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.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Our Garden in November - Il Nostro Giardino in Novembre


I have been featuring Our Garden in a regular monthly post since March 2010, now as the year draws to a close this will be my last post  for this series until the Spring I think.  I was actually surprised at how many photos I have taken this month, there are actually more to choose from than I expected, so I have just published a small selection here. As in previous months the full album can be viewed on Flickr, if you are interested in the album entitled Our Garden in November 2010

The most important harvests during the last couple of months have been the Apples Grapes, Winemaking 1Winemaking 2. and of course the olives Che Disastro, Olive Oil  all of which have been well documented in other posts, so not much in the way of productive gardening featured here today. We have a few Persimmon remaining on the tree, a few more Walnuts to fall and the Kiwi’s ready to harvest very soon, then that will be all our crops gathered in for the year.

The amount of rain we have had this past month has meant that the garden is rather soggy and damp to say the least which has also meant plenty of mushrooms. If you are interested in the weather statistics for Marta they can be found on Marta’s very own weather station website  Marta Weather.


These were the only ones that were 100% safe to eat what we know as field/horse mushrooms ( Agaricus campestris ) and they were delicious.

Kiwi’s ready for harvesting.

Last few Persimmon hanging on the tree yesterday!

This is how the same Persimmon tree looked just a few weeks ago on November 6th.

Persimmon close up of leaves on the same day.

Nespoli Tree coming into bloom

Close up of Nespoli flower.

Close up of Yucca Flower

Garden view

Snowball Tree – Viburnum Opulous

Providing winter colour in the garden we have pansies, roses, and narcissus.

Finally yesterday in the garden I photographed these beautiful Hazel Catkins - Corylus avellana

More photos can be found in my Flickr album Our Garden in November 2010

I will link this post to Outdoor Wednesday again this week.

Outdoor Wednesday button[5]Welcome to ‘News From Italy’ to the other participants, thankyou for calling by.


Sunday, November 28, 2010

Sunday Song - Elisa Toffoli -


Google images.

Two songs again this weekend as firstly I wanted to share ‘Eppure Sentire (Un senso di te) which I have been listening to since it was first released here three years ago and then I heard that Elisa Toffoli released her latest single ‘Nostalgia’  just last week which she sings in English, she is one of very few Italian artists who writes and records mainly in English. It is from her new album ‘Ivy’ which is due to be released on November 30th.

Elisa Toffoli was born near Monfalcone, Italy on December 19th 1977 and she has a beautiful melodic voice.  Elisa Toffoli has been a singer and songwriter in Italy since she was discovered at the age of sixteen. Having always preferred to write her songs in English she moved to America to improve her fluency. It has been said that she originally wrote her songs in English to protect her inner feelings and express herself almost privately but ironically this has actually let her music reach a much wider audience. The year her first album ‘Pipes and Flowers’ was released she toured Europe as an opening act for Eros Ramazzotti. Her second album was not released for another three years and it was a year after that before she wrote and released a song in her native language ‘ Luce (Tramonti a Nord Est)’ which won the San Remo Festival in 2001. In the same year her third album was released as her popularity both in Italy and internationally grew, 2002 saw her singing at the closing ceremony for the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah, in 2001 she again performed at the closing ceremony of the Winter Olympics in Turin Italy.  Each year since has found her following a busy career performing with many international artists such as Tina Turner, Luciano Pavarotti, and Andrea Bocelli.

On April 21, 2009 Elisa joined 55 other Italian artists in Milan to record a single recording titled ’Domani’ dedicated to those suffering personal losses from the tragic earthquake that struck Central Italy earlier that month, which I posted briefly about at the time Terremoto 

I have read that Elisa Toffoli’s voice is considered pure, angelic and melodious capable of singing ballads or rock songs, leaving the listener guessing as to what variations she will surprise you with next. If you want to find out more about her I have linked the sites used for my research towards the end of this post.


