Welcome Everyone.

Welcome to News From Italy, my blog about our Italian Adventure. Although this blog has now ceased publication I will be continuing to blog and I am sincerely hoping that my many followers here will move with me to Travel Tales blog to follow my next adventures wherever they may take me. The links to my other blogs are:-

I look forward to keeping in touch with you via them, thanks once again for all the support you have given 'News From Italy' over the years.

Monday, September 28, 2009


As September draws to a close we are enjoying glorious sunshine with temperatures in the mid-high twenties centigrade. It has even been cool enough, just about to get down to some serious clearing work in the garden. There is a load to do but at least it means with all the pruning we are doing that our wood pile in the old piggery is growing steadily day by day!

September has been a busy month and now all our guests have departed the house seems very quiet at times. At least now I have the time once again to write something for this Blog, the Santa Rosa Festival already seems ages ago. With thanks to Facebook I have also been following this month photographically our daughters’ holidays, Aimee in Hong Kong and now Selina and Chris in Vietnam and Cambodia. All looks so beautiful, I have even taken by watching a video a virtual boat trip in the Mekong Delta!

We had a great time with our guests first to arrive in their brand new and very smart Volkswagen camper van were our good friends Steve and Sue. They spent eleven days with us before heading back to the UK spending a few days in the Italian and Swiss lakes en route. We seemed to be very busy while they were here and we did not get any site seeing done this trip. However it is the sixth consecutive year that they have been over to Italy to visit us, so we have already seen a lot of the major sites with them. They seemed happy just to enjoy living our Italian life with us for a few days, Sue and I did quite a bit of shoe shopping! Steve was happy to help David with design planning and discussion re the renovations, also helping David with purchase and installation of a newel post for the stairs.

The weekend of 11th- 14th September we were joined by my cousin Sue, her daughter Laura and boyfriend Alex, for in Laura’s words a celebration of Sue’s Bus Pass Birthday! The partying started straight away when after meeting them off the train in Viterbo on Friday evening; the seven of us went for Pizza at Isola Blu down on the lakeside. The rest of the weekend continued in a similar vein with plenty of eating drinking and generally chilling out at our home and around Marta and Capodimonte. On Saturday evening we had a Birthday Party including a cake with a huge sparkler and a crowded Italian restaurants customers singing Tanti Auguri (in Italian, to the tune of Happy Birthday) to Sue. Our party at Il Pirata that evening was for nine people as Viv and Nick, who met Sue on a previous visit last year, joined us for Saturday evening and Sunday’s celebrations. Sunday we were all together again for a light lunch of tomatoes and mozzarella, figs and Parma ham, leading on to a BBQ in the evening after which we played silly party games.
We were extremely lucky with the weather as storms that had been threatening to arrive all weekend held off, apart from one brief heavy shower on Sunday afternoon. It was a relief that we were able to eat all our meals outside as inside is still unfinished as far as entertaining large numbers of people goes, although sure we would have improvised if we had too!
Unfortunately when the weather broke, just after our last meal together Monday lunchtime, it did so with a vengeance causing disruption to the train services and our guests despite leaving Viterbo at 3pm for their 8pm flight, arrived at the airport too late!!! What a pain, just hope it did not spoil the weekend too much for them.

Steve and Sue were with us until the following weekend although the time just seemed to fly by. We met up with Viv and Nick at the wine bar one evening after having visited the Duomo in Montefiascone, well we had to fit in one cultural trip! On their last evening we met up with them again, again in Montefiascone this time for supper at Il Rifugio, where looking at the photos the next day, it seems we all had a great evening!

Since their departure we have been busy getting back into the swing of renovation work. Although nothing is as yet completely finished the house is certainly starting to feel more homely as the last of our possessions are unpacked. We have also moved all the paintings upstairs so that we can unwrap and find wall space gradually. This also means that the room that will be the dining room is clear enough for wiring and decorating to commence when we are ready. At the moment Nick and David are working on the stone cladding of the staircase.

As I have done previously I have posted a few photos with this update. For those of you that are interested in seeing more they can be found at www.flickr.com Let me know if you have problems accessing them.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Nouva Macchina de Santa Rosa

Wikipedia Info"La Macchina di Santa Rosa"

The transport of the Macchina di S. Rosa takes place every year, on September 3 , at 9 o'clock in the evening. The Macchina is an artistic illuminated bell-tower with an imposing height of 30Â m. It weighs between 3.5 and 5Â tonne s and is made of iron, wood and papier-mâché . At the top of the tower, the statue of the Patron Saint is enthusiastically acclaimed by the people in the streets of the town centre, where lights are turned off for the occasion. One hundred and thirty Viterbesi men (known as the Facchini ) carry the Macchina from Porta Romana through the each of the major streets of Viterbo, concluding with a strenuous ascension up to the Piazza di Santa Rosa, its final resting place. Each Macchina has a life span of five years, after which a new one is built.
This is a truly amazing event and definitely worth seeing, the experience of actually being there is actually very emotional. The Italians put their heart and soul into events such as this. I am posting a photo of the Nuova Macchina de Santa Rosa for 2009 here. However if you want to see the full set of photos they can be viewed on our www.flickr.com account. Friends and family only so let me know if you need an invite. Also for those of you on Facebook I have posted them there, on Facebook you can also view a video taken by an Italian friend which is also posted on My Profile page.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Tomatoes, tomatoes, tomatoes

As if we do not have enough work to do keeping up with our own produce our lovely neighbours Annunciata and Bruno presented us with this lot the other day!

They grow a tremendous number of tomatoes and have recently bottled 65kg, around 120 jars to see the family through the winter. The bottling is still done in a very old fashioned and traditional way locally, outside in an old drum over a fire, unfortunately I did not get the chance to take a photo, maybe next year.

We have now turned this lot into a tomato sauce using a receipe from Delia Smith.