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January 29, 2012

Winter in Vellano

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — Darren Hackett @ 3:37 pm

 

We hope you all had as lovely Christmas and New Year, as we had here.  The weather was mild and sunny this year and there was lots to to do and people to see, including our friends and neighbours.  Aren’t Christmas decorations interesting in Italy!  There are lots of plastic Santa Claus’ flapping about precariously from chimney tops and climbing up traditional green Tuscan shutters.  Plenty of lights illuminating the trees in the road and one enterprising villager who is a big fan (tifoso) of the nearest Serie A football team which is in Florence, called AC Fiorentina.  He had a huge purple/violet Christmas tree surrounded by an arched doorway of violet lights.  Fiorentina incidently play in the colour violet (never seen in England you understand!).  This colour apparently originates from the original red and white city colours they used to play in.  The shirts were apparently then washed one day in the river Arno and the colours bled to form this particularly lurid and striking colour.  Fiorentina may not be Italy’s most successful team but they are the most beautifully equipped. What would you expect from Italy’s most stylish city.

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February 5, 2011

Paradiso

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — Darren Hackett @ 3:29 pm

We are having the most beautiful winter here in Tuscany.  The weather has generally been dry and sunny ever since New Years Day and at times the temperatures have been warm, up to 17 degrees.  So the crocus and the mimosa are flowering and the air is filled with bird song on balmy afternoons.

Montecarlo is the other side of Pescia a few miles away from here.  It is a small town on top of a hill, that occupies the plain of Lucca and was fortified to defend Lucca against the Florentines for many centuries.  With its fortified walls and its small castle, and with its Olive tree-lined streets and pretty terraces is lovely at any time of the year.  It is also the local centre for the wine industry with both its red and white wines gaining a very good reputation in recent years.  We went to the Fattoria Cercetoio to buy some wine for my mother’s birthday.  The farm is owned by Angelo who lived for many years in England running a very popular restaurant and now he runs this establishment set in its own gorgeous little valley a few miles down the road from Montecarlo.  The house and land, pictured, is surrounded by vineyards, olive trees and fruit trees.  Also there are many animals, including, a lovely tan donkey that supplies Angelo with the necessary manure to help with his vines.

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