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.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Sunday Morning in Marta - Lakeside

Coffee first!
Last Sunday was a lovely sunny morning so we decided to spend the morning down at the lake, have a coffee, take a stroll and watch the Club 500 Montefiascone Car Rally that was passing through, with a checkpoint at the Borgo del Pescatori.  My photos will tell the story of our morning.

Those of you familiar with Marta either virtually through reading this blog for awhile or in reality will notice that the water level in the lake is lower than ever! Even with the little recent rainfall we have had there are beaches appearing where we personally have never seen them before. It is worrying it looks like we are going to need a very wet winter to restore levels. 

Then the cars started arriving, at the checkpoint.
Here are a few of my favourite cars!

After watching the rally cars pass through we continued our walk and headed home.

                               23-09-2012 Sunday Morning in Marta - Lakeside
My slideshow presentation of the the car rally and our walk is about five minutes long, so if you do not have time to view now, do call back and do so another time. 

Alternatively if you are unable to view the slideshow, ( I know some of my readers have slow internet connections that do not give them the choice of doing so) you may view the photos via My Flickr account in the album entitled Sunday Morning in Marta - Lakeside

The following paragraph will explain why the cars were in Marta on Sunday morning.

Roads & Word
Vintage Cars and Cultural Events
Commemoration of the circuit of Lake Bolsena F- Est! Est! Est! Roads and Words was organised by Club 500 Montefiascone
under the patronage of the Municipality of Montefiascone, in collaboration with the Cultural Association "TusciaE20", ACI and Veteran Car Club of Viterbo.
It was proposed to implement a weekend that united culture and passion for motoring, through the presentation of books and the presence of historic cars of prestige, with the intention of promoting the history, monuments, places and products Montefiascone and Tuscia.

If you are interested in more information about the event follow the link to New Tuscia or the Facebook Page for the Est Est Est 500 Club in Montefiascone. Club 500 Montefiascone

I am going to be busy with other projects over the winter so I will not be posting anything like as often here as I did during the summer months. Also see what I had to say previously here, about not wanting to repeat posts. I am not deserting you and hopefully will be keeping the Facebook Page updated for those of you that would like to keep in touch there.

Otherwise I hope to be back with a post or two during the latter part of October.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Lunch in Allerona, Umbria - Sagraincasa

Recently we had the pleasure of enjoying a lunch cooked for us by the wonderful Simona from Sagraincasa at her lovely home in Allerona.  We met up with her in the village centre and whilst we were waiting had a few minutes to have a quick look round and take a few photos.

What a view from Allerona!
Our party consisted of Australians, British and Italians, we had all been very kindly invited to lunch by our friend K who had got to know Simona via his daughter Cathy, also our friend and a fellow blogger. You will find links to her blogs at the end of this post.
Before I share the photos of our private visit to Simona's home to sample the delights of her cooking I am sharing some information from her blog, Sagraincasa.

Firstly all about Sagraincasa in her own words:
'My name is Simona and I am originally a Roman, I moved to Umbria, near Orvieto 11 years ago. Umbria, the green heart of Italy is also the heart of the slow food movement, now spreading worldwide. This is the region where wine and good food are an integral part of daily living and this is definitely the right place for me. My relationship with local producers of like mind have enabled me to nourish and nurture friends and family alike with delicious local cooking.  This is now an experience you too can enjoy through, SagraincasaPassion for good food, as well as long hours spent in my vegetable patch, olive grove and vineyard, are some of the reasons that inspired this unique blog, Sagraincasa wants to be an inspiration for you.' 

Secondly Cooking classes - Link, will tell you more about her classes for 2-9 people at her farm house in Allerona, a three hour lesson followed with a dinner at the end that the class has prepared. Classes are also available elsewhere for larger numbers.

Simon founded Sagraincasa, (food feast in your home) because she wanted to share her passion for quality, regional Italian cooking and wines.  It was so obvious from the time we spent with her just how passionate she is about traditional recipes and cooking with local produce.  We had a delicious meal, lovely wine and a good time with friends old and new as I believe the photos I share with you here will show. Just click on the photo for an enlarged view.

Tomato jelly with parmesan mousse and pumpkin seeds.
Zucchini flowers Roman style with mozzarella and anchovies.
Homemade ravioli filled with Taleggio cheese and potato served with truffle sauce.
Pork and herb sausages poached in grape juice served with potato and green beans.
75% Dark chocolate mousse with a pear foam.
Finally thanks to the chef Simona.

All photos are my own taken in September 2012, except the Allerona Arms
 Copyright All rights reserved by LindyLouMac Photo Collection 
The full set of photos may also be viewed individually in my album entitled - Lunch in Umbria  at My Flickr.com account. 

