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 June 2017. My aim is to bring you lots of fun things, and not too many serious ones.Early in the month of June, you would have thought it was August already. Baking hot, humid and no rain. In fact the whole month had so little rain that the countryside looked as if it had been baked and grilled. Despite this, our little bit of Chianti countryside remains beautiful; blond fields striped with green vines that seem to tolerate amazing amounts of hot sun. However, by the end of the month tractors were trailing big tanks of water to spray the vineyards.
Meanwhile, life carried on as normal and come the second week local elections were being fought in various parts of Italy including our own area. We are anticipating a general election around November time, so the results of the local ones would prove interesting as to the leaning of the country generally. Finally, it seemed that there was very little between the Centrosinistra and Centrodestra, Centre Right and Centre Left. However, Beppo Grillo, the lefty white-bearded rock star look-alike, has a following, which is growing by the day! Will we have another UK scenario?
On the same subject, politics that is, and over coffee in our local village of Fiano, we read that Silvio Berlusconi is marching back, having invested a huge sum of money into his own party Forza Italia. At the age of eighty, he’s decided to stay active. Well, I think this is good news as it keeps the political candidates on their toes and it makes for a rather more colourful reading experience.
On a much lighter note, down in Certaldo, my man and I have been enjoying some very nice cocktails at Jam Caffe next to the railway station. This is a very lively place, they bake their own pastries and turn out great drinks and free food during aperitivo time, usually between six and eight. Aperitivo time is a very important time of day in Italy; even our local caffe bar in Fiano, La Dispensa, who are just celebrating a year since they opened, are packed out in the evenings. Very popular on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, aperitivo can be followed by supper at the Pizzeria, immediately across the road!
Also in Fiano, the month there ended with a weekend of celebration, which included an open evening at the Sculptor Roberto Manetti’s studios and Open Air Cinema behind the apartments in the parco, or rather the scrubby grassy area that had been cut for the event.
Meanwhile, a sad loss to film and TV in Italy was the death of Paolo Villagio at the age of eighty-four. Many of you outside of Italy will have seen him in films; one of his most recognised characters was the short round-bellied man with a beret, and trousers or shorts pulled up to his armpits and held up with braces. A very funny man; addio Paolo.
Finally, I must mention the Rock Chick Band of which I am the lead vocalist. We performed our annual concert in the last week of June with a great line-up including the return of Riccardo Bagnoli, our original rhythm guitarist from 2011! We always hold the event in our lovely garden and it is a very happy relaxed event. Next year’s date is Friday 22nd June 2018, make sure you contact me if you would like a personal invite. Write to email@example.com
OK, time to think about lunch. Whilst deciding what to cook, I think I shall invite my man to join me for an aperitivo. That always helps to loosen my creative talents, and I need some when it comes to cooking! I am better at deciding on which restaurant to go to! No you will not be getting any recipes in this column!
Have a great month and do drop me a line.
Salute June x