Archive for March, 2011

Italian National Anthem.

Sunday, March 20th, 2011


One of the advantages of the copy of the Constitution sent by the mayor was that in the back were the words of the Italian National Anthem and some notes about its author, Goffredo Mameli. 

This has allowed Bill and I to start learning the words and so we can sing along when occasion demands. (We are even able to practice singing accompanied by music as the Conad Supermarket was giving out small booklets about the reunification of Italy and included in the pack were 16 songs from the period of unification including the National Anthem).

Watching the Italian equivalent of “Who Wants to be a Millionaire” last week we discovered the interesting(?) fact the the Italian national anthem, known as “Inno di Mameli” (inno is the italian for anthem), is the only national anthem in the world which had the author’s name in the title.

Goffredo Mameli had a rather short life. He was born in 1827. In 1848 he lead a group of 300 volunteers in a rising against the Austrians who at that time controlled Milan. In 1849 he was at Rome where a Republic was proclaimed and Mameli was in the front line of the people attempting to repel an attack by French troops. On the 3rd June Mameli was wounded in the leg which became gangrenous and the leg was amputated. Unfortunately the infection had spread and on the 6 July he died, aged only 22.

Fratelli d’Italia,
L’Italia s’è desta;
Dell’elmo di Scipio
S’è cinta la testa.
Dov’è la Vittoria?
Le porga la chioma;
Ché schiava di Roma
Iddio la creò.
Stringiamoci a coorte!
Siam pronti alla morte;
Siam pronti alla morte;
L’Italia chiamò.
Brothers of Italy,
Italy has awoken,
With Scipio’s helmet
Binding her head.
Where is Victory?
Let her bow down,
For God has made her
Rome’s slave.
Let us join in cohort,
We are ready to die!
We are ready to die!
Italy has called!

Sunday, March 20th, 2011


Just before we celebrated the 150th anniversary of the unification of Italy we received a copy of the constitution. This was sent, by the mayor, to every household in the village. for me it was very interesting and I have actually been reading parts of it as on discussion programmes on TV there are lots of references to particular clauses of the Constitution.

However, we heard that the mayor of Barchi, a nearby village, had opted to send every household an Italian flag. Not sure if a flag is better than the constitution but no doubt on the big day Barchi was full of flags.

Flagless in San Giorgio

Friday, March 18th, 2011

Yesterday, the 17th March, Italy celebrated the 150th anniversary of its unification. Here in San Giorgio the mayor had sent out a notice asking people to display the Italian flag. On the day San Giorgio responded with about 6 or 7 flags down the whole length of via Garibaldi.

On the 16th we had gone for a coffee in “La Dolce Vita”, a cafe on the road to Pergola. Normally they celebrate everything. At Christmas they have a white Christmas tree with lots of lights and ribbons. At Easter there are chocolate eggs and fluffy chickens everywhere. But for 150 years of unity there was nothing. I asked the waitress why they were not celebrating and she said they would be putting up a flag on the 17th. When I asked her where she would buy a flag she said they had one from the World Cup too years ago. The same was true for other people I asked. So had lots of San Giorgio’s citzens bought a flag two years ago and now couldn’t be bothered to get it out?

Or could he lack of flags be due to lack of availability. We decided to be patriotic and went to buy a flag at the supermarket – none available. Then we tried Roberts’s our local newsagent and again she was sold out. On the news the same situation was being reported all over Italy. Shopkeepers, surprised by the demand, had none left. However, the lack of preparedness on the part of shopkeepers is not surprising. With the World Cup people knew a couple of years in advance that Italy would be there. However, as the Government only finally decided in February that the day would be a national holiday a lack of preparedness on the part of shopkeepers or a lack of enthusiasm on the part of the people is understandable.

Of course, on the day there were lots of large scale events in Rome, Milan, Torino etc. But perhaps the lack of flags, of house parties of enthusiasm in a small village like San Giorgio confirms what surveys say i.e. that after 150 years people feel a stronger attachment to their town than they do to their nation.

A walk on the beach

Monday, March 7th, 2011

torrette sign

Yesterday, Sunday 6th March, was a beautiful, sunny day. Cold, but after what seemed like weeks of damp, wet weather it was a real tonic. We decided to drive to Torrette and go for a walk on the beach.

bill on the beach gulls on torrete beach
torrette beach bagni lori torrette

On the beach it was cold and windy and not quite the weather for swimming costumes. But we had, apart from the gulls, almost the whole beach to ourselves. We walked for about an hour.

