Archive for July, 2010

Raid on the beach

Saturday, July 24th, 2010

The people who sell clothes, jewellry etc on the beach are breaking the law but most italians ignore the law and happily buy things from them. The sellers are in two group: those who walk up and down the beach selling their wares and the others who put a tarpaulin on the sand and spread out their bags, clothes etc. On Thursday there was an argument between one of these sedantary  sellers and a man from San Giorgio who thought the seller was intruding into his space or blocking his view of the sea. The San Giorgio resident left the beach. About an hour later he returned and at that point the coast guards and municipal police came running towards the guys selling on the beach. The guys tried to quickly wrap up their tarpaulin and run away. One escaped but the another seller (not the one who had argued with the San Giorgio resident) was caught but not before the shirt had been ripped from his back. He was taken away and all his goods confiscated. The whole incident was very distasteful particularly when it was realised that the person who had gone and phoned the coastguards to complain about illegal selling is normally happy to buy things from other sellers. The following day the incident was still being discussed and the general feeling was that it was an underhand thing  to have done and something which doesn’t reflect well on the people of San Giorgio.

Costa della Figura

Saturday, July 24th, 2010

costa della figura restaurant
Recently went to an Agriturismo called Costa della Figura which had been recommended by a friend. They open their restaurant to the public but you have to book beforehand.

It is about 20 minutes drive from San Giorgio and in the summer you sit outside on benches at large wooden tables. There is no menu but the meal begins with various antipasti  – various home cured salami, prosciutti, lonzo etc; home grown vegetables such as french beans, cooked greens and deep fried zucchini flowers. After the antipasti we ate some grilled beef and then passed on the dessert and coffee. The meal came to 25 euros a head and covered food, wine and water.

The quality of the cured meats was exceptional and made the journe worth while. Its a place to go to once in a while but not highly recommended for vegetarians.

Morning walk

Tuesday, July 20th, 2010
morning walk morning wallk
morning walk morning walk
morning walk morning walk

Bill has been going out walking on a regular basis. So decided it was time I did something to get fitter. So three times a week I am going on a 40 minute walk. Starting with a walk round the walls of the town I then go down into the valley on the north side of town, pass the mown fields with their haystacks, pass the field full of chichory plants with their fantastic blue flowers and then up the hill (panting a little) onto the main road. The new roundabout followed by the local garage are the next things to be seen but this is a nice part of the walk as it is almost on the level. From the garage its back up to the sports ground to the paper shot to buy a paper and then back home via the “cupetta” which is the name for the very steep road cutting across the valley at the back of the house.
morning walk
Arriving home I collapse in a chair and get my breath back.

Death in San Giorgio

Tuesday, July 20th, 2010


After living in San Giorgio for a few years and making new friends there is always the reality that you will have to attend a funeral.

Unfortunately, last week we had to attend Roberto’s funeral. When we first came to live here  Roberto on his daily walk used to stop at the house to see what progress was being made. So we started chatting together. He always spoke very clear Italian and was always willing to repeat and rephrase if I didn’t understand something. So you always finished a chat with him thinking your Italian was getting better.

He had been ill for the last few months and died last week. As he was known by all the village the funeral mass in the parish church was full. Here in San Giorgio the funeral is held within 48 hours of the death. After the mass in the church the mourners walk behind the coffin to the local cemetery where there is another short service of internment.

Drought tolerant plants

Wednesday, July 14th, 2010

book cover

At Christmas in the UK I bought the book “Drought tolerant plants” by Lucy Summers. It is a paperback in the Greenfingers guides series. For each plant there is information about growing  conditions, pruning, propagating etc and personal comments from the author about the plants. We have used it the book a lot in looking out plants for the garden and has been well worth the £9.99.

Visit to the Reinhardt Garden

Wednesday, July 14th, 2010
reinhardt garden reinhardt garden

On Sunday we went went with Pam from Tavernelle to visit the Reinhardt Garden near Lake Trasimeno in Umbria. The Garden was created by Thomas Reinhardt and his wife and is open to the public for two days in July. They have created a perennial garden, an olive garden and a tropical garden. We were able to visit the perennial and olive gardens. It was worth the the 2 hour car trip to see it.

Above are view from the perennial garden which is basically a traditional long borden. It was quite a shock to the eye to see it in the middle of Umbria – fresh green grass with lots of different perennials in tip top condition. The perennials were repeated in various combinations and it was very beautiful. However, beautiful as it was it was not a lesson in gardening for dry conditions as the soil was kept very moist proving that with heat and water most things grow well.

reinhardt garden reinhardt garden

The olive garden was a delight and a surprise as one moved the flatness of the long border to the gentle hills planted with olives. I was looking forward to this garden as I like to see what plants people use to underplant their olive trees. At the entrance to the garden a group of trees were underplanted with “golden creeping jenny” which created an incredible effect but as it is a plant which needs moisture not something to be used in San Giorgio

reinhardt garden lake trasimeno

After the gardens there was a small market which although small was good as there were a number of nurseries selling some unusual plants. We bought a “Salvia Sagittata” and a grass “Eragrostri trichodes”. It was also a place to see the other visitors to the garden and being a hot sunny day lots of ladies in hats were very much in evidence.
After the garden we went looking for a restaurant for lunch and found one with a view over Lake Trasimeno. Was the view over the lake better than the views over the Reinhardt Garden?

Bill’s pots

Monday, July 12th, 2010
pots pots

Bill is very proud of his pots and was quite peeved that there have been no photos on the web. So here is a couple of pictuers complete with agapanthus, cannas etc. One of the pictures also shows Sam the cat who, some time ago, after a wrong diagnosis of kidney problems and then a correct diagnosis of bad teeth is still with us.

Smoking on the beach

Friday, July 9th, 2010

cleaning the beach

This picture of a man cleaning the beach is something we do not see very often on the free beach at Torrette. 
smoking on the beach
These, unfortunately, are what we often see on the beach at torrette.
cigarette butts on the beach

Most italians who smoke on the beach lack any sense of “senso civico” and stub the cigarette butt into the sand. The result, according to a recent survey, is that 27% of rubbish collected on the beach is cigarette butts. It takes up to five years for the butt to degrade and in the meantime 320-350 tons of nicotine from the butts are passed into the environment.

Ethnic food

Wednesday, July 7th, 2010


As Heinz baked beans are placed under “Ethnic Foods” in the Auchan supermarket I feel English marmalade may fall into the same category. A few days ago when wandering round Fano I saw a small cafe selling “Wilkin and Sons Marmalade”. The marmalade in made in Tiptree, Essex. Tiptree is not only famous for jams but it is also where Bill’s Aunt Elsie was born. 

There on the shelf was non only marmalade (unfortunately only medium cut) but also some of their jams I never tried  – green gooseberry, green fig, ginger etc. They cost 5 euros a jar compared to about £1.55 in the UK but if an ex-pat gets a craving for Rhubarb and Ginger jam then it’s available in Fano.

Which wine to choose with fish?

Tuesday, July 6th, 2010


At the 11th “Selezione nazionale vini da pesce” (national selection of wine and fish) the Moncaro group from the Marche won top prize. 589 wines provided by 257 producters were in competition and they came from all regions of Italy.

They won with an entry of 3 wines: Offida Doc Pecorino “Ofithe” 2009; “Le Vele” 2009; “Verde Ca’ Ruptae” 2009 Classico Superiore Doc.

Nearer to home our local vineyard “Guerrieri” also won some prizes.

They got a Diploma of Merit for its Bianchello del Metauro – Celso, 2009.
In the category for spumante it won a bronze for its white 2009 and a Diploma of Merit for its Rose’ 2009.