Autumn Vines, Festas And Log Fires In Beautiful Tuscany.

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 November 2017. My aim is to bring you lots of fun things, and not too many serious ones.Against popular belief, November is actually a very nice time of year to come to Tuscany. The olive picking is just coming to the end and the heavenly green glowing Extra Virgin Olive Oil is pouring out of the cold presses. There is no comparison to dipping one’s bread into the fresh oil, the sharp tangy taste is truly moreish. Also, day old bread is toasted and rubbed with raw garlic then topped with a generous drizzle of oil, the Tuscans call this Fetunta and it’s absolutely delicious.

Meanwhile, like most other countries in the world, Italy celebrated Halloween. In fact, the Italians go crazy for it, young and old dress up in the most outrageous costumes and parade around the streets wearing death masks! The next day is All Soul’s Day, or Day of the Dead, when everyone remembers their dear departed family and friends. The graveyards here are quite spectacular, always lit by red candles or lights, and masses of flowers both fresh & false, so the effect is a glittering welcoming place. There is a mix of concrete buildings where the dead are laid one on top of another, family tombs and graves in the ground, all attended regularly and kept bright and cheerful. I think some of the larger cemeteries should be included in Cultural Tours; I’m not sure if that would be allowed, but you can nip in and walk around anyway. In the run up to Halloween, all the shopkeepers enter into the ‘spirit’ of things, including my man’s favourite Panetteria in Certaldo. You will see the staff behind the counter wearing little hats and the counter loaded up with cakes and goodies for the festivities. On Saturday mornings, whilst I do the fruit, veg and cheese shopping in the mercato, my man pops down Via Giugno to get bread and sometimes Pizza for supper. He says, it is the best bakers in the whole area, so it must be!

Meanwhile, first thing in the morning we enjoy coffee in Fiano and pick up on the latest news in the papers. I was excited to read, for you other Rock fans out there, that Guns N’ Roses will be performing at ‘Firenze Rocks’ in Florence between 14th and 17th June 2018! And there’s more; also listed are Ozzie Osbourne, Foo Fighters, Bon Jovi, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Metallica, Pearl Jam and lots more! I’ll post a link for tickets as soon as I hear more. It was nice of them to check that these dates did not clash with my own concert, which is on 22nd June! If you would like a personal invite to my Garden Party Rock Concert in Tuscany, email me at june.finnigan@virgin.net.

Continuing on the same subject, we must not ignore that fabulous Italian Rocker Jovanotti, who has just announced his tour dates for next year. My daughter and granddaughter went to one of his concerts in Florence, and raved about it for weeks. The tickets went on sale in November, so you had better get your skates on if you want to nab some.

Oh yes, Montespertoli, a town fifteen minutes from us, was hosting the Festa di Pane, Olio & Tartufo (that’s bread, oil and truffles to you and me). This festa happens every year and is held on two Saturdays from 9am to 8pm. The Festa is all about celebrating the autumn produce from the locality and in addition includes Vino Novello, Cheeses, Artisan Beers and lots of other goodies for you to try. Montespertoli has always been one of our favourite places, for the cocktails made by Simone at Bar Fiorentina and the gelato in Piazza Popolo, both owned by the same lovely family. Spending a relaxed hour, on a late Sunday morning outside the geletaria watching the world go by, is the perfect way to enjoy one’s aperitivo or gelato or both. Yes, even in November; when the sun shines we sit in it!

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If you follow my blog, you may be aware that at the end of November, I launched a Festive competition to win my trilogy of signed books. If you did not get a chance to enter that, you can buy signed books on my website at www.junefinnigan.website so worry ye not!

Well, time to sign off, light the log fire and enjoy the current build up to Christmas. Have a good one!

Do drop me a line, I love to hear from you.
Salute June x


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