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, February 28, 2012

Fisherman's Beach - Spiaggia del Pescatore - Marta

This is how the Fisherman's Beach has looked since we first visited Marta in 2004 so it was somewhat of a shock when we came home in January after our Christmas/New Year Travels to discover that there had been a dramatic change.

It seems that the trees had been declared unsafe and had to be removed. Sadly nothing lives for ever and we have to accept that Mother Nature is constantly causing our landscapes to be changed, sometimes in very dramatic ways such as earthquakes, tornadoes, tsunami and so on.  

A relatively little change like beautiful old trees becoming unsafe seems so dramatic to us but is really not so in the scheme of things is it?   We will soon get used to the new look and it will become part of the scenery we are used to, but in the meantime it just looks so strange.

The fishing in Marta is still carried out in a very traditional manner and I think some of you might be interested in this video ' Angelino, Il Pescatore ' which a contact of mine originally posted on YouTube in 2009.(loaded by  on Nov 18, 2009) It has English subtitles and is a fascinating insight into the life of a typical fisherman in Marta, with 5,570 viewings to date, it has attracted some interest.

Does change in your locality upset you, despite knowing it is for the best in the long run?  It must be in our nature I suppose change can be unsettling. I admit I was upset to see what looks at the moment like devastation, but since then I have remembered that we have to think of future generations not just ourselves.

The Fishermen and their wives are certainly going to miss sitting in the shade under the trees, passing the time of day whilst mending their nets.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Friday Photo - Lingering Snow

At long last the snow has all gone, certainly from our garden, although there are a few piles of snow moved into large heaps around the district, but looking very messy and not worthy of a photograph. However I thought you might be interested to see the lingering snow from last weekend.

Hopefully this weekend will see a very different scene as today it is 17C with glorious sunshine, our daffodils are coming into bloom and it feels like Spring is in the air.

We plan to get some gardening done, what ever your own plans are have a lovely weekend.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Sunday Song - Emma Marrone - San Remo 2012 Winner

Yesterday evening Emma Marrone  became the winner of  the Festival della Canzone Italiana San Remo 2012 

I have often mentioned the Italian Song Festival San Remo, Festival della Canzone Italiana San Remo 2011, in Sunday Song posts as many of the artists I feature have appeared at and won various categories of the festival. The final of the 62nd edition of the Festival was held yesterday evening and was broadcast live on Italian television as it is a very popular event with the Italians, a vast majority of whom seem to love music in some form or other.  

Uploaded by  on Feb 14, 2012
You Tube Link

Lyrics in Italian - "Non e L'Inferno"
Ho... dato la vita e il sangue per il mio paese e mi ritrovo a non tirare a fine mese, in mano a Dio le sue preghiere Ho... giurato fede mentre diventavo padre due guerre senza garanzia di ritornare, solo medaglie per l'onore Se qualcuno sente queste semplici parole, parlo per tutte quelle povere persone che ancora credono nel bene... Se tu hai coscienza guidi e credi nel paese dimmi cosa devo fare per pagarmi da mangiare, per pagarmi dove stare, dimmi che cosa devo fare. No, questo no, non è l'inferno ma non comprendo com'è possibile pensare che sia più facile morire No, non lo pretendo ma ho ancora il sogno che tu mi ascolti e non rimangano parole Ho... pensato a questo invito non per compassione ma per guardarla in faccia e farle assaporare un po' di vino e un poco di mangiare Se sapesse che fatica ho fatto per parlare con mio figlio che a 30 anni teme il sogno di sposarsi e la natura di diventare padre Se sapesse quanto sia difficile il pensiero che per un giorno di lavoro c'è chi ha ancora più diritti di chi ha creduto nel paese del futuro No questo no, non è l'inferno ma non comprendo com'è possibile pensare che sia più facile morire Io no, non lo pretendo ma ho ancora il sogno che tu mi ascolti e non rimangano parole, Non rimangano parole... Com'è possbile pensare che sia più facile morire Io no, non lo pretendo ma ho ancora il sogno che non rimangano parole Non rimangano parole, non rimangano parole.

