Posts Tagged ‘The Italian Connection’

Auguri and Happy Easter to all my Lovely Followers

“Well, you can tell it’s the Easter weekend, there are all sorts of foreign tourists jogging past in designer running gear.”  My man sighs.  Yes, the holiday season is upon us and the atmosphere in the Chianti countryside changes completely.  As we drive along the Strada Bianca (white road, better described as very dusty gravelly dirty track) We try not to shower the unsuspecting runners with a cloud of dust, which is almost impossible.  They all end up the same colour, despite their various shades of day-glow!  But never mind, they all wave and smile, after all, they are on holiday.

Italian Easter Egg Hunt near Florence. La Repubblica

Here in Tuscany, like most other western countries, the children are off on their Easter Egg Hunts.  Il Solferino caffè bar in Certaldo this morning, rang with calls of ‘Auguri,’ which is short for ‘Best Wishes,’ a greeting used on all Festa Days.  The town was wrapped in a chilly cloud of mist and gloomy tourists traipsed around wondering why everything was closed on a festive weekend.

The new Rock Village in Florence. La Repubblica

Meanwhile, we relax over coffee with the Sunday paper and read that a Rock Village has been built to accommodate visiting rock concerts to Florence!   Ha, ha you thought I meant a village built out of rock, didn’t you!  But this is fabulous news and I love it that the Tuscans take their rock concerts so seriously, just like me of course.  In June it will host Radiohead, Aerosmith, Placebo and many more.  Also, U2 and Madonna are expected during the ‘Summer Festival of Rock’ and the organisers expect to out-do Glastonbury!  Wow!  As soon as I have more information I’ll let you know.  However, if you don’t want to have to buy expensive tickets for any of the concerts, you can always attend The Rock Chick Band’s seventh annual rock concert on the 24th June in the Chianti Hills.  If you ask nicely, I might send you a free invitation.  Email june.finnigan@virgin.net

Silvio and little Lamb. La Repubblica.

OK, what next?  Ah yes, bless him Silvio Berlusconi has been photographed cuddling and bottle feeding a lamb, which has been saved from the Easter roast.  Apparently, he, Silvio, became vegetarian last year so he definitely has my vote if he stands for parliament again.  I know, a candidate needs greater qualifications than lamb saving, but I can’t think of any politician with any.  So this has ticked one box for me.

‘English’ park bench under ‘Italian’ Ash Tree. Photo J Finnigan.

Well enough you may say, and anyway it’s time to pop down to our ‘English’ park bench, which is nicely placed under our ‘Tuscan’ Ash tree for an aperitivo before our Easter lunch.  If any restaurants are open today they will be packed.  From experience, we have learned to stay at home on Festa days.  Can’t help but feeling sorry for those tourists again when they find eighty percent of places closed and no free tables in the remaining restaurants!

So, salute, Cin Cin, Bottoms up and cheers to you all.

Amore June x

PS  I’m off to England next Sunday on a UK book tour, so may not post you a blog next weekend.  To view or buy my latest book ‘The Italian Connection’ visit any Amazon site around the world or my author site at http://www.amazon.com/author/junefinnigan

My other Books.
Foto J Finnigan


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Benvenuti and Welcome to all my Lovely Followers

“Arrgh, I’ve broken a fingernail!” I wail.  My man is driving us towards our local village of Fiano for coffee and only a few days before I had enjoyed a manicure and had my nails painted a permanent & glorious metallic red!  The car stops.  “Do you want to go back home?”  He asked, not batting an eyelid.  He understands how important my hands, feet and hair are.  “No, no,” I groan, “but I do feel the need to lie down….”

Deep Purple on tour in Italy. La Reppublica.

We arrive in Fiano, and I have carefully removed the bit of broken nail, but keep my left hand in my pocket.  Then I am cheered to see that the papers are talking about two of my favourite bands, Deep Purple and The Patti Smith Band.  Now they are both in the ageing rocker club of course, but the Italians just love them.  Deep Purple are doing their ‘final’ tour, but they all say that then turn up a few years later on a reunion one!

The great Patti Smith on tour. La Repubblica.

Patty, who at the age of seventy-one is back here on a world tour, is just amazing.  Never one of the pretty girls of rock, but her voice makes up for it.  I have performed cover versions of her songs with my own band over the years.  I particularly love ‘Because the Night’ (belongs to lovers).  She will be here between 6th and 13th May, starting in Parma and finishing in Roma.  There are just a few tickets left for Cremona, Bologna and Rome.  Rush to http://www.viagogo.com

Charles and Camilla in Italy. La Repubblica.

