Benvenuti to all my lovely Loyal and New Followers,
Well, here we are again reflecting back on the previous month, which in this case is December in beautiful Chianti.Here in our little bit of Chianti in Tuscany, the Italians celebrate Christmas (Natale) in much the same way as we Brits with the traditional festive tree. The month of December is busy with Christmas shopping and the town of Certaldo was lit up very early on. In the main piazza the annual ice-rink arrived, somewhat reducing the parking spaces, however, the kids were having an amazing time. Father Christmas (Babbo Natale) paraded through the town watched by hundreds of people; yet another excuse to take time off work. Strangely, the schools didn’t break up until Christmas Eve, which our granddaughter was a little annoyed about, as her brother, who is in school in England, arrived home a week earlier!
In December I missed out on a few things as I had to fly to England twice to sort out a bereavement. However, whilst there I saw the Parade of Reindeer in Wells in Somerset, so that was nice. Meanwhile, back home our landlord got the inglenook fireplace fixed and ready to go before the festivities, so we were able to enjoy a big open log fire. Being away reminded me just how much I love my home; the countryside, the people and the lifestyle in general. It was great to be back decorating the tree and planning our days.
La Dispensa, our local caffé bar and shop in Fiano, had a big bare tree branch put up outside the shop and us customers were all asked to hang a greeting on it with coloured tags. It was very pretty and full of messages by the time the big day arrived. A really nice idea.
Meanwhile, other things were happening in the country, like the Prime Minister Matteo Renzi resigning after he lost the ‘yes’ vote, which would have allowed him to make radical changes to the way the country is governed. Gossip in the bar indicated that the former Mayor of Florence was fed up with the existing political arena and instead enjoyed a Buona Festa with his family, whilst his party sorted out a new leader. Meanwhile, rumour has it that the Peter Pan of politics, Silvio Berlusconi, is on the rise again!
Of course, the year ended with the traditional firework displays that the Italians love so much. Capodanno (New Year’s Eve) was celebrated all around us in homes, villages and vineyards. We only had to stand on our terrace to see and hear all the celebrations echoing across the valleys and watch the huge number of firework displays lighting up the sky from San Gimignano to Certaldo and up towards Volterra.
Well, must end here, and hoping you have had a great start to the New Year. Don’t forget to check out my blog for weekly updates on this little part of the world.
Ooops, nearly forgot to mention that I have completed my third novel ‘The Italian Connection,’ which will be available in a few weeks’ time. So watch this space!
See you next month, Salute June x