Posts Tagged ‘San Gimignano’

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

2018-11-20 18.02.15Firstly, I’m delighted to announce that my beautiful daughter Sharon and her friend Rosie have officially launched their new Magazine EnvyItaly. A cross between an upmarket magazine and a high quality coffee table book, EnvyItaly brings you everything you need to know about Luxury lifestyles, travel, food, wine and love in beautiful Italy. You can also read it online. I love it.  Her Dad and I are so proud. Let me know what you think!  http://www.envyitaly.com

OK, what next?  Oh yes, last Wednesday, due to our regular ristorante C’era Una Volta being closed, and whilst Paolo and Gaia take a well-earned holiday somewhere warm, my man and I went off to San Gimignano for lunch.  This famous City of Towers is just half an hour from us and, now it is out of season, it’s possible to walk the cobbled streets without having to weave in and out of dense crowds of tourists.  Wednesday proved to be a day when lots of restaurants and shops were closed.  And, we shyed away from the Michellin starred places as we really just fancied a big plate of pasta.  

superbe-decouverte-enFinally, on the way back to the carpark, we were relieved to find Olivieri Bistro open! On the outside it did not look very much, but once inside that all changed.  I adore Burratta cheese (a big round soft creamy ball) and it was on the menu.  Foto from Trip Advisor. Then I had a big dish of fresh porcini mushrooms with pasta.  Yummy! Good coffee too.  You can visit them on Facebook and Trip Advisor.  This time of year ‘San Gim’ is really beautiful in the evenings, so I would recommend you go then.  Have you been there?  Let me know.

Anyway, back in our local village of Fiano we caught up with the newspapers over morning at La Dispensa.  The music scene remains active, despite the season, and I noted in La Nazione that Jethro Tull is back and to support sufferers of Alzheimers.  The band will be performing on 12th December at the Chiesa di San Salvatore in Bologna.  Hearing Ian Anderson’s wonderful flute playing in this magnificent church would be fantastic.  Sadly, like many of their up a coming performances, this event is sold out.  On the band’s website you will find some concerts where tickets can still be bought, in both the UK and Europe.  I must download more of his music for Christmas!    They have a cute Christmas album you might like.  http://www.jethrotull.com

2018-11-19 08.20.30Also in the papers and magazines I found some gorgeous fashion.  Just to remind you I only post pictures of fashion shoots that are advertising ‘made in Italy’ designs.  Also where the designers are using happy models.  So  here is a lovely cosy outfit for winter by the lovely designer Carla Ferroni.  If you go to her site you’ll find a fun video with a catchy Italian Montalbano type soundtrack.  http:www.carlaferroni.it   Being cold now, I have been swapping my clothes around from one wardrobe to another. In my dressing room wardrobe is my ‘currently wearing’ stuff, so this is now all wintry.  For the first time this season, I wore my waxed padded coat today, and was really glad to be in it.  It was minus 2 degrees centigrade in Certaldo!  Despite the fact that I am not a cold weather person, I do enjoy getting all my warm scarves and sweaters out.  My daughter loves Aautumn and Winter!

I don’t know about you, but I have already ordered in a load of Xmas DVD’s and presents from Amazon.  If you are thinking of moving to Tuscany, you should be aware that postal deliveries can be pretty dire.  Ordering from NEXT and M&S Italian sites are quite good because the delivery companies they use are very fast and efficient.  I am holding my breath as regards the Amazon deliveries, fingers crossed the stuff actually arrives!  The last order was returned as the driver could not find us on SatNav!  Whatever happened to rolling down the window and asking directions?

46440360_1154610761355949_1652988184717426688_nAnd finally on a much lighter note, I have pinched a picture from Beautiful Italy’s Timeline fotos as I could not resist sending you a copy.  Seeing this gorgeous Italian Poliziotto is enough to make one rush out and get arrested!

