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.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Our Garden In July - Il Nostro Giardino in Luglio

Italytuttotoptenpost BadgeTop ten Posts From the Bloggers in Italy

Another month has flown by and it is time once again for me to share some of my favourite garden photos from the last month with you. Once again I have had difficulty selecting just a few from the many I have taken over the last few weeks. Around 200 again this month, it is just too easy with digital photography.

The interested gardeners and photographers amongst you will find the full album on Flickr.  Our Garden in July

Here then are my favourite eight photographs from the month of July for you to enjoy. I found it very difficult once again to choose so they are smaller than normal, which I do not think does them full justice. You know where to look if you want to see them in their full glory. These are definitely my favourites today but if I look again tomorrow I think some of them would be different.  My extra special favourites this month have already been shared with you here in my Persian Acacia post and also four of them on Beautiful World the new collective blog that I am contributing to.

I will also post one of my choices today over on Beautiful World why not go over there and see which one it is when you have a minute or two to spare.



Ornamental Leek

Pomegranate flower


Dandelion Seedhead




I am not going to be posting a Friday Foto or a Sunday Song Post this weekend as we are busy with guests staying and lots of festas going on, so there will be plenty of News From Italy to catch you up with later on next week. Meanwhile click on the blue for links to three of my favourite posts from recent months.

Have a lovely weekend everyone.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Marta Mercato

Summer Blogging is for me very much about less words and more photos. Having fun in the sun with family and friends that visit us over the summer months is after all what living in in Italy is supposed to be about, whenever the opportunity arises to spend time with those we love.
I therefore don't want to spend too much time at the computer researching and writing posts but I do still want to share our day to day life with you all in 'News From Italy'.
Meandering around our local markets is something that seems to hold a certain fascination for many of our guests.  So today I am sharing some photographs of our local market in Marta. It is held along the lakeside every Thursday morning throughout the year, but the number of stall holders that visit and the goods they sell is very seasonal.
In this region of Italy markets are still of great importance to the locals, many of whom never travel much further afield than their own localities. They can still rely on the weekly visiting markets to provide most things that they need for day to day living that they can not produce for themselves.
You will find the butcher, the baker, the grocer, the greengrocer, the fishmonger and the plant salesman for both flowers and vegetable plants alongside the ironmongers and china stalls.  Every item of clothing you will ever need can be obtained from the market, one man who has a shop elsewhere will even measure you for a suit if required. Shoes, hats ,handbags and other items such as scarves can always be found. If you need curtains, rugs, material for sewing, yes these are here also.
When my sister was staying with us earlier this month I took a series of photos of the weekly market one Thursday morning and a few more last week when we were there with our daughter, the full selection can be viewed on Flickr in My Album entitled Marta Mercato.

You may have guessed that the lady whom I seem to be stalking around the market is none other than my sister!

I hope you have enjoyed this little tour of Marta Mercato.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Sunday Song-Alessandro Safina


Earlier this month I was introduced to Alessandro Safina by Natasha who hosts the Sunday Song on her blog 5 Minutes Just for Me

If you have not already read all about him on her detailed post you can do so here. Natasha's Alessandro Safina post

As he is Italian she very kindly mentioned me in this post with the following mention and link.

I hope that Lindy Lou who blogs about her beautiful Italian life in her blog "News from Italy" enjoys today's Sunday Song post about one of my favourite (and most gorgeous!) Italian singers!

I decided that I really should share this golden voiced and good looking singer with you all. Thankyou Natasha for introducing me to an Italian singer all the way from Australia, whom I have to admit although having heard on the radio I really knew nothing about prior to your Sunday Song post.

Firstly here is the song that she chose to share with us followed by my own choices which I found on YouTube

LUNA Alessandro Safina - Moon Alessandro Safina

Courtesy of jjag73

My choice is this one

Alessandro Safina Canto La Vita - Song of Life

Courtesy of jklkragothrst

Then I found this!  As Elton John is a favourite of mine I just had to share it with you as well.

