Bosun, just as soon as we we had sufficient spare funds!

One of hundreds of flowering pots. Photo P Finnigan

One of hundreds of flowering pots.
Photo P Finnigan

Man reading, with dog under olive tree. Photo P Finnigan

Man reading, with dog under olive tree.
Photo P Finnigan

Then, as if that wasn’t enough, he took us on a tour of the garden, through arbours and tunnels, where beautiful shrubs, protected from the wind were in full bloom.  Up to a copse of Famiglia Trees he had planted thirty years ago and were now three stories high, and to visit his two peacocks that had a pen with a natural stream running through it and a bit higher up to see two fresh water ponds, one full of gold-fish and higher still to benches overlooking the Chianti Hills.

Rooftop View of the Chianti hills. Photo P Finnigan

Rooftop View of the Chianti hills.
Photo P Finnigan

Now all this time a cold wind was howling around the place, so we could only imagine how glorious it would be in Spring and Summer.  What a privilege to be allowed to see this place and to be able to tell you all about it.

The ancient hill town of Certaldo Alto, silhoueted against the sunset. Photo J Finnigan

The ancient hill town of Certaldo Alto, silhouetted against the sunset.
Photo J Finnigan

The only other thing I must show you, which was also very beautiful and caused me to screech to a halt on my way down to Certaldo on Tuesday evening, was the first sunset for weeks and Certaldo Alto’s wonderful silhouette against that gorgeous sky.

Yes, I know, what about all those other things I was planning to share?  Well I’m afraid Roberto’s place and Certaldo Alto in the sunset, has taken all my thoughts away.  But, please come back next week and we’ll catch up on everything else that did not get a mention this time, including some good news for Fiano!

Salute June x

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

'My Father, The Assassin'. Book one in the series.

‘My Father, The Assassin’. Book one in the series.

'The Bolivian Connection' Book two in the series.

‘The Bolivian Connection’ Book two in the series.



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