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May 7, 2021

Vellano in the Spring Time

Filed under: Uncategorized — Darren & Malcolm @ 6:27 pm
The Apartment at Casa Verde

When we arrived at Casa Verde this spring we opened the doors and windows and breathed in the mountain air, fantastic! The swallows were there also and quickly took up their old routine flight through the front door and up the stairs and out of the balcony doors! This used to make the cats go berserk!

Our Cat Caramella 2018
Casa Verde Main House Door
Santa Maria dell Fiori & Brunelleschi’s Bell Tower


As the restrictions are lifted here in Italy we were able to meet out friends in Florence and Lucca. In Florence were were surprised at the tranquil atmosphere of Florentines going about their daily business with no tourists! It was quite extraordinary. There were very few tourists in the city (they will be welcomed back soon!) So the city in which outdoors cafes and restaurants reopened, were well populated with local citizens enjoying the open spaces of this historic place.

On Friday this week the Italian Government will announce how they will be opening Italy for tourism this summer; so keep an eye-out if your thinking of Italy as a holiday destination this year.

Visit our Holiday Accommodation @

Santa Maria Novella Florence


Rustic Cheese – Half Cows and Half Sheep Milk from Croce a V

While out on a day walk in the Valeriana; at the highest level in the valley 900m we passed farm or a ‘Podere’ with a sign saying cheese for sale. It was the bucolic vision of a remote mountain farm, verdant green hills and slopes with goats, sheep of many colours and brown cows all happily living side by side. Their neck bells creating a beautiful sound over the whole valley. The farmer and his family greeted me with a warm smile and a curiosity that all Italian’s display. A rugged man with a weathered face of more than sixty years; brought out of the farmhouse a round of cheese, its a mix of cows and sheep he said for you, like it was a present! There was 27 euros’ written of the brown paper bag. Are you going to eat it on your way he asked, I said sure, for our Pranzo I said. Were are you from Germany? he said, my blonde hair always suggests this. I said Vellano, our village, but its not what he meant and I said Inghilterra! I’m sorry he said for your Regina Elizabetta, I realised that he meant the death of Prince Philip, a few days before, such news had reached this mountain top place. I could smell the cheese coming through the brown paper bag so off I went for my lunch.

Must Eat My Greens!

Field Green Called Cavolini by Some But ‘Spigole’ by the People of Vellano

Cavolini or ‘Spigole’ as the villagers call it is a field green that is very special at this time of year. Cooked with a little olive oil, salt and the water from the washing just steam for a few minutes or even eaten raw with olio and salt and black pepper, as you chew it the taste of lemon emerges, its delicious.

Cavolini the Vellanaise Call ‘Spigole’

Asparagi – One of the Wonders of Spring

One of the first things to be planted here in 2010 was an asparagus bed. Not thinking it would take, as they are such strange plants, every year they spring up from the ground. They make these fantastic tasting vegetables or should I say flowers which is what they are. Cooked by boiling and then frying a runny egg in butter to put on top, parmesan cheese, parsley and black pepper; that’s it, wonderful. Eaten by dipping the tips in the egg!

Back in the Day

St Martino & St Sisto Vellano 1900

This is where we put all the old photos we find of Vellano. See below a very old photo of the hillside without Casa Verde and one with, but not our neighbours house. Our neighbour now 100 years old has always said her Husband built the house for his family while he and his wife were working for ‘The General’, his house was on the road below Casa Verde. It is also said we had in our bedroom ‘The General’s bed’ which we used when we first arrived at the house in 2010. We still have the headboard! The stone quarry is visible in the first photo before the our house was built. It’s said the house was built to house the workmen and their families. Four kitchens and seven old bedrooms, complete with old straw mattresses’, stand testament to that story. Another neighbour, 97 years old, who’s son still runs a stone quarry in the village said he remembers the quarrymen, and the ‘scalpellini’ the chisellers who scupltured the stone into building blocks, or more artistic artefacts that we still see in Tuscany today. They would use wooden sledges to move the blocks of stone down the paths behind the house and then along the hillside track to the village.


Casa Verde will be built below white patch (our stone quarry) on hillside middle


Casa Verde – on the hillside – middle left – but with no house next door!


On a sad note the Village Dog Brunello has died and the village have erected a Pietra Serena stone memorial to him. He was very old but spent most of his life on the main road having been abandoned from a passing car over 15 years ago. He lived on the spot where he was left as if waiting for his owners to return. The spot is also the site of a restaurant which also my be a good reason to choose that spot to live. The villagers have always been very generous to Brunello looking after him and paying his vet bills. We will miss him.

Brunello RIP
Vellano from Casa Verde

We hope to see you soon at Casa Verde

Visit it our Holiday Apartment


and Book Today for 2021

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