Courtesy of pgeres

The 2002 version of the famous Elton John's song "Your Song".In this version he appears with Alessandro Safina.

His official website is also published in English Alessandro Safina - The Tenor From Siena. where you can read the rest of his biography ,the first paragraph of which I have reproduced here


The Italian tenor Alessandro Safina – born in Siena – discovered his passion for singing at very early age; he was only nine years old when he started studying music, and immediately showed a specific fondness and talent for classical music. His parents were ardent lovers of the opera, and instilled their son with this passion of theirs from the beginning. He started attending a musical academy when he was twelve years old.

Courtesy of Natasha

More Sunday Songs can be found by visiting 5 Minutes Just for Me

Buono Domenica Tutti

Friday, July 23, 2010

Friday Fotos - Tomatoes


The tomato plants are now producing vast quantities and this was Wednesday mornings harvest.


Update as promised on Dishwasher the engineer arrived at exactly 8.30am having found the house easily, but he was unable to repair as the condenser on the motor has burnt out! We are now patiently awaiting a new part.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Our House Renovations - Kitchen


However well equipped one's kitchen is it is no good if something goes wrong!   Now I am very lucky to have a wonderfully equipped kitchen which we are enjoying. We have the luxury of a dishwasher which is maybe an extravagance for the two of us certainly, but when we entertain or have guests staying with us it really comes into its own.

So imagine how frustrating it is when only days before our daughter and her boyfriend arrived that the dishwasher decided to play up! This dishwasher has actually had a mind of its own since day one, as soon after it was installed the door panel fell off, it still worked luckily, just took many weeks to get it repaired, it was also rather annoying having it spoiling the look of the kitchen we were so thrilled with.  This time it seems more serious, an electrical fault rather than cosmetic as every time we switch it on, it puts our power off!  Yes, yes I know we only have 3KW of power and this often happens if you overload the system, but this is something we have learnt how to control. Never try and run the dishwasher when you are cooking, washing or ironing and so on. This happens with nothing else in use every single time you switch it on, so definitely a fault within the dishwasher.

The problem now is trying to get an engineer to come and deal with the situation. It is still under guarantee as it is around a year since the kitchen was installed and it is a five year guarantee. We discovered this fault on Friday(16th) and we spent ages on Saturday morning on the phone, a normal working day here, the engineers phone just rings and rings, it is never answered, you can imagine how we feel about this.  We had the same result on Monday afternoon. a lot of shops and businesses are closed Monday am, then again yesterday morning! By yesterday afternoon we had, not surprisingly had enough and a trip to the supplier of our kitchen was required. It turned out someone had given us the wrong phone number when we originally contacted them about our problem!!  You can imagine how we reacted to this, so this time they phoned the engineer on the spot for us and laid it on about the urgency as we have 'gli ospiti' guests arriving. We now have to wait for the engineer to phone us to arrange an appointment. We have been assured that we will have had a visit by the end of the week which will cost us a 25 Euro call out charge as the appliance is over six months old. There is a five year guarantee on the dishwasher but apparently we still have to pay this initial charge.

Anyway I needed to get this aggravation off my chest so decided to tell you about the kitchen renovations at the same time. At least at this time of year it is easy enough to do the washing up as we will be at the beach for picnics, if not at home eating salads for lunch and in the evenings we will BBQ or eat out.

Now for some photographs.

                                                                         As it was on viewing, this room now classified on the house plans as the kitchen was originally an annexe/store room. On the left hand side of the photograph there is a small bathroom, we have removed this and the walls to incorporate the area into the new kitchen. I will explain in more detail about the layout of the house when we purchased it and how we have changed it another time.

                                                                                                         View along house, from annexe, now kitchen, this area is already looking rather different but not finished yet.

All the renovation work has been done by our very good friend Nick along with my husband David. They have made an excellent team and have both worked extremely hard to turn this house into a lovely home for us. I really do appreciate all the work they have done although they know that sometimes I did get frustrated with the inevitable mess and dust they created.  One of there first tasks was to raise the door height from the annexe into the main house as seen here.