Courtesy of elisa toffoli’s channel

‘Eppure Sentire (Un Senso di te)’ Lyrics by Elisa Toffoli

A un passo dal possibile
A un passo da te
Paura di decidere
Paura di me
Di tutto quello che non so
Di tutto quello che non ho
Eppure sentire
Nei fiori tra l'asfalto
Nei cieli di cobalto - c'è
Eppure sentire
Nei sogni in fondo a un pianto
Nei giorni di silenzio - c'è
un senso di te
C'è un senso di te
Eppure sentire
Nei fiori tra l'asfalto
Nei cieli di cobalto - c'è
Eppure sentire
Nei sogni in fondo a un pianto
Nei giorni di silenzio - c'è
Un senso di te
C'è un senso di te
Un senso di te
C'è un senso di te

Lyrics in English

Nevertheless I feel that
One step away from reality,
One step away from you,
I am afraid of deciding,
and I am afraid of myself,
and of everything I don't know,
of everything I don't own.
Nevertheless I feel that
in the flowers born over the asphalt,
and in the cobalt-blue skies there is...
Nevertheless I feel that
in the dreams in the depths of a cry
and in those days of silence, there is…
something about you…
something about you...
Nevertheless I feel that
in the flowers born over the asphalt,
and in the cobalt-blue skies there is...
Nevertheless I feel that
in the dreams hidden behind a cry,
and in those days of silence there is…
something about you…
there is something about you…
something about you…
there is something about you…

Although this first song I have shared is from Elisa Toffoli’s Official Channel on You Tube the second one has only just been released as a single and is not available on that channel for embedding so I have used one made by another YouTube user. If you visit Elisa Toffoli's My Space Profile page you can find out which iTunes stores already have this song available for download purchase.


Courtesy of susannafiore2008

NOSTALGIA (James F. Reynolds radio edit)
lyrics by Elisa Toffoli

the night came down upon us
the brave were left alone
the digging out the traumas
and the growing of our hopes
oh, we'll turn into a radio song
we'll forget those red eyes and silly alibis
we'll say life is a song and it's one you could whistle
and dance to it, dance to it, dance to it, dance to it...

the night came down upon us
we found ourselves alone
the hiding all the traumas
the reasons we'd ask for
oh, we'll turn into a radio song
to forget those red eyes and silly alibis
to say life is a song and it's one you could whistle
and dance to it, dance to it, dance to it, dance to it...

oh, where have all those good times gone?
you should have been given more...
have been given love... love...
turn into a radio song
to forget those red eyes and silly alibis
to say life is a song and it's one you could whistle
dance to it, dance to it, dance to it, dance to it...
turn into a radio song
to forget those red eyes and silly alibis
and say life is a song but it's one you could whistle
and dance to it, dance to it, dance to it, dance to it...



With thanks to the following sites, Wikipedia, Elisa's Official Website, YouTube, Facebook  and My Space

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

Buono Domenica a Tutti

Thursday, November 25, 2010

THANKSGIVING SONG - Brianna Haynes - "Thank You"


Although Thanksgiving is not actually celebrated officially in Italy by the Italians, They still have a word especially for Thanksgiving Day in the Italian language Giorno di Ringraziamento.  We have many American friends both here in Italy and spread all over the world that do celebrate this special day, you know who you are, so I dedicate this song to you all.






Orange and yellow autumn leaves
Falling from the colored trees
Outside of your thanksgiving feast
Family favorites in the air
A time to give, a time to share
The love you have is everywhere
To love, to life, to hope, to dreams
To all whose thankful hearts you bring
Thank You for the air I breathe
Thank You for the love I need
Thank You for the joy inside of me
You give us hope, You plant the seed
You harvest every heart in need
Thank You for the love you've given me
Special people by your side
Open fires and pumpkin pies
The years they catch you by surprise
The seasons joy is at your door
There's so much to be grateful for
So much you have and there is so much more
To faith to friends to joy to cheer
To celebrate another year
All the beauty on this planet
Every moment took for granted
Here's the chance to get it right
All the blessings you've been handed
Every memory life makes candid
Here's to living here's to life
You hold me up when I can reach
You give me strength when I'm too weak
Thank You for the love you've given me
Thank You

I was delighted when Brianna wrote to tell me she had written a new song, which turned out to be perfect for me to use here. "Thank You" is a new song (2010) written by Singer/Songwriter, Brianna Haynes and Composer/Pianist, Austin Haynes. The song is inspired by Thanksgiving and the wonderful family memories this time of year brings. This Thanksgiving song is both spiritual and emotional and is dedicated to everyone with a thankful heart this holiday season.

More details about Brianna, her music and where to obtain it from can be found on her Official Website, YouTube and Facebook

I first featured Brianna on News From Italy on Fathers Day with her beautiful song Through the Eyes of My Father particularly poignant to me as I dedicated that post to my beloved Dad whom I still miss terribly, even more so at this time of the year. 9 Aug 1924 - 3 Dec 2006.

