This rather attractive painting appears in Florence’s Neo-classical railway station. The station building itself was completed in 1935 at the height of the Fascist Era in Italy and looks to me rather tired and scruffy from the outside these days. However inside it is a pleasure of light and space, the glass that looks so grimy on the outside looks beautifully illuminated on the inside. Of course there is some art involved, and above is an example of some of the very interesting mural paintings close to the platform for our train back to Pescia.
Darren recently enjoyed a trip to Florence to take a tour around the Vasari corridor. The Vasari corridor is a part of the Uffizi museum where most of the major Florentine art is stored. The ‘corrodoio’ was built in 1564 by Cosimo 1 de’Medici to a design by the painter architect Giorgio Vasari. The Medicis wanted to move freely from the main public buildings in the centre of Florence to their palace on the south side of the city without having to mingle with the common people below so they built a corridor that ran through and spanned several buildings, including the Uffizi palace and the Ponte Vecchio.
The corridor is also a gallery of self portraits by many of the worlds most famous artists, including Raphael and Rembrandt.
Here in Vellano we have much rain to contend with still. Mists and showers seem to come from nowhere just when you think the sun may shine for a while and you put out the washing with a certain but misplaced expectation! But when we do get a sunny day the air can still be warm and we have eaten lunch outdoors one day this week.
Well November is here and it is the rainy season and it really has lived up to its billing in that sense, rivers and streams full to brimming with thunderous blue rain. However though we are now lighting fires in our large cantina boiler to fire up the heating and beginning to use our winter supply of wood, there have still been a few lovely bright sunny days as well. Those kind of days that you would never get in England, so for us that is very reassuring. We do miss the sort autumn colours of England, especially the gold and orange divestments of the Beech tree, still there are many colours in the hills here too. Also at this time many people have begun to harvest their olives which as you can see are full of either green or black olives, depending on which variety you have on your plot. We hope to harvest our small number of 6 trees in December.
We went yesterday to San Miniato (see post of June 14th), where they celebrated the annual white truffle festival. Peidmonte in the North West of Italy is the most well known region in Italy for the production of this delicacy, however the area around San Miniato produces one quarter of Italy’s white truffle production. In the town there are many stalls selling this expensive product, either by the gram (about 16 Euros for each) or in many other forms such truffle flavoured oil and spreads. There are many other stalls selling all sorts of meats, cheeses, breads and sweet goods, including some very delicious looking chocolate products. You can stroll up and down San Miniato’s long main street, tasting and nibbling the free samples that are eagerly offered to you as you pass by.
Just as an update on Alfie our cat. He was very ill last month and we feared the worst for his survival but here is fit and well.
Damian say Hello to Alfie!