At first sight everything seemed OK. There were lots of shingle, bits of driftwood and seaweed on the beach which is normal after windy periods. However some areas had been damaged e.g. behind Bagni Lori where we normally go in the summer. It looked as if some of the land surface had given way and there is obviously lots of repairs to be done before the tourist season begins in June.

Casa Londei

Sunday, March 6th, 2011

casa londei’s card

On Friday evening Roberta and Federica took us to dinner at Casa Londei. We usually meet every Friday at 5.00 to have an hour of English conversation. (We are currently reading Agathe Christie’s Murder at the Vicarage and it is a rather slow process as we spend more time talking and laughing than we do reading and so after some months we have struggled to chapter 8. On current progress we should discover who did the murder by December.)

However, this week we met at 6.00, managed to read a complete chapter and arrived at the restaurant at 8.15. Robert’s and Federica’s respective partners Francesco and Roberto joined us and so we had a table for 6.  The restaurant is just outside San Ippolito and opened about 18 months ago. As it was cold and dark when we arrived I have no idea what the surrounding countryside looks like but the place does have a large car park and the restaurnt itself is a large wooden extension built onto an old house but the decor is very welcoming aiming at a “rustic atmosphere”. It is a set price meal and there is no menu. You arrive, sit down and wait for the food to arrive. When we arrived bread and wine were already on the table. We then had a plate of vegetable soup, followed by a plate of salami and vegetables, followed by two pastas (gnocchi and pappardelle), followed by a mixed grill and finished off with squares of chocolate cake and jam tart. We all enjoyed the food and the atmosphere as the staff are very friendly and keen to ensure everyone enjoyed the occasion. Roberta, Federica, Francesco and Roberto insisted on paying the bill and so I don’t know how much it costs. However, some reviews on the web from last year say it is 20 euros a head and this includes wine. It is only open Friday and Saturday for dinner and on Sunday for lunch.

I hadn’t brought the camera to record the event but thought it would be OK as the restaurant has a website and I could download a few pictures. Unfortunately the site is still under construction and so all I can show you is the card.

U-tube and San Giorgio

Saturday, March 5th, 2011

play in san giorgio

Observant readers of the blog will remember this photo. It is part of the publicity leaflet for the play “La Casa della Luna Calante” recently staged by the “San Giorgio Players”. On U-tube it is now possible to see about 15 minutes of the play. All you have to do is Click here.

If your feel you cannot bear watching amateur dramatics where people are speaking in dialect then you can amuse yourself by looking at an interesting card trick on u-tube. Pam and Michael from Tavernelle brought this to our notice. Click here.

Bad weather hits the Marche

Thursday, March 3rd, 2011

river at senigallia

The lovely sunny days of a couple of weeks ago are now a memory as in the last couple of days much of Italy, the Marche included, has been hit by terrible cold, wet weather. In the north the “Bora Wind” has hit Trieste with gusts up to 100 mph. In the South snow, wind and rain has caused rivers to flood and agricultural areas have been inundated.

The same has also happened in the Marche where 3 people have died after their car was hit by a wave of water, low-lying agricultural land is flooded and a state of emergency has been declared. At Senigallia the river is amost reaching the top of its banks. In the north of the Marche there have been heavy snow storms.

Here in San Giorgio we have been more fortunate as the only river in the immediate area is a trickle with the grand name of “Rio Grande” and although there was some snow yesterday it quickly turned to sleet. Our greatest inconvenience was not being able to get to the Ipercoop because the river near the store had burst its banks and flooded the area. Pam and John who had been here for 2 weeks were returning to England from Ancona. The runway at Ancona Airport was flooded and so all flights were switched to Rimini which meant delays for them.

Today (Thursday) the rain continues. It should abate over the next day and hopefully we will see some sun on Saturday. However, cold weather is forecast for the beginning of next week.

Carnival time

Tuesday, March 1st, 2011

On Sunday the San Giorgio carnival took place. This year the theme was music which meant the Supremes, the Village People etc came marching down Via Garibaldi and then marched back again to the front of the Commune where, after more singing and dancing, sweets and chocolates were thrown to the waiting crowd.

carnival 2011 carnival 2011