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 August 2018. My aim is to bring you lots of fun things, and not too many serious ones.I can honestly say that August is my least favourite month of the year. Whilst there is plenty to enjoy and be happy for, it is the one month when one feels like just battening down the hatches, curling up and sitting out the heat wave. It is also the month that has the sensible Italians leaving for the coast and mountains in search of a breeze and some fresh air. Ferragosta is the official holiday time when the roads are chocker with traffic as the Italians head off for their bit of holiday heaven.
Unfortunately, this leaves those remaining behind with hardly any shops, restaurants or caffe bars open, but thank heavens for our local shop and bar in Fiano, La Dispensa, which stays open throughout the month. So, morning coffee and pastries continue to start our days, despite the fact that we are unlikely to go out again unless it’s lunch or supper in one of the few restaurants still open.
Despite the heat, the Japanese and Chinese Tourists still flocked to Florence where the temperature rose into the low 40’s. Instead of following the tourist guides’ rolled umbrellas held aloft, they were bowed under brollies to shade themselves from the sun.
On a much lighter note, there were plenty of music festivals going on and for those of us left behind, summer parties and firework displays. Some ventured outside to do evening barbies, but only the brave covered in mosquito repellent, which is the other problem with August! To check out what is going on in Florence & Tuscany at any given time, a great on-line magazine is to be found at www.theflorentine.net and it’s all in English!
Whilst enjoying Sunday lunch at La Gramola in Tavernelle, one of our eating venues, we came across a young English couple on a pasta making course. The only problem with this is that they had to taste every pasta dish with various sauces, and there were nine of them! They were looking very jaded after the 5th one, but thoroughly enjoying themselves nonetheless! So here was another thing that visitors could be doing in August! Visit La Gramola’s website for more details.
If you are really into cookery and in particular Tuscan food, you may like to meet my good friend and neighbour Judy Witts Francini. Judy is a celebrity cook and will organise a cookery course and/or food and wine market tours to suit you. Visit her site at www.divinacucina.com.
Meanwhile, back in our lovely country home, I have started up a relationship with Izzy Lizard. It just shows what the heat can do to you when you start talking to a big fat lizard who lives in your cantina. Izzy started making strange guttural noises, which I am sure is talking, though not in a very friendly manner. The cantina is his own personal domain and there is a plentiful supply of insects there. He may think that I am opposition so I thought it best to explain that insects are not on my menu. He cackled a bit and stared at me with his big dark eyes then ran and hid behind some compost sacks! I will keep up the conversation and hopefully we may eventually become friends!
Well, enough already. Do drop me a line, I love to hear from my readers.
Salute June x