Benvenuti and welcome to all my lovely followers,
If you are new to this column I should tell you that each month I reflect back on the previous one, which in this case is July 2017. My aim is to bring you lots of fun things, and not too many serious ones.As I write this column it is mid-August and we are sighing with relief after the heatwave and drought that dominated July took a turn for the better. Heavy overnight rain and high winds have finally cleared the draining humidity. Of course July is expected to be hot and often very hot, but last month we had high humidity too, and this was not pleasant. La Dispensa, our favourite caffe bar and alimentare in our local village of Fiano, saw Italians and tourists alike dragging themselves into the air-conditioned space for long respites.
The beginning of July is always a dust settling time for us, after The Rock Chick Band’s end of June concert garden party. As we wound down, the hugely popular Italian rocker, Vasco Rossi, hit the stage in Modena and despite the heat attracted 220 thousand fans! Rossi cut his first record in 1977 and at the age of 65 still has the youngsters squealing in the aisles! He has a gravelling speaking way of singing, which the Italians seem to love. Not so popular in northern Europe though. Other tours to visit Tuscany in July included The Boom Town Rats and Sting, who lives locally anyway, well for part of the year!
Still on the subject of music, and as vinyl has once again become very popular, we dragged our vintage Music Centre out of storage and took it down to our local electrical repair man in Certaldo. He looked at us very sadly, no doubt thinking we crazy English should simply buy a new one, but said he would see what he could do. “Ten days at least.” He said without enthusiasm. Now ten days later, he has shut up shop and gone to the beach for two weeks, with all the other escaping Italians. The exodus to the beach (Al Mare) and the mountains, to get away from the inland heat began early in July this year, when normally you would not expect this to happen until August!
A sad loss in July was the demise of the very popular funny man of film and TV, Paolo Villagio, at the age of eighty-four. Many of you outside of Italy will recognise some of the characters he played; that image of the little plump man in trousers or shorts pulled up over his round belly to his armpits and held there with braces! Addio Paolo.
And talking about larger than life characters, the charismatic diehard of politics, Silvio Berlusconi, announced his return to the political arena with a huge financial investment into his party Forza Italia. At eighty-one he is on the hustings again. Whatever your view of Silvio, he does at least bring a bit of colour to a subject that can be very boring to read about in the newspapers.
Meanwhile, our local town of Certaldo, was gearing up for the most exciting event of the year and that is La Mercantia. People come from all over the world to experience this extravaganza, which has everyone enthralled. Here is the official website. The only downside is that we cannot park anywhere to go about our normal daily business. We even have to change our coffee bar on the Saturday morning in town, as we cannot get near to our favourite one! But this is not a gripe, we love the frenetic atmosphere at that time of the year!
Looking in a totally different direction and by that I mean upwards, the Italian Astronaut Paolo Nespoli, went off into space for the third time at the age of sixty, to undertake more scientific research. He is also a very handsome man and I made him ‘Hunk of the Month’ on my July blogsite! Bravo to him.
And finally, July ended with the ‘Festa of the Fiat 500.’ This is a much beloved car in Italy, rather like the original Mini is in the UK. Described by La Repubblica as feminine, familiar and sexy, there were thousands of the little blighters hooting around Tuscany in long convoys!
Well enough of that. Time to get this column off to ExpatFocus. I hope you had a great July as we did and I look forward to speaking to you again next month!
Salute June x