So thankyou Brianna for making it possible for me to feature your music again today.



Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Olive Oil


A photo collage to show you the results that our disastrous Olive Harvest left us with!   Olive Harvest 2010 Che Disastro  We were extremely lucky that our pathetic haul of probably around 45 kilos maximum went off to the mill with our neighbour’s harvest.  They were only to pleased to help us out as we had no way near enough kilos required to have a pressing of our own this year.

Our neighbours trees are a few kilometres away from here and luckily for them their crop was not harmed in the same way as ours, despite a lot of olives already being on the ground from wind damage they still managed to pick what they considered to be a very successful crop, although the yield this year was lower than expected.

Just a few days ago they presented us with this five litre bottle of beautiful green olive oil our percentage share from our contribution. Fortunately having had a very successful harvest last year with plenty of oil to see us through until next year, this bottle will be treated as extra special and only used on special occasions.

We have of course had a traditional tasting and it is delicious with a peppery tang giving it tremendous flavour.


Copyright All rights reserved by LindyLouMac Photo Collection

I like the reflections created in the glass.

I am also going to be participating in Outdoor Wednesday again this week.

Outdoor Wednesday button[5]Welcome to ‘News From Italy’ to the other participants, thankyou for calling by.


Sunday, November 21, 2010

Sunday Song – L'appuntamento – Ornella Vanoni or Andrea Bocelli


Fotografia di Andrea Bocelli

Ornella Vanoi              Wikipedia images         Andrea Bocelli

Two versions of the same song for this weeks choice sung by two different artists, Ornella Vanoi and Andrea Bocelli.

I like both of these versions and was unable to decide which I preferred so you get the opportunity to listen to them both.

The first version is sung by Ornella Vanoi from the movie Ocean's Twelve which is where I first heard it.  Her worldwide popularity increased in 2004 due to the song’s inclusion on the soundtrack of the film. She originally had a hit with this song in 1970.

Ornella Vanoi was born on September 22nd 1934 in Milan, Italy and has been active in the arts in Italy since the sixties. Although best known for her sophisticated pop style singing she has also starred in the theatre, TV shows, films and even posed nude for Italian Playboy.

More biographical and career information can be also be found about Ornella Vanoi on Wikipedia while more music videos can be found on YouTube.

The second version is sung by Andrea Bocelli at a 2006 open air performance in Las Vegas, USA.

Andrea Bocelli was born in Italy on 22nd September 1958 and having grown up with poor eyesight went totally blind at the age of twelve after a football accident.

More biographical and career information can be also be found about Andrea Bocelli on my earlier post here, or on Wikipedia and his Official Website, while more music videos can be found on YouTube.

Courtesy of supersander75


Courtesy of DREAMER100PRE


L'appuntamento Lyrics Courtesy of www.lyricstime.com

Ho sbagliato tante volte ormai che lo so già
Che oggi quasi certamente
Sto sbagliando su di te
Ma una volta in più che cosa può cambiare
Nella vita mia
Accettare questo strano appuntamento
È stata una pazzia
Sono triste tra la gente che mi sta
Passando accanto
Ma la nostalgia di rivedere te
È forte più del pianto
Questo sole accende sul mio volto
Un segno di speranza.
Sto aspettando quando ad un tratto ti vedrò
Spuntare in lontananza
Amore, fai presto, io non resisto
Se tu non arrivi non esisto
Non esisto, non esisto
È cambiato il tempo e sta piovendo
Ma resto ad aspettare
Non m'importa cosa il mondo può pensare
Io non me ne voglio andare.
Io mi guardo dentro e mi domando
Ma non sento niente
Sono solo un resto di speranza
Perduta tra la gente.amore è già tardi e non resisto
Se tu non arrivi non esisto
Non esisto, non esisto
Luci, macchine, vetrine, strade tutto quanto
Si confonde nella mente
La mia ombra si è stancata di seguirmi
Il giorno muore lentamente.
Non mi resta che tornare a casa mia
Alla mia triste vita
Questa vita che volevo dare a te
L'hai sbriciolata tra le dita.
Amore perdono ma non resisto
Adesso per sempre non esisto
Non esisto, non esisto


