Archive for April, 2010

San Giorgio Informa

Thursday, April 29th, 2010

The latest edition of “San Giorgio Informa” has just been published. Among the news items are the following:

Theatre Group: a new theatre project called “A scena aperta” is being started. It is being financed by the Province and is aimed at the people between 16 and 36 years old. The theatre group has to write and perform a play.

Refuse collection: the project to collect refuse on a “door to door” basis is going ahead. This will mean an increase in the “refuse collecting tax”. Although no tax increase is welcome there is some justification for the raise. First there has been an increase in the cost of disposing of rubbish in the local dump and the ecotax (a tax for causing pollution or damage to the environment).  Secondly there is an urgent need for San Giorgio to increase the percentage of refuse recycled. Currently only 7% of the refuse is separated into plastic, glass etc. By 2011 this, under EU rules, has to increase to 60% otherwise the comune will have to pay even higher “ecotax” and also receive less funding from central government. Obviously this will then have an impact on the other services the comune can offer.

Fresco in Pergola – or how not to give a talk.

Sunday, April 25th, 2010
pergola fresco pergola fresco
pergola fresco fresco pergola

Today the 25th April the 12 Culture Week finishes in Italy. During the week there are various events organised to allow people to see places not normally open or to provide talks etc to introduce people to works of art. Pergola organised a meeting for Saturday at the Church of Mary on the Piazza. There was to be a talk about a 14th century fresco discovered in the church after an the 1997 earthquake which had badly damaged Assisi.

The meeting began at 5.00 and we got to see the fresco at 6.15. For 75 minutes we had  the mayor introducting the 4 speakers. All four of the speakers were difficult to hear even with a microphone and all could have benefitted from a training course on public speaking. They all had the habit of turning to talk to the mayor and the other speakers  instead of talking to the audience (100 people). All the speakers began by thanking various people, all stressed the need to inform people of Pergola’s cultural heritage and unfortunately the audience were too polite to shout out “but we’re only here for the fresco”.

We did finally see the fresco and it is worth going to see. The theme is the crucifixion complete with the devil coming to take the soul of the unrepentant thief. The fresco is probably the work of two artists. The first began work on the frescok at the beginning of the 1300s and was then continued by another artist some years later.

The central section i.e. Christ on the cross was probably destroyed when later generations wanted to create a niche in the wall for an altar. Only the head of Christ remains of this central portion.

Liberation of San Giorgio

Sunday, April 25th, 2010


Today, 25th April, is celebrated as Liberation Day in Italy. San Giorgio’s liberation happened in August 1944.

San Giorgio lies between the Cesano and Metauro Rivers. On the 9th of August 1944 the Polish army began a two day battle which allowed the allies to each the Cesano valley. The German army withdrew to the mountain ridge between the Cesano and Metauro rivers.
The night between the 17th and 18th of august an offensive was launched by the Allies in order to take this defensive line and to weaken the German forces before the attack on the Gothic line. The plan had as its object the unhinging of the enemy’s defence in the Mondolfo/San Costanzo/ Cerasa/ Montemaggiore zone.
The battle lasted three days and led to the expulsion of various German defensive positions (Montecucco, San Giorgio di Pesaro, Piagge) and the conquest (22nd August) of the Metauro valley from Montemaggiore to Fossombrone. (more…)

A night at the opera

Friday, April 23rd, 2010
puritani pam and michael

On Tuesday evening we went to Rimini to see a film of Bellini’s “I Puritani” staged in Bologna last year. The leads (the couple on the left) were Juan Diego Florez and Nino Machaidze the new “dream couple” of opera.  The cinema was small but the screen large and the sound quality excellent. The opera started 8.30 and finished at 11.45. So a long evening well worth the journey but it meant we didn’t get home until after 1.00 am.

We went with Pam and Michael (photo on the right) who live with their dog (photo below) Max in Tavernelle, not too far from us. Their daughter Naomi joined us for the evening as she was stranded in Italy following the iceland volcanic explosions. Before the cinema we went to a restaurant called “Osteria del Borgo” which had been recommended by a friend and which was just round the corner from the cinema. This was very useful as we finished eating at 8.25. A great find both in terms of convenience and the quality of the food.

