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The Reawakening

Welcome and benvenuti to all my lovely readers around the world.

Well, the biggest change since I last spoke to you is the opening of all the borders here in Italy! Yes, it is now possible to travel the length and breadth of Italy as long as you stick to the rules; masks, distancing and handwashing/cleansing at all times.All shops, restaurants and cafes that have put the correct distancing and protection in place, are now open. You can also go to the hairdressers! Our local residents seem to have settled into these restrictive measures and so it is possible to go out for coffee, an aperitivo or meal and enjoy one’s self. But, I have to say, it is not quite the same as it was. Gatherings of more than ten people are against the law and distancing is strictly monitored. It is difficult for young people, particularly teenagers that are used to hanging out in the towns and villages en masse. But it does mean that the elderly, bless them, can venture out and sit with their friends and family in the open.

Thankfully, the unseasonal cool weather has at last warmed up and what a difference the sunshine makes to one’s state of mind. Nature has erupted into the month of June, which is my absolute favourite time of year. The garden is a mass of flowering plants and the birdlife is wonderful to see and hear. Our resident Toads are busy mating in the pond and it’s hard to believe that the world out there is any different to four months ago.

However, we would have held a traditional Rock Concert in our garden this month but sadly this has been cancelled, so you should diary date for June 18 2021 for the next one. To compensate I am setting up a personal Sound Studio in my Tuscan home so that I won’t feel too bereft without a microphone in my hand!

Meanwhile, down in Certaldo the Saturday morning fruit and veg market is now open, where you can also buy fresh fish and cheeses. This is a wonderful way to buy the seasonal produce and cook like an Italian. I have not been to a supermarket for over three months as our local alimentare in Fiano has been brilliant. Now, with the markets back open, why bother to go back to the supermarkets at all? It’s great to support the smaller shops, of which there are still many in Tuscany, struggling in some cases, but managing to rise out of the lock-down with our support.

Looking back to a year ago, the only major difference is the lack of festivals. In June 2019 our local village of Fiano had its own festa and you can visit the public gardens to enjoy seeing the work of the local children from back then.

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June 2019 – ‘The local school children worked with potter Terry Davies and The Caba Association Culturale, to create ceramic tiles to line the front of the steps of the amphitheatre in the Gardens of Fiano. I am so impressed with this cultural innovation and the children are so proud. The steps were unveiled after a grand brass band performance. Terry was one of the first people we got to know, all those years ago, when we arrived in this little bit of Chianti. He makes wonderful unique pots and ceramics, exhibiting all over the world. You can visit his workshop and showroom in the countryside between Certaldo and Bacio, but why not visit his website for lots more info first’. Terry's Web Page

Another lovely shop and studio to visit in the centre of Fiano is Gabriella’s ‘Ceramiche D’Arte Carbini’ for beautiful ceramics. I love her stuff and have promised my daughter some tableware for her birthday.

Well, time to think about lunch, but first a nice cool glass of Italian Chardonnay in the garden, listening to the Male Toads’ chorus. One thing that has definitely remained the same is the quality of Italian wines and particularly our local Chianti! Life eeez good, life eeez now!

OK, have a great June and I’ll see you in July. Oh and don’t forget to drop me a line, I love to hear from my readers. june.finnigan@virgin.net

Salute June x