Archive for September, 2010


Thursday, September 30th, 2010


SPQR were the initials used by the Romans for “Senatus Populusque Romanus”. Bossi is the leader of the Lega Nord a political party in government with Silvio Berlusconi but with the aim of creating a state called “Padania” in the north of Italy.

Italians, particularly the Romans, have been up in arms recently when Bossi, supposedly making a joke in Public, said that for the people of Lombardy the letters SPQR stood for “Sono Porci Questi Romani”  i.e. “They are pigs these Romans”. The people of Rome did  not see the joke.

Osteria Casa Mina

Saturday, September 25th, 2010

osteria casa mina
Taken another step forward towards going to the new osteria in San Giorgio by going inside and getting their card. It is only open Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 8.00pm. It is possible to go before 8.00 for an aperativo.

They stressed, as most restaurants do in this area, that they are producing food with the flavours of long ago. In fact sometimes you think it would be wonderful if they claim to be introducing new food, new flavours.

This weekend their hot dishes were to be tagliatelle with boar sauce and tripe in tomato sauce.

Car hire in San Giorgio

Friday, September 24th, 2010

You can go a restaurant in San Giorgio, play tennis, go to English classes, dance classes etc. So much to do and now I discover that you can also hire cars in San Giorgio.

Some German friends were staying with Thomas and Erica and they wanted to hire a car for a couple of days. They checked at Fano etc and were given prohibitive costs. Finally they discovered that the man who runs the break-down garage in San Giorgio also hires cars by the day – 25 euros all in.

Ethnic food – stilton cheese

Thursday, September 23rd, 2010

stilton cheese

Globalisation continues to come to the shops of the Marche and we discovered recently that the cheese department of the Auchan Supermarket near Fano has extended its product base of pecorino, gorganzola etc to include Stilton Cheese. No sign of Cheddar yet.

Eating in San Giorgio

Thursday, September 23rd, 2010

osteria casa mina sign

San Giorgio is a long way from being a gastronomic hotspot in the world. However, recently a shop selling fresh pasta during the day and pizza at night opened. Apparently the fresh pasta is excellent but opinion is divided on the pizza – no two Italians will agree about what is a good pizza.

The two weeks ago the  “Osteria Casa Mina” opened. It is is the vaulted basement of “Casa Mina” in the old castello. It is open only at weekends and being an osteria provides simple foods – cold meats, a couple of pastas etc.

We weren’t here for the inauguration but the people who went said the quality of the food was good and a few people who have eaten there since have said the food was good and the place had a good atmosphere.

We haven’t had a chance to try the place but when we do I’ll report back.

Plant Market at Riccione

Tuesday, September 21st, 2010

riccione flower show

On Sunday we went to Riccione for a plant market. Pam from Tavernelle had gone last year and said it was very good. We went not hoping for too much but in fact it was really good. There were over 50 stalls selling plants, garden ornaments etc. There were stalls from all parts of Italy and they were selling different plants or at least different varieties that are normally available in the garden centres round here.

The event takes place in the Villa Lodi Fe which is near the railway station. It happens twice a year – March and September.

We arrived just after 10.00 and after a quick cup of coffee we wandered round making a note of possible purchases. On the second circuit we bought some things and managed to get everything we wanted by 11.30 when it began to pour down. Opting for lunch we – Pam, Michael, Elizabeth from Carbarnardi, Bill and I – went to Gambero Rosso restaurant in the port at Riccione and had, as the name suggests, a fish lunch. The last time Bill and I had been there was about 10 years ago when it was too hot to sit outside and people were pushing to sit in air-conditioned comfort. This time we were pushing to get out of the rain.

Federica and Roberto get hitched

Monday, September 20th, 2010
federica’s wedding federica’s wedding

On Saturday we went to the wedding of Federica and Roberta.
The weather forecast was for rain but fortunately at 4.00pm some sunshine broke through the clouds and at 4.05 the bride, looking radiant arrived and the wedding began in the beautiful renaissance church in Orciano.

wedding - the church
Federica and Roberta have been living together for some years and as you can see from the top pictures their friends were delighted that they had finally decided to tie the knot.
federica’s wedding
The reception was held at Villa Rinalducci a recently restored villa near Fano. It was a beautiful setting and again fortune smiled onthe bride and groom as the photos got taken just before the rain began.
federica’s wedding

In the main entrance to the villa there were drinks and finger food – all beautifully presented and all tasting delicious. We then moved into the marque for the main meal which we started eating at 8.00 and finished eating at 12.30. During the meal we were treated to an incredible thunder and lightening storm causing the electricity to go off for about 40 minutes and we had to eat by candlelight. It was a great evening and made not getting home to 2.00am worthwhile.