Have a good week and do drop me a line.  I love to hear from you.  Visit my Official Author site at http://www.junefinnigan.website

Salute June x

PS.  To order my books for Christmas visit any Amazon site around the world.  If you want to order a signed book, go to my website above, ASAP!


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Welcome and Benvenuto to all my lovely Loyal and New followers

Silvio celebrates his 80th! La Nazione

Silvio celebrates his 80th!
La Nazione

Now the big news last week was the 80th birthday celebration of the charismatic ex-politician Silvio Berlusconi.  He spent the day with his thirty-one year old partner (gosh she’s getting on a bit) Francesca Pascale and his family, in his mansion near Milan.  He was quoted as having announced that his political career is effectively over and “I will dedicate more time to the people I love and that is the way it should be: five children and ten grandchildren have turned me into a patriarch”  he said at an interview on the big day.  Ah bless his silk socks.  But if this means his retiring from the world of politics completely, then things will be far less colourful in that arena.  I read that two out of three members want him back as the leader of Forza Italia; watch this space!

The Moose in the big oak tree guarding our gate. Foto J Finnigan

The Moose in the big oak tree guarding our gate.
Foto J Finnigan

Back in our beautiful bit of Chianti countryside, we have taken to popping outside the front door with a couple of chairs for an aperitivo before lunch, because there is some shade there at that time of day.  You will remember that our current home is guarded at the front gate by a huge ancient oak tree (querceto) and last weekend I had the strangest feeling that I was being stared at.  I looked at the tree and it had suddenly taken on the face of a moose!  Yes, I know I was on the second glass of wine, but here is the proof!  If you cannot see what I can see then perhaps I should make an appointment to go and see my lovely doctor Flavio.  Please tell me you can see it’s face….

To buy or not to buy these orange Gucci shoes that match my current handbag! La Repubblica

To buy or not to buy these orange Gucci shoes that match my current handbag!
La Repubblica

Anyway, to change the subject and taking you back to La Dispensa caffee bar in Fiano, I was reading the paper over my morning coffee and saw these beautiful Gucci shoes advertised.  The orange pair in the middle exactly matches my current handbag.  What do you think?  Would it be over indulgent on my part, to buy these on-line?

Leonardo Da Vinci Exhibition at San Gimignao La Repubblica

Leonardo Da Vinci Exhibition at San Gimignano
La Repubblica

Also in the paper I read that this is the last month to view Leonardo Da Vinci’s exhibition of ‘Le Macchine Militaria’ (I don’t think this needs translating) at the Museum of Torture in San Gimignano.  Apparently, it’s a ‘multi-media exhibition’ whatever that is!  Should I go and see it?  I’m not sure and I have heard that a lot of the exhibits are pretty gruesome.

By the way, we have house guests for a few days and whilst I continue to work and write it’s good to have some girlie time, with my sister-in-law who accompanied a lovely friend of mine from England.  Today we went out to lunch at Borgo Antico in Tavernelle http://www.borgoanticorestaurant.com after I tried in vain to buy a new travel case in the high street and found most of the shops closed; I had forgotten it was Monday.

October Hunk of the Month the Italian musician known as 'Fano' La Repubblica

October Hunk of the Month, the Italian musician known as ‘Fano’
La Repubblica

So I ended up buying a new bedside lamp in the electrical shop, and have no idea how I can stuff all my things into it when I go to England next week!  But you don’t want to know about that, I’m sure you would rather drool over my Hunk of the Month, an Italian musician called Fano!

Well, enough of that nonsense, must get back to the real world and get this blog off to you.

Have a great week.

Amore 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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Benvenuti to all my Loyal and New Followers

Well, I hardly know where to start, it’s been such a busy week!

The Two Old Broads, taking Italy by Storm! Jane and Nubby.

The Two Old Broads, taking Italy by Storm!
Jane and Nubby.