L'appuntamento – The Appointment (English) Lyrics Courtesy of www6lyrics.com

I've Been Mistaken So Many Times By Now That I Already Know
that Today Is Almost A Certainty
I’ve Been Wrong About You But Once More
That You Can Change My Life...
To Accept This Strange Appointment
Has Been A Madness!
I Am Sad Among The People
That You Are Passing By Me
But The Nostalgia Of Seeing You Again
It Is Stronger Than Weeping:
This Sun Shines On On My Face
A Sign Of Hope.
I Am Waiting When Suddenly
You Appear In A Distance!
Love, Make It Soon, I Don't Resist...
If You Don't Come, I Don't Exist
I Don't Exist, I Don't Exist...
And The Time Has Passed And It's Raining
But Only To Wait
It Doesn't Concern Me What The World Thinks
I Don't Want To Go.
I Look Inside Myself And I Wonder
But I Don't Feel Anything;
I Only Have Is Hope
Lost Among The People.
Love Is You Already Late And I Don't Resist...
If You Don't Come I Don't Exist
I Don't Exist, I Don't Exist...
Lights, Cars, Showcases, Roads
Everything Seems So Confusing
My Shadow Has Gotten Tired Of Following Me
The Day Dies Slowly.
It Doesn't Befit Me To Return To My House
To My Sad Life
This Life That I Wanted To Give To You
You Have Crumbled Between The Fingers.
Love Pardons But I Don't Resist...
Forever, I Don't Exist Now
I Don't Exist, I Don't Exist..

Did you have a favourite?

I have featured Andrea Bocelli in the Sunday Song post before singing a duet with Hayley Westerna.

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

Buono Domenica a Tutti

Friday, November 19, 2010

Nespresso - Cab Driver – Italian Advertising Series No 4 – Friday Feature



The latest Nespresso television commercial with George Clooney, playing himself and John Malkovich playing God has very recently been released in Italy.  As so many of you have enjoyed the last one I posted here Nespresso - Italian Advertising Series No 3 I decided to share this new one with you as well. Also since writing that last post I have discovered that Nespresso has a fan page on Facebook and it was via a link there that I discovered the very good news that they are expanding their recycling programme with the AluCycle Initiative. They use aluminium for the capsules because it protects the coffee aromas and is recyclable without any loss of quality, this is an interesting project which is already operating in many countries.

They plan to create a nationwide collection system in Italy for used capsules based on what they learn from their pilot projects, through which they are testing and comparing their own collection and recycling with existing national packaging waste recovery schemes. By 2013 Nespresso will have put systems in place to triple their capacity to recycle used capsules to 75%.

If you would like to watch the full screen version of the commercial in English with Italian subtitles here is the link from the Facebook page.

Nespresso It's official, it's live! Discover now the new Nespresso film "Cab Driver" by clicking here http://bit.ly/nespresso-cab-driver


Courtesy of Nespresso

I hope you enjoy this latest commercial from Nespresso and as an added bonus you can also have a quick Italian lesson as this time I  have been able to post a version with subtitles in Italian.

A presto!  See you soon!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Love Locks


During the 17C and 18C love locks were defined as a lock of hair hanging long and separate from the rest of one’s hair tied with ribbon and normally only worn by courtiers.  I have not been able to find out in my research if this was in any way connected with love of a sweetheart or just of their own hair!

In the 21C the term has taken on a completely new meaning as a custom that is spreading all over the world, although believed to have originated in China. I have seen photographs of examples as far afield as Germany, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Poland, Russia, South Korea, Uruguay and USA.

Padlocks are no longer just a way of keeping things secure but are now an item that loving couples decorate with their names, initials, messages and so on before attaching them to street furniture such as railings on bridges, fences or lamp posts and throwing away the key. This is a way of symbolising a couples undying love and also thought to bring good luck to the relationship.

Since living in Italy I have come across this symbolism a number of times but before I was writing News From Italy. There was a good example in Viterbo a few years ago, but it disappeared, I assume the structure they were attached to was in danger of collapse under the weight and that the authorities saw fit to remove them.

When we were in Bolsena with friends from the UK for a stroll back in September we came across some Love Locks, they had never seen any before so were fascinated.

I thought it would be interesting to feature them in a post for News From Italy and I look forward to hearing about other examples of this custom that you have seen around the world.

As it happens to be Wednesday and these are outdoor photos I am also participating in Outdoor Wednesday.

Outdoor Wednesday button[5]Welcome to ‘News From Italy’ to the other participants, thankyou for calling by.