Meanwhile, Charles & Camilla have been doing a grand tour of Italy, Charlie visiting earthquake sites and Camilla her grandmother’s old home in Florence.  I can honestly say that I have never seen Charlie smiling so much as he is in just about all the photos in the papers.  This is the effect this wonderful country has on everyone, of course, myself included.

The former soft orange lighting and the new white horror lights in Roma. La Repubblica.

However, down in Roma, the Romans are feeling very depressed about the new white street lighting.  The gentle orange lights that washed the city in a romantic glow have been replaced by horrible things that have turned the city into a creepy looking black and white horror movie.  People are scurrying home as if they are scared to stay long, and you can see why in the picture!

Back here in our lovely bit of Chianti, I am gearing up for a Book Promotion Tour in the South West of England.  I will be at The Oddfellows , 60 New North Road, Exeter between 5 pm & 8.30pm on the 27th April, and The Oddfellows, High Street, Exmouth between 5 pm & 8.30pm on 28th April.  I would love to see you at one of these events.

‘The Italian Connection’ is now available in paperback and E-book.  However, the official launch will be on 1st May.  If you can’t wait to read it, visit My author site or any Worldwide Amazon site of your choice.

OK, enough already.  Must get the photos uploaded and get this off to you.  Then I shall pour myself a nice glass of Pinot Grigio and go down to our lovely lower garden and sit under the ash tree.

Salute and do drop me a line; I love to hear from you.

Salute June x

My current Books.
Foto J Finnigan






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Happy New Month to all my friends around the world

So sorry, but will not be blogging for a couple of weeks as am in England sorting out a family bereavement.  Hoping you are all enjoying life as I will be, as soon as I’m back in my little bit of Tuscany.

Oh, just to say, have finished my third novel ‘The Italian Connection’ and it is currently being edited, so watch this space and make sure you read the other two first!  They are also ideal for Christmas!!!!

Salute June xx

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

My current Books. Foto J Finnigan

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Benvenuti to all my lovely Loyal and New Followers

Grand Tour Ferragosto La Terrana

Grand Tour Ferragosto
La Terrana

Well, the streets were almost empty of traffic last Monday as the 15th was Ferragosta, the holiday that has all Italians that can, racing off to the motorways, well dual carriageways I should say, as we don’t have many three lane roads in Tuscany.  The motorways came to a grinding halt yet again and one old lady went through a gap in the central barrier, took to the opposite side and started driving against the oncoming traffic! It’s a miracle nobody was killed.  But whilst this madness was going on, we had the country roads to ourselves.  Over coffee in Il Solferino in Certaldo, I read an article about ‘The Grand Tour Ferragosto’ and it was fascinating to see where the most of the Italian tourists and many others besides were heading, should they be on the cultural trail!  Most popular for visitors was the Excavations of Pompei, followed by the Uffizi Gallery in Florence.  See the foto for the full list.

Ristorante Quinoa, a gluten free paradise? La Republica

Ristorante Quinoa, a gluten free paradise?
La Republica

Then the next day I read about a really interesting looking restaurant called Ristorante Quinoa in Florence.  This is definitely one for me and other diners who are intolerant to gluten.  We will try it out in the next couple of weeks.  If you happen to get there before me, do let me know!  Despite our living in a fabulous area, the restaurants that we really like are few and far between.  A good Italian ristorante needs three things, friendly and efficient service, very good food and sensible prices.  Now we don’t mind paying a higher price occasionally, particularly if we fancy a little bit of sophistication.  All the restaurants within a half hour drive provide ‘Tipica Toscana’ typical Tuscan food, but the quality of that food varies a lot.  Also, the house wines are not always the best choice.  So it’s worth asking for a little taste first and if you don’t like it order a bottle from ‘La Lista.’  Anyway, our local favourites are currently heaving with tourists so we may just wait until things return to normal in September.

The new U2 box set in Italian. Mag ad.

The new U2 box set in Italian. Mag ad.

Meanwhile, U2 has been honoured by the Italians who have launched a special Italian box set of all the band’s music!  Now this will sell well as the packaging is all in Italian and will no doubt become a collector’s item here.  Of course, in reality, one does not need the glamorous packaging, it’s still the same music inside!  Mind you, great band and the Italians love them.  Rock on!

A surprise Hibiscus in our garden. Foto P Finnigan

A surprise Hibiscus in our garden.
Foto P Finnigan

Now, thinking back to when we moved, we brought with us all our terracotta pots.  One of those pots had a sad-looking plant in it and back in April we cut it down low in the hope that it might recover.  Quite honestly, neither of us could remember what it was, so we watched and waited.  Then to our absolute delight it perked up as the weather got hot and this week we have been rewarded with a beautiful reminder that it was in fact a gorgeous Hibiscus.  So here is a lovely foto for you.

