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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.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

San Martino–November 11th.


Copyright All rights reserved by LindyLouMac Photo Collection


Today is the day we will probably be putting covers on the wine, the fermentation has already slowed down and if it has now stopped fermenting it is safe to do so, as there is no longer a risk of explosion. Well I hope so anyway! Our neighbours will be round later to supervise or at least to make sure we have carried out this next process as instructed.

At least we have remembered that we were told the wine should be ready for sealing on San Martino – St Martins Day.  ‌Winemaking

San Martino also happens to be the day when festas are held to celebrate the vino novello (the new seasons wine) in some parts of Italy.

In the winemaking post I asked about the word  ‘tinaio ‘ which thanks to the following comments we now have a translation for. 

Anonymous said... A "tinaio" is where you store the "tini" (a "tino" is one of those big open barrels in the first picture). I suggest you read a beautiful poem by the Nobel awarded Giosue Carducci ("San Martino") who used this ancient word.

Simony said... Interesting process! I have an Italian friend whose dad does the same and have big barrels for a whole year or two!
Tinaio I thought came from the word tina or tino (container). Tinaio is a place for those containers.
I did look up the poem and have included a video presentation of it here, plus the words in both the original Italian and an English translation as it is called San Martino. It was written by Giosue Carducci(27 July 1835 – 16 February 1907) who was a very influential Italian poet and teacher. In 1906 he became the first Italian to win the Nobel Prize in Literature.

Wikipedia 2007 Stamp  to celebrate the 100th anniversary of his death.


Courtesy of AltraMusa

San Martino by Giosue Carducci

La nebbia a gl'irti colli
piovigginando sale,
e sotto il maestrale 
urla e biancheggia il mar;

ma per le vie del borgo 
dal ribollir de' tini
va l'aspro odor de i vini
l'anime a rallegrar.

Gira su' ceppi accesi
lo spiedo scoppiettando:
sta il cacciator fischiando
sull'uscio a rimirar

tra le rossastre nubi
stormi d'uccelli neri,
com'esuli pensieri,
nel vespero migrar.

San Martino English Translation

The fog in the hills 
drizzling salt
and under the mistral 
screams and whitens the sea;

but the streets of the village 
by boiling de 'tini
is the sour smell of the wines
the souls to cheer.

Runs on 'strains turned
the spit and sputtered:
the hunter's whistle
to look intently at the door

between the reddish clouds
flocks of black birds, 
like thoughts which 
migrate in the twilight.


November 11th is the official feast day for San Martino - Saint Martin whom I have discovered was born in a Roman province in what is now Hungary, a Roman citizen whose father was an army officer and himself became one, later giving it up to become a monk. He is the patron saint of soldiers and wine-makers!
Historically the story goes that while he was riding at the gates of the city of Amiens with his soldiers, he met a poor, freezing beggar, cut his own military cloak in half and shared it with him. That same night he dreamt of Jesus wearing the half-cloak he had given to the poor man and thanking him for his compassionate gesture. It is also said that at the moment he shared his cloak, the sun came out and that is why in Italy, a period of sunny, warm weather with clear skies and mild temperatures of around 21C/70F, occurring during early November is called Estate di San Martino.

Google images

You might be interested in last years post
Indian Summer where I used some of this information previously.

I think we picked our olives last week during this years St Martin’s Summer as the weather was warm and sunny with clear skies.

Copyright All rights reserved by LindyLouMac Photo Collection

I have not forgotten either that November 11th is also Remembrance Day but here in Italy servicemen who died for the nation are remembered on 4 November, when the ceasefire that followed the Armistice of Villa Giusti in 1918 began. Since 1977, this day has not been a public holiday, now, many services are held on the first Sunday of November.

In Memory of those that lost their lives for us.

Copyright All rights reserved by LindyLouMac Photo Collection


  1. Very interesting blog, LindyLou! I do enjoy reading about Italy and all its traditions and festivals.I also enjoyed reading the story of Saint Martin. .When will the wine be ready to drink?! Not this year, I presume.

  2. I really enjoyed reading your posts!

  3. I am enjoying each of your posts! I had hoped to travel to Italy this year but it's not going to happen...so I will put your blog on my list of favorites and enjoy experiencing the country that I love through your eyes! ♥

  4. You have the most interesting life! Winemaking? You are full of suprises!

  5. What an interesting post. Thank you, this was like the real sour smell of the wines .And I love the photo.

  6. A wonderfully rich post. I especially enjoyed the video, music and pictures portraying the words of Carducci.

    Thanks, Linda, for introducing the world to the cultural expressions of the season.

