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October 17, 2010

Up the Bell-Tower

Filed under: Uncategorized — Darren & Malcolm @ 7:06 pm

This Sunday has seen the second week of the chestnut festival.  As part of the festival many of Vellano’s local attractions have an open day.  One of these is to climb the steps of the church bellfry at the village Pieve.  A Pieve is a church outside the walls of a town or city that caters for the souls of the people of the land, while those in the town had their own church.  Often the Pieve churches are very grand and spectacular, because in olden times it was hard for the Catholic church to attract country people from their more ‘pagan’ ways.  The churches were built as an inspiration to convert and/or to attend church. (more…)

October 10, 2010

La Sagra – Oggi! Nuts!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Darren & Malcolm @ 8:04 pm

Today the 10th of October is the first of two Sundays of chestnut festivals here in Vellano.  Here they are frying the chestnut in a huge padella for a large queue of local people at the village hall.  There are hundreds of cars trailing up the hillside to this popular festival; the Sagra della Frugiata.  It is actually one of many such autumn festivals at this time of year in Tuscany.  These celebrate wine, chocolate, figs and all the local goodies.  I think half of them are probably chestnut festivals here in these hills.  The Vellano festival is 43 years old so fairly recent inovation. (more…)

October 3, 2010

Livorno and the Beginning of Phase 3.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Darren & Malcolm @ 8:28 am


This is Livorno harbour, a very good place to go for looking at boats and ships of all sizes.  It is Tuscany’s second largest city and apparently is the birthplace of the Italian Communist Party.  We thought we would take a look at this large seaport as I am always flying over the town coming into Pisa Airport.  The photograph probably shows the most scenic part of the city, ie the harbour with all the lovely yachts and mediterrenean cruise ships. (more…)

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