Lyrics in English - A very rough translation by Google Translate

I ... given life and blood for my country and I find myself not to pull at the end of the month, holding her prayers to God I ... I becamefather swore faith while two wars with no guarantee of return, only medals for honor if someone hears these simple words, I speakfor all those poor people who still believe in good ... If you believe you have conscience and drive in the country tell me what to do to pay me to eat, to pay me to stay, tell me what to do. No, no, not hell, but I do not understand how you think it is easier to die No,do not pretend but I still dream that you hear me and I have no words remain ... thought to this call for compassion, but not to face her and make her a taste 'of wine and a little hard to eat if he knew that I had to talk with my son who fears the 30-year dream to marry and the nature of becoming If his father knew how difficult it is thought that for a day of work some people have more rights than those who believed in this country of the future no, no, not hell, but I do not understand how can you believe that it is I do notdie easily, but do not pretend I still dream that you hear me and do not remain words, no words remain ... How is it possbile to think that it is easier to die I do not, do not pretend but I still dream that there are no words no words remain, do not remain words.

Emmanuela Marrone was born in Florence, Italy on May 25th 1984. A young lady whose rise to fame on the Italian music scene I followed whilst watching the Italian reality talent show Amici di Maria De Filippi, which she won in March 2010.  During the semi final of this show she sung  "Sittin' On The Dock Of The Bay" with Craig David

Uploaded by  on Mar 14, 2011

Emma Marrone was placed second at last years 61st Festival della Canzone Italiana San Remo 2011 when she accompanied Italian rock band Moda  singing “Arriverà”   “Will Come”.

You can listen to 'Arrivera'  here on my post where you will also find the words in Italian and English.

To find out more about Emma you may want to visit her Official Website.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Friday the 17th – Unlucky for Some

Today in Italy is the equivalent of Friday the 13th in other parts of the world, unlucky if you are superstitious. Here in Italy the number 17 has the same unlucky significance that other places such as the UK and USA give to the number 13. To keep bad luck away some people carry a little golden horn as a charm or use the phrase “tocca ferro” “touching metal,” (preferably iron) the equivalent of our “touching wood”.

In fact the number 13 is considered lucky in Italy apart from one time when it is considered unlucky, which is to have thirteen persons at the meal table, but I remember this superstition from the UK also. This superstition goes back to the Last Supper of Jesus and the Apostles.

The number 17 is associated with bad luck in Italy because the Roman Numerals XVII are an anagram of the Latin word VIXI – ‘I Was Alive’ note the past tense! It can be used in the sense of saying “My life is over”

A Friday the 17th occurring in November, turns the whole month into the month of the deceased and is considered particularly unlucky. As November 2nd is memorial day for the dead in Italy.

I am not very observant in that I have never noticed if the Italians miss out the number 17 when numbering houses and flats, but I do know that Alitalia does not have a seat number 17 on its aircraft.

I will take special care today then and Tocca Ferro.

I am also enjoying the sunshine and slow thaw accompanied by the first signs of Spring, the first Japonica flowers and the Mimosa starting to show yellow despite the snow.

Some of the content today is taken from my original post written and posted here in September 2010 Friday 17th

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

San Valentino - Valentines Day

I have written about  Valentines Day on previous occasions so if you are interested in romantic music or traditions please check these old posts.

Romantic Songs   Traditions  or  San Valentino - Wikipedia  for the History of Valentines Day in Italy

Valentines Day in Italy is a highly commercialised event with the shops full of special gifts and many restaurants will have special menus this evening.

The best Valentine Day present that we could possible have hoped for arrived at 8.30am, our much needed Gas Delivery. I think we would have run out completely today as the dial was reading 2%, so it arrived in the nick of time. See yesterday's post if you have no idea what I am talking about!
What A Week

Sending Love and Happiness to you all.

Monday, February 13, 2012

What A Week! Che Una Settimana!