  7. Thanks everyone, I am trying out a new policy of replying direct to those of you that have enabled that facility, rather than clogging up the comments here with responses. Not sure how to respond to those that have not got it turned on? I do not know about you all, but I am finding that subscribing is overloading my email every day it takes so long to answer!
    Maybe answer back on your own blogs, any thoughts on this friends?

  8. Sorry I do not mean answer I mean clear of emails that are not relevant to me, it is a shame but the subscription service,does mean that if a blog post is popular, ones email in box gets so full!

  9. This is me - I am delighted you found the post of interest. The wine will be ready for drinking as soon as it has cleared, probably in a few weeks.

  10. I'm glad you read the poem I suggested. Saint Martin's Summer seems a recurrent topos in poetry (e.g. "Pacchiarotto" by Robert Browning, "Novembre" by Giovanni Pascoli).
    Did you know that even Saint George's Winter (April 23rd -Invernino di san Giorgio) exists?

  11. Such an interesting post! Thank you. Hopefully next time my movie review will be something that interests you. I have a lot of genre of movies that I like, every "Movie Monday" it will be probably something different each time.

  12. Aha! And that (the fact that he was a roman officer) explains, perhaps, why there were more notices for Fiera/Festa di San Martino in Lazio and further south instead up here in the north. Up here I received notice of events revolving around farm animals/agricultural stuff, and in Venice the kids bang on toy drums and ask for treats. I really am looking forward to next year 11/11/11!

  13. A lovely round-up of what this day means to various people. I think St Martin is my favourite saint.

  14. Anon - I am so pleased that you came back and have seen that I certainly took your advice and was able to include the poem in a post. No I had no idea about April 23rd, maybe a post idea. for next year.

    Sweetlife - Thankyou glad you found it interesting, I look forward to your next movie choice then :)

    Welshcakes - It was a surprise to learn that this day seems to have so many different aspects.. Why is he your favourite?

    To everyone else I have replied direct. Have a good weekend my friends.

  15. I'm so glad you posted that picture up top! I stayed in a villa in Italy with an attic full of these, and I wondered what they used to hold. Now I know. :-)

  16. Rambling Tart - Take a look at my earlier post and take a look at the site suggested by commenters. It seems they are very expensive to buy in the USA from a site called Pottery Barn.

  17. LindyLou, I'm sorry to come into this Blog, although I have already left a comment, but referring to your comment on my Blog, I have been into settings, but cannot see what I have to alter. Can you advise me please?! Thank you.

  18. How about you send some of that wine over my way??? - perhaps that would help clear my sinuses?? hahaha

    Have a GREAT weekend! :)


  19. Hey lovely,
    Thank you so much for your comment on my blog. What a wonderful life you have n Italy! I love this country so much.
    Lots of love from Portugal.

  20. Great post. But I must have missed your stomping on the grapes.

  21. Oh wow! Wine produced locally for local consumption. I think this is so awesome. Thank you for sharing this with us.

  22. Thanks for getting back to me on the e-mail bit. There is now an e-mail address in that box, and I have also put an e-mail address on the front page of my Blog now, so hopefully that will all work!

  23. Thisisme - No problem, hope you got my answer.

    Dawn - I wish I was able to share with you, sure a glass or two of vino would help you feel much better.

    Joana - Thankyou for calling by and commenting, good to see you here after having met you this week via Mademoiselle P :)

  24. Olive oil, wine, blog posts full of interesting stuff and different parts, what else next? I think it's absolutely brilliant all the things you're doing and you really seem to "have it sorted" :-) Love from London x

  25. San Martino is quite an important day here in Venice. Confectioners' and bakers' in this occasion sell a special cake like this.

  26. Dona - Thanks for telling us about the importance of San Martino in Venice and the special cake which looks too good to eat.

  27. Hi again Lindy, I thought I had left you a comment about Remembrance Day some minutes ago, but I can't see my comment anywhere (even the post seems to be differentm there was a song).
    Anyway, I think my Blogger is playing up.
    Oh yes, Dona is right, San Martino is a very commercial holiday here in Venice..and this year I got not one but 2 of those cakes :), nothing special, just a common pastafrolla covered with chocolate and sweets, very dangerous for your teeth!
    I remember I learnt that beautiful poem by heart when I was a child! (..have you ever listened to Fiorello's musical arrangement?!)
    Have a good week, hope you have some sunshine..it's very misty here :(


Thank you so much for visiting my blog and taking the time to leave a comment. I really appreciate it and enjoy reading them all. I now only respond to comments via email, so please make sure your comment is linked to your account, if you would like a response. Otherwise I will not be able to respond!