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Posts Tagged ‘Vendemmia’

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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Benvenuti to all my lovely Loyal and New Followers

On the way to Certaldo for coffee, my man and I started talking about the fragile planet, I said that I hoped it would survive for at least a few more generations.  Then he said, “It’s just as likely that the world will end as we know it, after being invaded by aliens from outer space.” He said, matter of factly.  “In fact, I think they’re already here and living in Chelsea!”  My man knows a lot of things, so I asked how he knew this.  “Well, you know, all those Hooray Henrys!”  I smiled, he could be right, who am I to argue.

A school bag loaded with back problems. La Republica

A school bag loaded with back problems.
La Republica

Anyway, here we are into the second week of September and its back to school for all the children after a very long summer break and I want to tell you about something that has always concerned me.  Now we Brits  had great spacious school desks full of  books, pens, pencils geometry sets and so on.  Here in Italy the children carry the whole lot around on their backs, weighing as much as 11kg in some cases!  Yes, you heard me right.  In addition, the parents have to fork out over 200 euros at the start of each year to buy all the new books, including the heavy study ones, for the kids to carry around.  Now I am not complaining, but stating a fact and at last this dreadful arrangement is getting some attention from the press, well at least here in Tuscany.  Is it like this in other European countries?  I’d be interested to know.

Ristorante Borgo Antico, the Terrazza. Foto J Finnigan

Ristorante Borgo Antico, the Terrazza.
Foto J Finnigan

On a brighter note, I promised to let you have some pictures of restaurant Borgo Antico in Tavernelle.  Last Sunday we had lunch outside in their lovely terrazza in glorious weather. This of course is how Sundays in Tuscany should be spent, or with a big Italian family in the open air, the Mamas and Nonnas having done the cooking of course, not me.  Anyway, back at Borgo Antico,  Katia presented us with their signature Crostini, vegetarian version.  This is basically toasted bread with delicious mixed toppings with an emphasis on Mozzarella.

Vegetarian Crostini, my gluten free version! Foto J Finnigan

Vegetarian Crostini, my gluten free version!
Foto J Finnigan

Then at our next table a lovely young Italian couple arrived and introduced themselves and their black lab.  He, Stefano Dini, has an Antique Restoration warehouse in Tavernelle, so if you like Italian Antique Furniture go to http://www.portaemporum.com  Then our pasta course arrived and we had a veggie version of the Chef’s ragu sauce.  It was seriously delicious!  I can’t remember if we had a desert later, but I do remember being stuffed after the pasta.  So here is the website again and if you go tell Katia I recommended you, she’ll spoil you to death.  http://www.borgoanticorestaurant.com

The Vendemmia. This article says that 2,680 litres of Chianti was produced in Tuscany in 2015. This year the production will be higher! La Nazione.

The Vendemmia. This article says that 2,680 litres of Chianti wine was produced in Tuscany in 2015. This year the production will be higher! La Nazione.

OK, what next?  Oh yes, as you probably know, the Vendemmia (grape harvest) is in full swing.  Thank heavens for our new home as we no longer have tractors and trailers thundering past our kitchen window.  It is a very noisy time of year and tourists coming to stay in the Agritorismo centres are in for a shock if they think they are going to enjoy a quite relaxing holiday in the Chianti Hills.  But many come to actually participate in the harvest or at least to watch the crushing of the grapes and no, they are not crushed under foot anymore, it’s all mechanical but interesting nonetheless.

Beppe Grillo and Alessandro di Battista. La Republica

Beppe Grillo and Alessandro di Battista. La Republica

Back in the world of politics, one character who I haven’t talked about before is Beppe Grillo.  No, he’s not a Bistecca (steak) chef, he is the leader of the largest opposition party, Cinque Stella.  Looking like a scruffy aging rock singer, he has a huge following and could well be our next leader.  He’s been strutting his stuff on stage with support staff like Alessandro di Battista (Deputato della XVII Legislatura della Republica Italiana con Cinque Stella)  Did you get that? If not do read it again or don’t worry about it.  To be honest I’ve only brought this to your attention because Alessandro is a bit of a hunk!

Before I forget, if he had still been alive Freddie Mercury would have been seventy a couple of days ago.  What is the relevance of this you may ask?  None at all, I answer, I just thought you might like to remember him too.

So, oh yes, it will soon be olive picking time and I hear tell that the dreaded Olive flies are back.  If the harvest is ruined, the prices of Extra Virgin Olive Oil will soar again, but let’s be positive, I’m sure our locals will get it sorted.

Phew, well that’s enough for today, I’m going to twist my man’s arm and say that I don’t feel like cooking today and can we go back to Borgo Antico…  But O Dio, they are fully booked, so we are off to C’era una Volta instead.

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

Salute June x

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

'The Bolivian Connection' Book two in the series.

‘The Bolivian Connection’ Book two in the series.

'The Bolivian Connection' Book two in the series.

‘The Bolivian Connection’ Book two in the series.

 

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