Last Thursday was the absolute highlight, due to ‘Two Old Broads who were Taking Italy by Storm’ arriving for a visit.  Now these were their words not mine, but don’t you just love that description?  So who were these ladies?  I am delighted to tell you that they were my distant American cousins and this was the first time we had ever met.  Whilst both in their seventies, they were doing a driving tour from north of Venice down to Tuscany and back, and getting thoroughly lost on the way.  The hire car SatNav did not work, so it was luck rather than judgement that got them here!  We had great fun talking about our ancestors.  Theirs went over to the Americas from Plymouth back in the sixteenth or seventeenth Century, whilst mine became landed gentry in Devon.  I will miss you guys and hope you found your way back safely!

Aleesandro and his team collecting the olives next to our villa. Photo J Finnigan

Alessandro and his team collecting the olives next to our villa.
Photo J Finnigan

Meanwhile the local Olive Picking, Raccolta, is in full swing.  Brightly coloured nets are spread out under the trees and with the weather being dry and sunny at present, we expect a good quality crop.  I just love that fresh Cold Pressed Extra Virgin Olive Oil drizzled on bread and over fettunta, which is old toasted bread rubbed with garlic.  Yummy…!

The lovely Laura and her new blond hair colour. Photo J Finnigan

The lovely Laura and her new blond hair colour.
Photo J Finnigan

Meanwhile, Laura’s bar/alimentary is now very busy due to the Bar Piazzetta in Fiano being closed, after a ‘visit’ by the Carabiniere.  It’s all very hush-hush, but there was definitely something fishy about the owners of that place.  Anyway, happily ensconced at Laura’s enjoying our coffee, I notice something different about her.  She had gone blond!  Then I noticed two more local ladies who had also been at the peroxide; is there some sort of conspiracy going on?

Via San Martino 26 at night. Photo P Finnigan

Via San Martino 26 at night.
Photo P Finnigan

But what about yesterday? Well, my man and I had a really good Saturday evening, returning to that fabulous ristorante I have mentioned before.  I am, of course, talking about Via San Martino 26 Ristorante in San Gimignano. http://www.ristorantesanmartino26.it

Inside Via San Martino 26 Ristorante. Photo J Finnigan

Inside Via San Martino 26 Ristorante.
Photo J Finnigan

This was our first visit for cena (supper/dinner) and to see this ancient city of towers at night is a joy to behold.  Via San Martino is a street dedicated to Artisan shops and the hand-made stuff is to die for.  I could not resist buying a hand-woven woollen scarf from Stefano Stampa at number 8.  My man paid the bill, bless him.  Stefano does not appear to have a website, however, he can be found on Facebook.

Oh yes, I must mention, that earlier and on the way to San Gimingano, we were waved down by the Carabiniere and asked for our identification papers.  The police woman was quite typical; very pretty with dark curly hair tumbling out from under her cap and one hand on her pistol.  My man could not stop grinning and she could not help but smile back.  He has a way with the girlies.  He wasn’t concentrating and he had not registered that she had asked for his driving licence.  He finally managed to get a grip and she was happy to send us on our way.  Phew, thank god for my man and a pretty face.  It’s not always that easy.

Posing Praying Mantis Phoot P Finnigan

Posing Praying Mantis
Photo P Finnigan

Back in our beautiful terraced garden my man spotted a Praying Mantis on our outside table!  Fabulous creatures that move so incredibly slow, you can barely see the movement.  But we fear that it may be towards the end of its little life as we found another one in a poor state of health, so we gently put it out-of-the-way of Farty Barty the cat.  We also have a couple of Locusts starting to nestle in on the window ledge.  They often winter in with us behind the shutters.  No, we do not get swarms, just the odd one or two paying a visit.

But enough of that.  We are now stepping up our search for a new home.  More flyers are going out in all the bars and other places we frequent.  Our landlady came yesterday and said that she would be happy to rent to us for anther one to two years, however, we are already in the mindset of moving to a larger property.  So if anyone in the Commune di Certaldo knows of a large country house (Un grande casa in Campagna) do let me know.  Send an email to june.finnigan@virgin.net.