By May of last year the kitchen was being installed and we were able to move from our camp kitchen in another room to the real thing, with so much space.

In October the Stufa/Wood Burring Stove was installed so we were ready for the winter, I wrote a post with photos  about that at the time which you can read by clicking the link. Stufa Installation

Finally this is the finished room.

We are extremely happy with the results of our kitchen renovation and agree with our daughters that it is probably the nicest kitchen we have ever had! It is large light and airy, with three aspects. Two large windows face west and south, while to the east are double patio doors out onto our outdoor living area.

I will in due course write more about the renovation project doing before and after posts.  After almost a year and half we are just about finished with the internal works, which were fairly extensive as when we arrived there was not even an internal staircase! 

If you are interested in seeing more of the works in progress now rather than wait for my before and after posts, there are lots of photos you can look at in My Flickr Albums. Renovations

This afternoon just before I was about to post this the phone rang and would you believe it was a lady phoning on behalf of the dishwasher engineer to make an appointment. Rather she told me that he will be coming and if she understood the directions I gave her the engineer should be here between 8.30am and 9am tomorrow morning. I will of course let you know the outcome.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Marta Lakeside - New Look Completed


Back in April I wrote a post about Marta Lakeside - All Change telling you all about the dramatic changes to part of the lakeside frontage at Marta due to the dangerous condition of these trees. One came down in a freak storm a couple of summers ago and since then they have been considered 'molto pericoloso' so out they all came, along with sadly the old stone benches and the street lights.

This is how the road in front of our little house 'Casa Piccola' looked until very recently.

Then in April it was reduced to this


For one reason and another but mainly the dreadful weather we had during the Spring, progress has been much slower than anticipated. We were first promised that work would be completed for Marta's major Festa held on May 14th Festa della del Monte 2010

Update One  When it was still looking feasible that the work might be shortly completed in time for the Festa.


Update Number Two However this was taken just the day before the Festa, so it was no where near as ready as it would have been if Mother Nature had been on the side of the workmen.


So far so good though and I was starting to think that this would look very attractive once completed. Progress since May has been so slow that I have had nothing really worth showing you in the way of updates.

Until now that is, the promenade is as good as finished, in that work is completed and it now just needs to settle, plants to become established and a few people to be seen taking an evening passeggiata. I took these photos on Friday evening and it was all surprisingly deserted and quiet in Marta. Where are all the tourists? I really thought that after such a hot day 36C in the shade in our garden that there would have been a few more people about enjoying the slightly fresher evening air!


Apart from the roses I am now thinking that it all looks rather bare and somehow wish it could all have been left alone. However one must not stand in the way of progress and despite not liking the look of the new lighting or the starkness of the area; I think it will mature into an attractive promenade, along which to have a stroll by the lakeside. EVENTUALLY!!

Extra photos can be viewed in my Flickr album entitled Marta Scenes 2010

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Sunday Song - Alessandra Amoroso


Today it is the Birthday of the son of a blogging friend of mine Mademoiselle Poirot so as a surprise for Dylan I am dedicating this post to him.

Happy Birthday Dylan

If you do not already know of his Mum's blog, Mademoiselle Poirot do please pay them a visit. 

I hope everyone especially Dylan enjoys today's choice from this talented young singer.

Alessandra Amoroso - Arrivi Tu - Arrivals You

Courtesy of Ggiiuulliiaa93


Unfortunately this video is not as good as the official one on You Tube,but one that was not available for embedding.



Image courtesy of www.mondoreality.com/.../alessandra-amoroso.jpg

Alessandra Amoroso was born in Galatina, Lecce, Italy on 12th August 1986.  She came to fame in Italy when she first appeared in the Italian reality television show Amici, becoming the winner of the 2009 series.

You can read more facts about Alessandra on Wikipedia

The link to her official website Alessandra Amoroso

She also has pages on My Space and Facebook  where details of her current tour of Italy can be found.