Federica and Roberta were having Sunday at home and on Monday they fly to the USA for their honeymoon – two weeks doing the west coast and then the last few days in New York.

Terry can get by in Italian – its official

Friday, September 3rd, 2010

At the end of June I sat the CELI3 exam. This is an exam for foreigners to assess their abilities in Italian. The exam is run by the University of Perugia and is a recognised qualification. There are 5 levels from 1 (basic) to 5 (fluent) and the content and marking are based on the Common European Framework for Languages.  In the exam you are tested on reading, writing, listening and speaking.  

I heard a few days ago that I had passed the exam and now I, according to the Common European Framework of Languages, “Can understand the main ideas of complex text on both concrete and abstract topics, including technical discussions in his/her field of specialisation. Can interact with a degree of fluency and spontaneity that makes regular interaction with native speakers quite possible without strain for either party. Can produce clear, detailed text on a wide range of subjects and explain a viewpoint on a topical issue giving the advantages and disadvantages of various options.”

I never knew I could do all this before. It apparently also means I could apply for courses at an Italian University – next stop medicine in Bologna.

A good summer

Friday, September 3rd, 2010

dinner group

The summer is rapidly coming to an end and the beaches are emptying. Offically it will all end on the 8th September when the bar and cafe at the beach close.

For us the summer started on a high note with Pam’s 60 birthday party. From chilly evenings of early June we moved into a couple of hot and humid weeks passing afternoons on the beach and evenings lying in bed wondering why we hadn’t gone for air conditioning. We had friends to stay. Jeremy and Juliet arrived in their convertible and for the first time in my life I could drive to the beach with the wind flowing through my hair or at least across the scalp. Bill’s nephew Michael, wife Alison and son Connor came for the third year running and for third year running spent their days on the beach.
casey family
A hit on the food front this summer was “tomato and watermelon soup” eaten in “Il Giardino” restaurant. Tasty and refreshing all at once. I tried my hand at “Pear and Gorgonzola Risotto” as cooked by Elizabeth of Carbernardi – her version  is still better than mine. And finally made a summer pudding from frozen fruits which was a great success.

Lots of eating out over the summer with Italians (at the restaurant La Bella e La Bestia in Fano with Robera, Francesco, Federica and Roberto where the highligh was Federica and Roberto telling us they were getting married in September and that we were on the guest list); English speakers (the Asentes, the Roscoes, the Cobbs, the Higginsons, the Caseys, the Woods) or Italian/English speaking mixes (Alba, Giancarlo and Michi”, Sanzio and Rosanna providing the Italian side of the table.)

As I always forget to take my camera to dinner I am primarily relying on Alba for the pictures of a couple of pleasant evenings illustrating that a good time was had by all.
bill on see-saw
MIke and Moiques terrace

Never on a Wednesday

Friday, September 3rd, 2010

sorcerer’s apprentice

We haven’t been to the cinema for some weeks and noticed that the film “Sorcerer’s Apprentice” was on. It met our critical criteria when deciding which films to go to i.e. plot easy to follow, dialogue not too important and lots of special effects.

We forgot that on Wednesday evening the tickets are half price and that Shrek had just opened. The cinema foyer was packed with parents and kids out for the night. We almost returned home but braved the queue and got the tickets (5 euros). Even though it wasn’t the most popular film on offer the cinema was still half full with noisy kids mostly sitting at the back of the cinema. So we opted for the front rows. Unfortunately just before the film started a large family group moved into the seats behind us. It’s never a good sign when dad is incredibly overweight, carries a large coca-cola and calls his kids a lot of little turds. Things got worse as one of the kids obviously suffered from attention deficit disorder and 30 minutes into the film began to constantly move along the row and then clamber over the seats to the front row and back again. “No Michele, No Michele”, was the nearest the dad came to trying to exert control.

Despite these things sent to try us I really enjoyed the film which was, as expected, real hokum, but entertaining hokum. The film also got a positive response from the young audience who give it a round of applause at the end.