Well, must get on.  I need to make myself beautiful for lunch at C’era una Volta in Lucardo, after thirty minutes exercise as instructed by my Health and Fitness Coach Alexandra.

Have great week and do visit my author site at http://www.amazon.com/author/junefinnigan

Salute June x

'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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Benvenuti to all my Lovely Loyal and New Followers

A harvestor collecting grapes below our villa. Photo J Finnigan

A harvestor collecting grapes below our villa. Photo J Finnigan

Well, it is Monday morning and no sign of any workers yet in Certaldo.  This week will see the mass return of people to the offices, shops and cafe bars after the two-week August break, which always spreads itself into mid-September.  It being a Monday, it is perfectly normal for nothing to be open, even at a normal time of the year and I recommend that if you want to go shopping in this area, do not bother on Mondays or Wednesdays.  But our faithful Caterina and Elena at Bar Solferino never let us down.  Laura’s bar/alimentare in Fiano was also open, so things are coming alive again.  However, it is a return to hot humid weather after heavy rain and the odd earthquake, so summer is not yet over.  Last week my man was complaining.  “It’s so cold I’m going to have to wear long trousers!” He sulked.  “Mind you, when I was twelve, I didn’t want to wear short trousers either….”  Don’t you just love him?  I do.

Meanwhile, the Vendemia is at full throttle.  The red grapes are now being harvested and the noisy trucks are back clattering past our kitchen window.  But this is good, we do need to keep our stock of Chianti replenished regularly, you never know who might turn up!

Italy's Tennis girls. La Nazione

Italy’s Tennis girls.
La Nazione

Back at Bar Solferino I was reading La Nazione newspaper and was delighted to read that we have two Italians in the final of the American Open Tennis tournament.  Now we may not offer the very best rugby team yet, but our female tennis players are something else!  Bravi Flavia and Roberta!

The towers of San Gimignano. Photo P Finnigan

The towers of San Gimignano.
Photo P Finnigan

Now whilst the Italians have had an extended holiday, my man and I continued to work right through August and into September.  So last friday we agreed to take a day off and go for a really nice lunch in San Gimignano, which is just half an hour from here.  But we were not prepared for the hoards of tourists; coaches were spilling out masses of grey heads.  If you are not already aware, San Gimignano is hugely popular with tourists and the guided tours of Tuscany always include this city of towers.

Ristorante San Martino 26 in San Gimignano. Photo J Finnigan

Ristorante San Martino 26 in San Gimignano.
Photo J Finnigan

Thankfully we had booked a table at ‘San Martino 26 Ristorante,’ which is down a little side street called Via San Martino.  We arrived early and found ourselves in a haven of peace away from the madding crowd.  The food and service were second to none and satisfied my longing for a bit of sophistication.  I will do a five-star review on Trip Advisor , however, in the meantime you may like to visit http://www.ristorantesanmartino26.it

The crumbly cliffs below the villa available for rent. Photo P Finnigan.

The crumbly cliffs below the villa available for rent.
Photo P Finnigan.

Ok, you may recall that we are looking for a new villa to rent as our contract here ends in February.  Tomorrow I am going to view a lovely place, which sits on its own with a stunning view and is only five minutes away.  However, my man and I went for a sneak preview and walked around the outside of the empty property.  On one side of the property there is a sheer crumbly cliff and I have no head for heights.  So the inside of the villa will have to be very special for me to deal with this!  I’ll let you know….

Finally, I just want to tell you how pleased I am to have started a three months fitness course with Alexandra Merisoiu and we are having weekly sessions via Skype.  This is brilliant for all you hard-working female executives as you will only need one hour a week with Alexandra, and then do the daily exercises in your own time!  visit http://www.alexandramerisoiu.com

Ok, time to go.  A busy working week is calling me and the deadline for my current novel ‘The Italian Connection’ is rapidly drawing nearer!

Have a really great week and do drop me a line.

Salute June x

PS Don’t forget to visit my author page 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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