Welcome and benvenuti to all my lovely readers around the world.
Well, it’s a peculiar thing, this semi lockdown time. Here in Tuscany, we are enjoying a second week of phase two, many people have gone back to work and a few more shops have reopened.But it is also a difficult time to write about. My man and I would normally go out to coffee every morning in Fiano and read the local papers, instead we walk the perimeter of the garden, and back inside for coffee. Thank god I bought a proper espresso coffee machine last year! But, the good news is we have discovered time and an interest in following nature’s daily progress in the trees and shrubs surrounding our lovely home, which is a converted monastery farmhouse in the Tuscan hills. This very morning the first jasmine flowers have opened up and with it being a warm humid start to the day, more flowers are appearing on just about every potted plant.
Last month I included an extract from my blog posted one year ago and it is interesting to look back and see what was happening then. So below you will find an extract from this time last year as a reminder of how fabulous it is here and to welcome you back when tourism opens up again!
‘And, this weekend was another celebration, that of Street Food! Certaldo hosted a street food festa over a long weekend in Piazza Boccaccia, which is normally the central carpark. I walked through it on Friday evening and it was heaving with people and children enjoying the fairground type rides. I couldn’t help but notice two tourists who had obviously arrived by train, pulling their cases through the crowd heading for the funiculare, the little cable train, which would take them up to the safety of Certaldo Alto, the historical centre. They both looked scared to death! There had also been a train strike that day, which only ended in the early evening! Poor things. But they will love Certaldo Alto!’
Phew, what a difference a year makes, and the virus of course. Certaldo is normally bustling with people enjoying the many summertime festas. Despite the partial unlockdown, things remain very quiet at present, some fruit and veg markets have reopened under strict distancing rules and more walkers are about.
The amazing thing is, outwardly, nothing has changed. The Chianti Hills where we live, continues its normal cyclical farming routines, making sure that your lovely Chianti wines will still be available. The wildlife has become even more confident, sightings of cinghiale (wild boar), deer, hare and porcupine are becoming more frequent. One of these has been gradually tearing out and eating the roots of our Irises, little rascal! And, all the seasonal birds are here now including Hoopies, Bee Eaters and some swallows. The swallow migration was badly hit by storms over Greece and many didn’t make it, poor things. However, Phil our resident cock pheasant, continues to entertain his two wifelets and an inquisitive hornet is trying to make a house visit.
Meanwhile, all our Italian friends who run tourist accommodation, are taking this time to decorate, garden and generally make their properties even more delightful for when you visit next time. Our wonderful towns and villages are currently sad and lonely, but still hauntingly beautiful, awaiting your return. For lots of information about luxury lifestyles and places to stay, visit my favourite magazine Envy Italy. No time like the present to get planning your next visit to La Bella Italia.
Also, to find updates on what is happening now in Florence both on-line and otherwise you should visit The Florentine.
Back at our farmhouse, my man and I continue to work and write. Our working life has changed only a little; my man no longer travels to London of course but meetings on-line are easily arranged. I am busy finishing my fourth novel in the Continuing Adventures of Joanna Wilde called ‘Assassin’s List,’ which will be published in early September. It is our lifestyle that has been most effected; no coffee bar, restaurants or hairdresser. I have joined the fashionable grey and silver club and am desperate for a pedicure. But we don’t care about that; ‘Life eeez Good ,Life eeez Now.’
Ah, getting on for lunchtime and a nice glass of chilled Italian chardonnay in the garden is called for!
Do get in touch, I always love to hear from my readers. June.firstname.lastname@example.org
Salute June x