Snow Ice Snow

Goodness me what a week it has been, actually what a month!  For all of February at least so far we have been in the grip of ‘The Big Freeze’ here in Italy.  You may have noticed that every one of my posts this month have been weather orientated.  Neve – SnowThe Big Freeze, Ghiaccio - Ice in Marta, and  After the Ice More Snow.

I am not going to apologise though as this blog is all about sharing news of our everyday life in Lazio and this weather has certainly been having a huge impact on our lives since February 1st when it first snowed where we live.

Although much of north west Italy had already experienced heavy snowfalls and the forecast was for snow in Lazio it was still a surprise to wake to a white landscape. This first snowfall was not very significant and did not last long here by the lake.  A little more snow fell over the next few days but not causing much in the way of problems for us, they were still to come as the temperatures started to drop even more and then the Tramontana, arrived a cold north wind, which started to blow strongly.  This combined with temperatures below freezing made for very unpleasant conditions.  It was during this first weekend of the month that we realised the weather forecasters were right and that the Big Freeze was set to be around for awhile. 

We decided it would be sensible to get our gas tank topped up so put in an order on February 6th, delivery was promised within twenty four hours, however the company had not managed to get to us before the next snowfall arrived on February 10th which put paid to any hope of them getting through. As I type we are really hoping that the tanker will arrive imminently now the roads have been cleared. As despite rationing gas carefully, our situation is now getting desperate! We can survive without gas but even with two wood burning stoves and an open fireplace this old house is not easy to keep at a comfortable temperature. At least we have plenty of wood to see us through.

On the same day we also discovered that the strong winds the night before had damaged our satellite dish which my husband has been unable to repair himself. Of course the engineer has not been able to get to us either yet, so we have also been without Sky television. We did manage to rig something via the old terrestrial aerials and can now view Italian channels.

With the extreme cold now having continued for so long we are now even more concerned about potential damage to garden plants, our many fruit trees and of course our olive grove,  we shall just have to wait and hope.

The snow was not in a hurry to thaw last week, which reminded us of the old wives tale that if snow hangs around it means there is more to come!  This of course proved to be true when the heavy snowfalls that the weather forecasters predicted fell on the 10th and 11th of February. We woke at 7am on the Friday to two inches of snow and blizzard conditions, it continued to snow for much of the next forty eight hours and we ended up with around 14”.

The terrace table was where we took one of the measurements!

Although this was a very moderate fall compared to other parts of Italy it still managed to cause quite a bit of chaos as people discovered they were snowed in due to the wind having produced some amazing snowdrifts.  We were fortunate that our neighbour cleared the lane with their tractor and we were able to clear by our own gates, although we have friends that had to wait for the local commune to come and dig them out.

Unlike a lot of other areas we have also had electricity the entire time, apart from a couple of flickers, the phone landline was down for twenty four hours, but to my relief the internet connection which does not rely on a phone line has continued to operate.

During one of the lulls in snowfall over the weekend and having snow chains for the car it was decided to make a brief expedition for fresh supplies and that is when the photos that are not of our own garden were taken.

Mosaic of the Snowfall February 10th 2012.

Mosaics of the Snowfall February 11th 2012.

Time for an expedition to Marta with the chains on.

Less snow down in Marta beside the lake but enough to build an impressive snowman!

Problems were caused where the strong winds had created huge snowdrifts!

We had sunshine yesterday and today and a slight thaw. However the temperatures at night are still very very cold so it will take awhile for the snow to disappear, as the thaw, freeze thaw continues. We have dug ourselves out where needed, the path to the woodpile, access to our gates and terraces,including the upstairs terrace.

Clearing the terrace!

We are used to this sort of weather and are coping ok but it is the locals we feel sorry for as they have not seen conditions like this since 1985 and are just not used to such extreme cold.

As I have said before many times Life in Italy is never dull, at least it does not seem to be for us.