Finally and to update you, I know that many of you are awaiting book three of the ‘Adventures of Joanna Wilde’.  Well, I am currently rattling away with at least a thousand words a day of ‘The Italian Connection’ and can confidently expect to have the first draft finished by the end of October.  Whilst writing, I would like to say a big thank you for the big increase in book sales during June and July resulting in the largest royalty payment ever!  Now don’t get too excited, I won’t be retiring in luxury yet!  But it was very gratifying, Grazie Mille. xx

OK, time to think about lunch.  I think cheesy tomato & vegetable rice bake and green beans today.  Yes, Sunday lunch at home for a change!  Buon appetito!

Have a great week.

Salute June x

PS Do 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

“There’s far too much drinking to be believable, particularly by page 167 when Joanna is in considerable danger and needs to keep alert!”  My man looks very headmasterish as he comments on ‘The Bolivian Connection.’  “Despite that it’s a really good read June, well done.”  I feel quite emotional when he says this, almost to the point of crying with joy.  “If it’s just a matter of drinking a bit less, I’m sure I can change that, well at least a little.”  I blubber, my chest full of pride in my finished book.  “Ah, well, I’ve sent you an email with my other comments.” he grins, “Nothing serious though.”  “Thank god” I say, “let’s have another glass of wine!”  My man had returned from a few business days in London and had been reading my first draft in his spare time.  Then yesterday, Saturday, he managed to finish the whole manuscript, bless him.

Lovely home grown veg in Certaldo Market. Photo P Finnigan

Lovely home grown veg in Certaldo Market.
Photo P Finnigan

Farty Barty joins us for a pre-lunch drink. Photo J Finnigan

Farty Barty joins us for a pre-lunch drink.
Photo J Finnigan

Having my man back home makes everything that much more enjoyable, going for morning coffee and even shopping for fruit and veg in Certaldo on Saturday morning.  Farty Barty the cat loves it too and stretched out in the sunshine on the garden bench, whilst we were enjoying a pre-lunch drink.

So, I had been home alone last week and had to go to a specialist appointment on the Tuesday by myself.  I emphasise this point, because, whilst I survive on my own, you can guarantee that something will throw me out when the man is away.  I arrived at the hospital in Castelfiorentino and found a new system had been installed.  I needed a special ticket from a machine and then wait for my number to be called.  On a computer screen it told me which room to go to, so I trotted off.  Now you should understand that this is simply to register that I have arrived in the building and to pay for the consultation.  OK, so two jolly ladies register me, take my money and give me a receipt.  Then I was sure she said, in Italian of course, “You are in the wrong building, we are just a skeleton staff, everything has moved to the centre of town.”  By this time I only have five minutes to get to the specialist.  In broken English, the other lady gave me directions, so off I went.  Ten minutes later I park in the main Piazza, as I was sure that was where I had been sent.  But to make sure I walk over to a bench of old boys, whose grins get wider as I approach.  I focus on the one in the centre who’s looks the least lecherous and show him the address I have to go to.  Proudly, he pulls himself up with his walking stick and stands looking up at me.  “I will take you there, Signora, follow me.”  So of we go, the sun is shining and for once Castelfiorentino looks attractive and welcoming.  Fifteen minutes later, my knees are killing me and I am about to suggest that we sit and take a rest, but we had arrived.  I’m not sure whether to offer him a few euros for his trouble, but he is disgusted with the idea, so I shake his hand and he heads back to his friends.  I am twenty minutes late for my appointment, but this being Italy, I am kept waiting anyway.  All I can think about is the long walk back to the car!

2015-01-15 09.11.32Talking about old boys, last Thursday I was joined by our Presidente Giorgio Napolitano for coffee at Laura’s Bar/alimentare in Fiano.  Well, he was in Pisa at the time, but I like to feel these people are right next to me as I read about them in the paper.  He has finally decided to retire and has cited his age of eighty-nine as the deciding factor.  I say, good for you that man, enough pf politics, go and put your feet up somewhere warm to celebrate your forthcoming birthday.  Why not ask Silvio Berlusconi to organise the party.  On the other hand, how strong is your heart these days?  Perhaps something a little less energetic would be more appropriate.

Well, so what next you may ask?  I have already started the third book in the series, with the same heroine Joanna Wilde in ‘The Italian Connection,’ which is another exciting adventure for her and for me.  I also have to finish typing out my lyrics for our next Rock Chick Band Concert in June, which reminds me; do send me your email address if you want an invite.  june.finnigan@virgin.net

Well, must go and make myself beautiful as we are off to lunch at ‘C’era Una Volta’ as Paolo is back after a bout of flu.

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

Salute June x


Here is the direct link for my novel ‘My Father, The Assassin’ by J W Finnigan. You can also visit http://www.amazon.com & http://www.amazon.eu




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