A Double Tragedy, Befana, Calcio And Il Bar Fiano In Beautiful Chianti

Benvenuti and Welcome to all my Lovely Followers,

Now, if you are a regular follower of my column, you will know that I like to reflect on the previous month’s happenings, both nationally and locally from my little bit of Tuscany. So this time we are looking back to January.I always do my best to bring you fun and fascinating things from the area, which became my home thirteen years ago, but sadly January was dominated by the terrible double tragedy in Central Italy of massive earthquakes combined with heavy snow and avalanches. Whilst we are outside the worst-hit areas, the psychological effect on the rest of Italy has been far-reaching. The local bars talked of little else, for several days and the tiny tremors we felt here were a constant reminder. Obviously, we were cheered by the amazing rescue of people and dogs from the buried hotel, and I make no apology for posting the bank information for people who would like to donate. For details, visit my blog dated 2017/01/22 The earthquakes still continue in Central parts as I write this column.

But the Italians are a resilient race, and nothing prevented the Good Witch Befana arriving on 6th January. All the good children receive sweets whilst the bad ones get a lump of coal. I have yet to see any of the local children physically receive the coal, but then she is a good witch!

Oh, and another thing that really cheered everyone up, was Fiorentino’s win over Juventus at football (Calcio). The boys in violet are a hugely popular team locally, as they represent Florence and we are part of the Provincia di Firenze, Province of Florence. There is a marked change in the atmosphere of the local bars when Fiorentino lose or win their games. You have to be here to feel it!

And more good news. Bar Piazzina in the centre of Fiano, our local village, finally reopened after almost a year of closure. Over the last twelve years, we have seen it close and reopen at least three times, as for some inexplicable reason no-one seems to be able to make a go of it. So we are keeping our fingers crossed for the new people who have re-named it Il Bar Fiano, which may bring it new fortune. At least the lovely Russian barmaid has a nice smile, which brightens up the room and her name is Natalia. But it will need a lot of support from the locals and beyond. Once the weather gets warmer and the seating is outside under the brollies, things should get better. Roll-on the tourist season, which generally starts to build in April.

Ah, then there was the discovery of a lost Leonardo de Vinci picture, found in a private collection. So that was good news. Of course, just about any Leonardo picture, etching or carving is worth a fortune. Whoever now owns it, will be lining their pockets!

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Meanwhile, back at our lovely little spot in the Chianti countryside, we have been enjoying the log fire in our big inglenook fireplace. January did have some bright sunny days, so much so that we were able to go down to our Terrazza for an aperitivo before lunch. But it’s really nice to warm our toes by the fire in the evening.

Oh, and last but not least, you may like to know that my third book ‘The Italian Connection’ will be published shortly. In fact, by the time you read this column it might well be up there on amazon, so do take a look and if you would like to receive a personal notification, send your email address to june.finnigan@virgin.net.

Have a great month and do get in touch. I love to hear from you.
Salute June x


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