More Sunday Songs can be found by visiting 5 Minutes Just for Me

Buono Domenica Tutti

Friday, July 16, 2010

Friday Foto - Fried Fish


This was a first for us in Italy, a recent meal out that reminded us of old fashioned style UK fish and chips eaten out of newspaper!  Absolutely delicious.

Photo taken by LindyLouMac at Da Rita, Via Grazie, 37, 01027 Montefiascone, Italy

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Persian Acacia


Today I want to share with you a tree in our our garden the Persian Acacia, link to information on Wikipedia.

Such a beautiful tree that I always feel it deserves a post all of its own when it comes into bloom. A little later than last years though, no surprise considering the unusually cold and wet weather we experienced earlier this year!

Persian Acacia post from last year on June 26th 2009.

I took this photograph of the buds on June 29th 2010


Known to the locals as Red Mimosa as the leaves look somewhat similar I can sort of understand this, however I think you will agree that the blossom is so much more beautiful than that of the yellow mimosa which also belongs to the acacia family.

By July 3rd 2010 these beautiful blossoms were starting emerge.

I am going to share this last photo with my collective blog friends over on Beautiful World.   Nature at it's best don't you think?

There a few more similar to these to be found in my Flickr album Our Garden in July 2010 that I have already started ready for sharing with you at the end of the month.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Finalemente - Finally

Finalemente, at last we have our official piece of paper with all the correct marco da bollo,(offical government coupons) on it, rather than a photocopy of our Residency Certificate to say that we are residents of Viterbo.
Today July 12th was the appointment we were given to collect this back in April at the Commune Ufficio Anagraphe - (Office for Official Documents) at the local Council Offices, which some of you may remember reading about. Here are the links to the previous articles about our applications for Residency and Identity Cards. Residency Certificate, Residency Certificate Part Two and Carta D'Identita and Residency Update.
We have absolutely no idea why it should take so long to produce two single sheets of paper, one for each of us as our proof of address!
Issued with today's date and stating our residency in the Viterbo region commenced on 6th October 2009 which was actually the date we first put the application in motion. We had moved into our new home on March 9th having owned it since February 9th, the application was just something we knew we had to sort out sooner or later. The Residency Certificate is a requirement for such things as registering with a different doctor and buying a car so something we needed to deal with at some point.
What a good thing it was not urgent as it has in fact taken just over nine months to deal with!
We arrived just after the office opened at 10am and walked out an hour later clutching our two single sheets of paper. The amazing thing was that even having a set day to collect them, even when it came to our turn, we still had to wait half an hour while the gentleman dealing with us went off to find the application and print them off and stick the official stamps on them, which we had purchased months ago.
Well we assume that is what he did as they definitely have July 12th 2010 on them.
Anyway that is another dealing with Italian democracy that is done and dusted, at least until next time we move.
I will leave you today with a photo of the latest flower to come into bloom in our garden.  I took this photo just a few hours ago of a vibrant orange canna lily.


 I have also published tis on the collective blog that I contribute to Beautiful World

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Sunday Song - Nina Zilli

Nina Zilli - L'Uomo Che Amava Le Donne - The Man Who Loved Women

Nina Zilli, real name Maria Chiara Fraschetta was born on 2nd February 1983 in Piacenza, Italy.  'The Man Who Loved Women' is her latest single and was released earlier this year.  I often hear it played on the radio and decided it would be a good choice for this week's Sunday Song. This song is taken from her first album which was released in Italy in February of this year. Sempre Lontano - Still Far.

The single, taken from the album was her entry at the 2010 San Remo Festival for which she won the most votes in the New Generation section of the festival, from journalists in the Award entitled 'Press Radio and TV Section Next Generation'

An artist I think we will be hearing a lot more of in Italy.   I wonder if you will agree.

Nina Zilli clicking on this link will take you to the artists official website.

More Sunday Songs can be found by visiting 5 Minutes Just for Me

I hope you are all having a wonderful weekend.