Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Visiting Buonconvento (Siena)

This weekend we decided to take the scenic and longer route to Siena from Chiusi. Actually it is all scenic but this is via the old Cassia instead of the Highway. Along the way we stopped at a wonderful little town called Buonconvento and took a glimpse at the handcrafts on sale as well as the antique open air market. This past weekend was the "Cose del Passato" or Things of the Past market with everything from wooden products, wrought iron, linens, embroideries. There are many little trattorias along the main road in the center of the town and you cannot wrong as they all offer the usual favorites, pastas, meats, antipasti, bruschetta, etc.

If you are going to Siena, stop in Buonconvento along the way.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Television in Italy- The Ugly

One of my greatest disappointments after moving to Italy was television in Italy. I was never an avid television watcher and now I can pretty much say I don't watch any television at all in Italy.  Normal television in Italy is a disgrace. The few channels that are available do not offer anything of quality for anyone and you have to pay a state yearly tax for it. Unbelievable since the government should be paying the viewers for putting up with such trash. There are very few quality programs. Commercials or advertisements are even worse and an embarassment.

Pay tv or SKY is a little better but not much. There are some English speaking channels and some cartoon channels if you have children but I still prefer no tv.

The only thing I miss are the news channels but those too are not in anyway objective so I wonder what news I am actually getting. My best bet is going to the newstand which still sells English language papers and the usual Italian papers.

I don't miss watching television. Reading is so much better!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Enjoying Casa Fabbrini

We were greeted Friday evening by Giorgio and Paola, the owners of Casa Fabbrini who welcomed us into their home as if we had known them for years. It was literally like being "at home" only this home was an amazing Tuscan villa that opens its doors to guests year round and lavishes them with every detailed comfort.

Giorgio and Paola are not only the best cooks, make their own jams, cookies, olive oil, everything but they are also two very respected physicians in Rome. They invited us to an incredible dinner with homemade pasta (made by Giorgio), amazing radicchio, rabbit with the secret sauce, and a semi freddo of persimmon. To top it off biscotti made by Paola herself , chocolates, and after dinner drinks. Oh I forgot about the suppli' direct from Rome and the most amazing mozzarella! Non ho parole...

We sat at a large table in a beautiful dining area with all the guests who stayed in the Villa the entire weekend. It was nice, refreshing talking and chatting with people I had never met before that evening. We had one thing in common, an appreciation for good food and very nice company.

If you ever plan to visit the Valdichiana area, check out
You will be glad you did.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Living Italy: Slow Food: La Pera Cocomerina

Living Italy: Slow Food: La Pera Cocomerina: "Every once in awhile it happens. You run into something amazing that only a few people know about and want to share it with everyone. O..."

Slow Food: La Pera Cocomerina

Every once in awhile it happens. You run into something amazing that only a few people know about and want to share it with everyone. On our way home from the beach this weekend, we stopped in the tiniest town called Le Ville di Montecoronaro di Verghereto in the province of Forli-Cesena. My husband insisted that we go off the beaten path so I can get my hands on the most amazing jam called Pera Cocomerina. No it is not a joke as I thought it was. Why is this jam so special? It is made with the fruit Pera Cocomerina which grows only in this area. The name is because the pear has a watermelon (cocomero) red color in its center. The fruit is small and weighs from 20 to 60 grams. The fruit is sweet and its trees are very few, about 45 left all in this area of Italy. They are protected trees in that a committee (presidio) has been created to make sure they do not become extinct or destroyed in any way. If you are in the area of Forli-Cesena, make sure to stop by Le Ville. You can only purchase a maximum of two jars of jam!

Friday, April 1, 2011

The Good, The Bad, The Ugly of Living In A Small Town In Tuscany

I get so accustomed of living in the small town of Chiusi that things that occur have almost become common place. I forget that those who don't live in a small town may have no idea of how it is like. As with anything else, there are the pro's and con's but you have to decide for yourself. ...

1.  Be prepared that if you wear the same clothing more than two days in a row people will comment on it. Actually people will comment on anything anyways so who cares.

2. You cannot put on a pair of sunglasses and a hat and have an anonymous day because sure enough you will be stopped and asked if everything is ok.

3. You cannot cry because you feel like crying for whatever reason in your car or anywhere because you will be stopped and asked about it or someone will spread the rumor of something evil having happened to you.

4. Image and appearance is everything so be prepared. Here it is what you wear that makes you what you are.

5. Don't ever ever go barefoot. Huge no no.

6. Don't wear flip flops unless it is scorching hot weather in the Summer.

7. Always wear some kind of a jacket, coat, over coat, trench coat, wind breaker. Going without outerwear is another no no.

8. Shoes should always be super clean and polished.

9. Hair should always be nice and tidy and if possible a weekly stop at the hair salon for women is a plus.

10. Make sure your car is clean. This is an ordeal and impossible for the vast majority that live in the countryside.

11. When in doubt, buy designer even if you cannot afford it. This still makes me laugh.

12. Don't ask for a cappuccino anytime after 11 am. A huge no no.

13. Do buy lots of bread, focaccia daily.

14. Beware of when the circus is in town as it brings diseases.

15. The cold outside or rain causes colds and viruses not the fact that someone sneezed on you.

16. Social media is talking a lot outside.

17. An iPhone is the American way of saying telephone.

18. Facebook is a book with many pictures of faces.

19. Life is eating well..........