The tickets to the cinema normally cost 10 euros but we got in for 8 euros, the pensioners’ rate. Not sure how Pam convinced the person at the ticket desk that Bill and I looked over 65.

p.s. the opera’s plot is very complex but basically Arturo and Elvira are in love. Arturo leaves Elvira for various reasons. Elvira goes mad, which is indicated by her always wearing a long white nightie and forgetting to comb her hair. Arturo returns, all is forgiven, Elvira regains her sanity and they sing happily ever after.

max the dog

House blessing

Thursday, April 22nd, 2010


On Monday Don Giorgio arrived to give the house its annual blessing. Last year he had not been well and instead of going to each house he held a blessing service in the church. This year he is back in top form and so was calling on each family. He was meant to arrive at 4.30 (when the house was tidy) but a funeral intervened and so he arrived about 6.30 when we were cooking and the house was not looking so pristine.

The blessing is very simple. He reads out a prayer and sprinkes the room with holy water. The only hestitation in his voice came when he said that we were all Christians in this house. As Bill goes to mass most weeks he got an assured look from Don Giorgio. For me, the look was rather more doubtful.  

Each year each family is left a religious picture and this year it was an icon of the Holy Family.

Population of San Giorgio

Monday, April 19th, 2010

The comune has produced a booklet with some statistics about San Giorgio for year ending 2009. The current population is 1441. When we first came to San Giorgio we were told the population was about 1300.

Births         17
Deaths 21
Immigrants 40
Emigrants 25

The figures clearly show that based on births and deaths San Giorgio is a shrinking community. However, because immigration has exceeded emigration the population has increased.

Opera in Rimini – things Pam and Michael told us -2.

Saturday, April 17th, 2010

Pam and Michael like opera and told us about the Tiberio Cinema in Rimini who hold viewings of operas – both recorded and live broadcasts. The cinema/theatre is managed by the local parish but forms part of the Associazione Cattolia Esercenti Cinema nd is also a  member of the Federazione Italiana Cinema d’essai (art house cinema). From 2008 the cimema has  new equipment capable of showing films in “high definition”.

This week we are hoping, tickets permitting, to go and see “I Puritani”. When we were back in the UK recently the friend we were staying with kept “dipping into” the Arts channel. They always seemed to repeating “I puritani”. So I have seen the end of the first act and the beginning of the second act. It will be nice to see the whole thing and find out if it has a happy ending.

BBC calling – things Pam and Michael told us -1.

Saturday, April 17th, 2010

During our wide ranging conversations Pam and Michael told us that it was possible to get the BBC through the internet. When we try to access the BBC programmes the servers in England recognise our IP address as being from Italy and refuse us access. However, Pam and Michael told us about a site called “My Private Network”. Registering on this site and paying £5 per month will allow us to access the BBC programmes as we be recognised as having a UK IP address.

The only problem is we have to register with Pay Pal to allow the monthly charge to be paid. We are currently experiencing problems getting onto Pay Pal but once done we will be able to  look forward to seeing Gardener’s World etc.

Pam and Michael

Saturday, April 17th, 2010

A couple of weeks ago we got an email from Pam and Michael Wood who had been told about the blog. They are living in Tavernelle a town about 20 minutes drive away. They came and had coffee (well tea) with us. Pam is Scottish, Michael is English and their giant schnuzer Max is born and bred in Italy. We had a lovely morning sitting in the sun over our cuppa and discovered common interests i.e. gardens and opera (at least on Pam, Michael and Bill’s side).

They invited us over for lunch the following Sunday. They have  beautiful house outside Tavernelle complete with lovely views. We had a really good time and were able to compare notes about gardens, problems restoring old homes etc.

New shops in San Giorgio?

Saturday, April 17th, 2010

Work started a couple of weeks ago on refurbishing part of an old warehouse at the start of Via Garibaldi. Apparently the new shop or shops will be the newsagents which will move from its current position on a side street. Not sure if the other shop will be separate or share the same shop with the newsagents but it will be selling Fresh Pasta. Apart from fresh pizza it will also be selling pizza and pastries.

Not sure when the new shops will open and also not sure when the new cafe at the garage will open. Apparently all the paper work is now in order and they are just waiting for the building work to start. Is it possible that in a few months time we will have a choice of places from where to buy our brioche?