Sunday, May 25, 2014

A Postcard From Tuscany ( La Foce)

Each time we visit Italy James and I make a pilgrimage to the gardens at La Foce.
Last we we went with a group of friends for a visit. 
This is the first time the lemon trees have been out of the limonaia and in the garden.
That was a treat to see.
Each time we visit there is always something new to see, and  somehow the gardens continue to surpass the previous visit.


Thursday, May 22, 2014

Just Another Day in the Piazza (Panicale)

Aldo, in his blue sweater  at Bar Gallo.

It started out like any other day in Panicale. Caffe or cappuccino at Bar Gallo, chatting with friends, you know, the morning routine.
Then, chairs came in, along with music stands and then the musicians, including one guy with a large white tuba.

It was pretty fabulous especially when they played works of Morricone and some Italian classics.
O Sole Mio filled the piazza. This was a moment  made for Federico Fellini , bizarre and strangely romantic.

When the music was over, the musicians cleared themselves and their instruments the piazza returned to it's  rhythm. People walking through the square to do marketing before shops 1:00 closing, small groups of men sitting on benches, people sitting under umbrellas at bars and cafes, and children kicking soccer balls around the piazza.

Then.........without any introduction

The piazza was buzzing.

in came the apes ( the 3 wheeled utility vehicles, pronounced a-pay, short a)
Cute and colorful....What fun, tricked out with speakers and wild horns blaring!

Then the vespas made their entrance into the piazza.

Everyone came out to see this! The buzz of apes and vespas...Bzzzz!

Ciao Katia!

Stefania, Andrea & Stew , with cameras, of course!

I thought this  red vespa was pretty sweet.

Betty, Jane and Paul  still focused on the activity in the piazza, while Paul and James check out the aqua  scooter with the 2 helmets and  the suitcase strapped to the back.

I really liked that red vespa, but I think if James gets an ape, then I we should also get this model, with the two helmets. I could settle for this!

Very cool day in the Piazza Umberto I.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Castelnuovo di Berardenga ( Tuscany)

James and I recently spent a few days in Florence. We were driving so we decided that on our way back to Panicale to stop at the mythical Castelnuovo di Berardenga. I say mythical only because each time James and I have passed the exit to Castelnuovo di Berardenga we promised
 ourselves to one day stop there.

Driving through the Tuscan country side, we were on a mission.
James heard of a macelleria in Castelnuovo di Berardenga that sold Cinta Senese Pork.
Cinta is not that easy to find outside of the Siena area, so once parked we made a beeline for centro to find this macelleria.


James spoke to the butcher,with his best Italian,  "Avete cinta senese?
"Si, Certo!"
Sure enough, this was a source of that special, rare and ancient breed of pork, named  cinta ( Italian for belt) for the white colored band it has around it middle.

Another Tuscan specialty, Chianina beef.....from the huge white bull, is also available in this shop.
Do we need some of that too?

Proscuitto heaven!

Castelnuovo di Berardenga is charming. We crossed the piazza and stop to admire the fountain and to see if  James could locate an enoteca or somewhere to buy a good local wine to serve with the cinta.

An enoteca is never too far away, nor is a good bottle of local wine in these parts!
Il signore described the wine as with profuma and i sapori.....the aroma and the flavor.

What took us so long to get off the highway and make a visit here?
We will undoubtably return and fill our shopping bag again.

On our drive back to Panicale (Umbria) we missed a turn and ended up on a back road, it was a beautiful drive.
Sometimes it is a good idea to get off the highway and just explore.


Saturday, May 10, 2014

A Postcard from Umbria

 The landscape of Umbria is no less than breathtaking. It stuns both James and I with its beauty, at times the distant snowcapped mountains are magical then there are these trees that punctuate the fields of grains alongside the white road.

A feast for the eyes........everywhere you look!