All photos can be viewed in a larger format on Flickr.com in my collection entitled The Big Freeze February 2012

Copyright All rights reserved by LindyLouMac Photo Collection

Mosaic Monday

This is a series which I participate in from time to time and I have done so with this post. Welcome to News From Italy to anyone who has called by from Mosaic Monday at Little Red House and of course all my supportive readers who call by and leave comments both here and on my other blogs.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Friday Photo - After The Ice More Snow! – Dopo il Ghiaccio Ancora Neve


snow flake clipart snow flake clipartsnow flake clipart

This was the scene that greeted us at 7am, around two inches deep and it has been snowing ever since!

Not much snow compared to some other areas of Italy but the snow is measuring 7" at the moment. Our gas tank is down to 10% ordered Monday and promised within 48hrs, somehow do not think it will delivered any time soon. Also no Sky TV since Monday as Tramontana (the strong northerly winds) damaged the dish!! What fun this is!

Stay warm everyone or cool if it is your summer and have a great weekend where ever you are.

With thanks to  http://www.free-clipart-pictures.net/ for the snowflake clip art image.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Ghiaccio – Ice in Marta


There may not be much snow left around the shores of the Lago di Bolsena in Marta, but just look at these photos of the ice taken in town this morning!

They look so much more impressive individually so if you are interested in viewing the rest of the ice photos in a larger format they can be found on Flickr.com in My Album Ghiaccio - Ice in Marta

Copyright All rights reserved by LindyLouMac Photo Collection

Mosaic Monday

This is a series which I participate in from time to time and I have done so with this post. Welcome to News From Italy to anyone who has called by from Mosaic Monday at Little Red House and of course all my supportive readers who call by and leave comments both here and on my other blogs.

More photos and videos of the cold weather in Italy can also be found in the previous posts The Big Freeze in Lazio, Neve – Snow and the News From Italy Facebook Page

Saturday, February 4, 2012

The Big Freeze in Lazio

When I posted the snow photos a few days ago I was wondering if the weather forecasters had got it right. They have been saying that this cold spell is going to be the worst and coldest in Italy since 1985.  It seems they were right and most of Europe is very very cold at the moment!
The snow is not really a problem but the wind blowing the snow and the freezing cold temperatures are, I have just checked our thermometer and it is now reading minus 6C.
With this extreme cold due to last about another week I am just hoping that our plants and trees will survive. Nature is adaptable I know but plants here are just not used to extended periods of such cold weather. It was the winter of 1985 that killed many olive trees in parts of Italy, so I am hoping that ours will be OK.
I took a few photos earlier today to show how our garden is looking in this cold and snow.

As well as sharing my own photos I thought it might be fun to share a few of the many snow videos I found on YouTube today, which show both the beauty and the chaos that the snow has brought to Lazio this week.

Uploaded by MrCartelletta on Feb 2, 2012

Uploaded by 5quinto5 on Feb 1, 2012

Uploaded by REPORTERMARCO on Feb 3, 2012
Uploaded by mojofleur on Feb 3, 2012
Uploaded by VoloGratis on Feb 3, 2012
All my snow photos can be viewed in full size in My Flickr Albums
Copyright All rights reserved by LindyLouMac Photo Collection
Have a lovely weekend everyone, stay warm and safe.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Neve – Snow


Although much of north west Italy has already experienced heavy snowfalls over the last few days and the forecast is for snow in Lazio it was still a surprise to wake to a white landscape this morning! 

We were expecting snow yesterday afternoon, it certainly felt like there was snow in the air, but it never arrived, then we were woken by heavy rain in the night.

These views were therefore not what we expected to see when we got up this morning!  As you can see not very much has fallen here by the lake, it is very wet snow and is already melting quickly. 


The forecast is for the weather to stay cold here with more snow on its way so maybe there will be more photos. The rest of the photos I took this morning may also be viewed in My Flickr Album Let It Snow!

More information about our weather can be found on our local forecast site. Meteo Marta.it

Copyright All rights reserved by LindyLouMac Photo Collection

If you enjoyed these do look out for some very different snow photos which I will be sharing soon  on Travel Tales and LindyLouMac's World in Photos of our trip to Wengen in Switzerland where we spent Christmas and New Year.