Other links that may be of interest to you.
Cathy's Blogs:  An Italophile   Wandering Shelia    

As I publish this post  Sagraincasa are looking for help with their grape harvest, so if any of you reading this are going to be in Umbria on September 29th, do check out the link, fabulous food will be on offer in exchange for your help.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

European Bee-eater - Gruccione - Uccelli nel nostro giardino

The European Bee-eater (Merops apiaster), breeds in southern Europe and in parts of north Africa and western Asia. It is strongly migratory, wintering in tropical Africa, India and Sri Lanka. 
This species, like other bee-eaters, is a richly-coloured, slender bird. It has brown and yellow upper parts, whilst the wings are green and the beak is black. It can reach a length of 27–29 cm (10.6–11.4 in), including the two elongated central tail feathers. Sexes are alike.
This is a bird which breeds in open country in warmer climates. Just as the name suggests, bee-eaters predominantly eat insects, especially bees,wasps and hornets which are caught in the air by sorties from an open perch. Before eating its meal, a European Bee-eater removes the sting by repeatedly hitting the insect on a hard surface. It eats some 250 bees daily. Lizards and frogs are also taken.
These bee-eaters are gregarious, nesting colonially in sandy banks, preferably near river shores, usually at the beginning of May. They make a relatively long tunnel in which the 5 to 8, spherical white eggs are laid around the beginning of June. Both the male and the female take care of the eggs, which are brooded for about 3 weeks. These birds also feed and roost communally.
This year saw an increase in the number of Bee-eaters we had visit our garden, one day in August we counted twenty in the flock that spent an hour or so feeding in the vicinity of our house. There must have been lots of bees or wasps in the roof tiles, although we have never had a problem, maybe thanks to the Bee-eaters. It was fascinating to watch them swooping and diving for their prey, I was just disappointed that I was unable to catch any action shots, from time to time they perched for a rest and I was able to get the photos I am sharing here with you today.

The photos I took and some very distant shots but in flight, old ones from 2007, can be viewed in my Flickr.com album. European Bee-eater   Photos should enlarge if you click on them, if you wish to view here in a larger size.
All photos are my own taken in August 2012.
 Copyright All rights reserved by LindyLouMac Photo Collection 

For further information and better photographs of the species in general visit   Wikipedia - Bee-eater   and for the type we have in our garden.   Wikipedia - European Bee-eater

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Last of the Summer Fun

It is early September, the busy schedule of festas and fieras has calmed down as  the Italians have returned to work and the children are preparing for the new school term which starts next week.

There are still three outstanding occasions that I have not had an opportunity to feature yet this year. As they have all featured before I will group them altogether in this post. For those that are interested in fuller accounts, maybe the newer followers amongst you who have not heard about these events before, I will include links back to my previous posts.

Firstly the 28th and 29th of July is when Marta celebrates its Saints Day. On the evening of the 28th there is the 'Santa Marta Processione con le barche - Santa Marta Procession with boats'. The celebrations start with a simultaneous lake and street procession along the streets of Marta culminating with a service and blessing. The following day is a local bank holiday with a market during the day and to round the festivities off a grand firework display at 11pm.

            These photos and the rest I took that evening can be viewed in the following short slideshow.

My Flickr Album from this year Santa Marta Processione
The link will take you to my post from last year Santa Marta 2011
The following evening I did not take my camera to the Firework Display but I am able to share those of my friend the Marta Weatherman. He recorded the evening in four parts, I have just posted the first part here, please visit his YouTube channel to view the rest.

The following weekend was Festa del Pescatore - Festa of Fishermen also in Marta. This event is held along side the lake in Marta in the park and as you can see from the flags is considered an international event. Table and chairs are set up under the trees along the lakeside, near the harbour and one of the local fish distribution companies provides the meals. For two consecutive evenings they cook a fish supper for anyone that cares to join the long queues that form. There is music and dancing and all age groups enjoy the evening.

            These photos and the rest I took that evening can be viewed in the following short slideshow.

My photos can also be viewed in My Flickr.com Album Festa del Pescatore

You can read more about this event by visiting my previous posts. Festa del Pescatore 2009  and Festa del Pescatore 2010

      Finally during the first two weeks of August Montefiascone celebrated the 54th Fiera del Vino

        These photos and the rest I took that evening can be viewed in the following short slideshow.

My photos can also be viewed in My Flickr.com Album Montefiascone 54a Fiera del Vino

You can read more about this event and its fascinating history by visiting my previous posts. Montefiascone Fiera del Vino 2010      Montefiascone Fiera del Vino 2011

Summer is over for another year but hopefully we will now have a long Autumn with mild and sunny weather. We can now look forward to attending some seasonal festas, mushrooms, chestnuts, wine and olives before the end of the year.