Photos of padlocks at top of post are courtesy of Google Images, other research done online was mainly from Wikipedia, the other photos are my own Copyright All rights reserved by LindyLouMac Photo Collection

Monday, November 15, 2010

Our House Renovations–Master Bedroom Suite


This is the third in a series of planned posts on our house renovations, the first one was Our House Renovations - Kitchen which I posted back in July in conjunction with the start of The Dishwasher Saga which incidentally is still on going.  Yes I know somewhat unbelievable, but the engineers eventually heard from Wega and they sent yet another new part to be fitted, something to do with the door this time. However it did not work and now although we can use the dishwasher if we wish it only works with a chair jammed against it and of course it still tends to leak! The engineers by this stage were as fed up as us and have now finally got Wega to agree to replace the Dishwasher. So this is the good news as regards that saga in our life, three weeks we have been waiting for this replacement so goodness knows just how long it will take to arrive. I will let you know when it does!

The second post about the renovations was Our House Renovations - Guest Suite

We completed on the purchase of this property back in February 2009 but as those of you who have been reading my Newsletters and Blog that long will know we have had a lot of work to do. You can read all about it in Archive Blogs of News From Italy but as I wrote then, when we first moved we had no internal staircase, no kitchen, ancient flooring, bathrooms to move, electric wiring and plumbing to be replaced. With a few limitations a blank canvas to work with once all the necessary permissions were in place and this controlled the pace that we were able to work at. The geometra that we worked with was an excellent guide where all the protocol was concerned but it was considered somewhat unusual that my husband and a friend were tackling this renovation themselves.

This third post is to show our transformation of two adjoining rooms from a room that was used as a bedroom, although you had to walk through it to get to the next room, which was used as an upstairs sitting room. It is this pair of rooms that we have converted into a Master Bedroom Suite for our own use.

First photo is the bedroom that we decided to split and make our en suite bathroom at the far end, with the area we walk through into a dressing room area specifically for me. I have never had so much wardrobe space all to myself before, no need to pack away clothes with the seasons any more, bliss.  Italian fitted wardrobes can be double height hanging as the ceilings are so high here.

The dressing room and bathroom was where the most work had to be done, walls built, plastering, painting, tiling floors, tiling bathroom walls and bathroom fittings installed.

Walls to hide the bathroom area.                                         Mosaic tiles for the floor – never again!                           

Tiling of walls all done and bathroom fittings going in.                                 Detail on the black tile in the border.         

Walls plastered and painted. Floor tiles getting grouted.                 My very feminine choice of wardrobe being constructed

So now for photos of the finished rooms, white in the bathroom with black tiles with a hint of pink and the deep pink glass basin while the dressing room area is grey and pink!  I know very brave choice, love or hate, I love it as it lifts what would otherwise be a very dark room as it only has a small window at this end.

We used the same tiles as the bathroom on the windowsill in the dressing room and my husband also renovated the original internal shutter.

Our bedroom which is through the door next to my dressing table was a much easier transformation as it is a fairly modern extension of a large room with fireplace and balcony built over what was when we arrived a garage, now a laundry room.  A coat of paint, mosquito blinds, new furniture and this is what we have transformed it into.


I have only included a selection of the renovation photos from this part of the project in this post, the full album entitled Master Bedroom Suite can be viewed at My Flickr Account if you are interested in seeing more photographs of the transformation.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Sunday Song – Remembrance Sunday -

In Memory of those that lost their lives for us.

Sunday 14th of November is Remembrance Sunday in the UK and although I did mention this Special Day in my last post November 11th I want to feature it here today in respect of my heritage.
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.

Copyright All rights reserved by LindyLouMac Photo Collection

We Shall Remember Them - Remembrance Sunday

courtesy thefriendpeter Remembrance Sunday, a day to remember those who have died for the protection of our liberty and those who have died in and because of war.
The music used in this video is from Elgar's Enigma Variations.   I was unable to find any suitable Italian music or artists to feature here today so I hope you will forgive me for straying away from Italy for this post. Instead I have chosen to share with you this beautiful 2008 rendition from The Ten Tenors of ‘Here’s to The Heroes’. The Ten Tenors are an Australian musical ensemble, more information can be found out about them at the sites I have listed further down the page.
I hope you will join with me today to remember those that lost their lives for us in this weeks Sunday Song post.

The Ten Tenors - Here's to the heroes
Courtesy of Dracowsk
With thanks to the following sites  Wikipedia, You Tube, Facebook and My Space
More Sunday Songs can be found by visiting 5 Minutes Just for Me

Buono Domenica a Tutti