Archive for May, 2009

Rainclouds over San Giorgio

Thursday, May 28th, 2009


The meteorologists got it right. They predicted some thunderstorms in the early evening and at 7.00p.m. there was an incredible downpour. Heavy rain, hailstones, strong winds. It lasted about 30 minutes. Water from the street was channelled down the path to our house, then swirled down the side of the house cascading over the steps onto the terrace where the force of the water excavated holes in our flower beds – particularly our bed of agapanthus and washed off the gravel on our steps.

Giro d’Italia comes to town

Thursday, May 28th, 2009

tour d’italia

On Monday the Giro d’Italia passed through San Giorgio. This was the second longest stages in the competition (237 kilometres) and according to some pundits it was one of the toughest as they had to cycle up four mountains with a incline of 18 degrees in some parts.
giro d’italia
giro d’italia
It was also a very hot day – in the low 30s (100 degrees). The stage was won in the closing stages by Carlos Sastre after more than 7 hours cycling.

However, as San Giorgio is only 40 kilometres from the starting post and is relatively flat the riders passed through the town very quickly – within 5 minutes it was over. But it was 5 exciting minutes which ended with me being hit by an empty water bottle thrown by one of the Saxobank team.

House painting finished

Sunday, May 24th, 2009

house painted

Despite the heat we  have been continuing with painting the outside of the house. It has meant trying to start work at 7.30 and finish by 11.00. The only bit left was the walls above the portico. Had been thinking of getting someone in to paint it as I wasn’t happy about working on the roof. However, encouraged by Silvio in my English class e.g. if you fall you roll down the roof and then its a short drop to the ground, we decided to give it a go and yesterday we finished.

Heat wave

Sunday, May 24th, 2009

For more than a week Italy has been suffering from a heat wave. A large anticyclone had come up from Africa which means temperatures in the low 30s, humidity and some sleepless nights. It’s the weather normally associated with August rather than May. The television is filled with advice on surviving the heat – keeping cool, eating fruit etc. In fact its the same advice given every year in August but provides another opportunity to show the footage of people dipping their feet in fountains and eating ice cream.

Meeting of two mayors

Saturday, May 23rd, 2009

On Tuesday evening there was a public meeting with the two prospective mayors. The meeting, as is normal here, began at 9.15p.m. and did not finish until midnight. The first part of the meeting was taken up with a confrontation between the current mayor, Federico, and the previous mayor, Landini, who is running for election again. Over the last few weeks there has been a series of acrimonious letters between the two along the lines of: Federico – we inherited debts and have managed to control spending and continue to develop services; Landini – current administration has done nothing creative but only continued projects already started when he was in power. All this arguing was repeated at the meeting and would have been better left in the past.

Mayoral election

Tuesday, May 19th, 2009

The Group “Insieme per San Giorgio” have now issued their manifesto for the local elections. Their slogan is not “yes, we can” but “commitment, common sense and seriousness”. They only want to propose things which they think are feasible e.g. free bus to take people with no transport to the local market, a telephone SOS service run by a group of volunteers, specific road improvements, development of a “sorted” rubbish collection service, extension of adult education e.g. gardening, painting and italian classes for “foreigners in the area”.

Weekend in Florence

Tuesday, May 19th, 2009

On Friday drove to Florence for the weekend. Had been planning to do it for 3 years as our friend Peter lives there and another friend Desi lives near Florence.

Rain had been forecast for Friday and Saturday but the met office got it wrong again – we had fantastic weather. Having been to Florence before we only went to a few “tourist sites”. The one we definitely wanted to see again was the Medici Palace which has a chapel frescoed by Gozzoli – illustrating the Procession of the Magi.

medici chapel courtyard medici palace

The palace is never crowded and there is no queing to see the masterpiece and like all masterpieces it never disappoints. Wandering round the palace we walked into an enclosed courtyard which had great vases of orange trees all in blossom. The scent was incredible – almost worth the entrance fee. It was also a great contrast to the botanic gardens which we went to later. They were a complete disappointment. Hedges unclipped, beds full of weeds and certainly not worth the 6 euros entrance fee.

Giro d’Italia is coming to town

Thursday, May 14th, 2009

On the 25th May the Giro d’Italia cycle race will be passing through San Giorgio. The stage will start at Pergola, head towards the coast passing through San Giorgio and then move back inland to finish at Cagli.

House painting starts again

Monday, May 11th, 2009

back of house painted

Having painted half the house last year we decided it was time to finish the job. Bought a new ladder which enabled us to reach the highest parts of the house and began painting.  It was a slow job as the ladder is heavy and we spent lots of time making sure it was balanced as we didn’t want to fall onto the concrete terrace

We are still not finished but we are on the home strait and we are pleased with the results.

Good start to the new season.

Monday, May 11th, 2009

Yesterday was a beautiful day in the Marche. We had been invited for lunch by Katia and Giovanni. It was in their apartment at Torrette, near the beach. We were expecting an intimate lunch for 4 but had a family lunch for 10. Despite a small kitchen we managed to have: lasagne, roast beef, roast chicken, roast goose, stuffed artichoke hearts, spinach, strawberries and finally, because it was “Festa della mamma” a celebratory sponge cake. All this was accompanied by boistrous family conversation ranging from the man killed by the donkey, the mayoral election, coastal erosion, germans etc.

After such a good time we went to the beach for a bit of R&R. We met some friends from last year and got up to date on the news chief of which was that Maria and Francesco, two stalwarts of the San Giorgio/Torrette beach community had sold their apartment and bought a new one about 2 kilometres away.
torrette beach
The beach was quiet with a few people venturing into the sea – still rather cold for Italians. But the sun was warm, the sea breeze cooling and all is ready for the new beach season.