martedì 11 ottobre 2011

Roasted chestnuts and shades of Autumn

I decided to go for an Autumn walk on Sunday and came across some lovely Autumn colours, a beautiful warm day and just perfect to stop off for some Roasted chestnuts at the Castagnata in Pontremoli on Sunday! 

venerdì 7 ottobre 2011


Every Sunday in the month of October in Pontremoli from 11am to 7pm there is the "Castagnata" an autumn chestnut festival where you can taste the local dishes made from chestnut flour like patona and frittelle di castagno as well as roasted chestnuts and local specialites like torte d’erbi and local wine tasting.
There is also a small artisan market.
Well worth a visit.

My home made pizza

Common belief is that the Italians invented the pizza but flat uneven bread cooked in mud ovens were used in ancient times.
Naples however created the familiar pizza as we know it now and has become one of the most famous dishes of Italy.
I love making home-made pizza, its tasty with simple ingredients although the secret lies in making the pizza dough.
Since moving to Italy I have grown to love cooking and choosing my fresh ingredients from my local verduraio and as I'm vegetarian for me it is  heaven.

martedì 20 settembre 2011

Just recently I was given as a gift the new Vinicio Capossela CD - Marinai, Profeti e Balene. I certainly recommend it.  Capossela is known as the Tom Waits of Italy, his lyrics are very original, often inspired by literary sources such as John Fante, Geoffrey Chaucer , Oscar Wilde,Charles Bukowski and Samuel Taylor Coleridge among others.
His musical influences range from 19th century opera, Italian tarantella, Balkan gypsy music and is one of the most eclectic musicians in the Italian musical scene.
Marinai, Profeti e Balene is a double CD inspired by the classics of world literature about the sea and its frightful spawning of amazing creatures, human, animal, and mythological. The creativity and originality in this album is fabulous.

lunedì 12 settembre 2011

The beach

Generally the beaches in this area during the summer months are full of brightly coloured uniformed umbrellas and sun loungers in neat rows, owned by private companies that rent these to sunbathers at a rather expensive price and there are very few "free beaches" (In Liguria apparently out of 135 swimmable kilometres of beach, only 19km are free).
Ecco del Mare, Baia Blu, Fiaschino are all beautiful beaches but all private, for this reason I tend to either try and find a good free beach (punta corvo although has been closed recently it has re-opened) or go river bathing instead, or take a day trip further afield in search of a free beach.

Today I did however take a visit to the beach and it is slightly better and cheaper off season (less umbrellas and not so crowded) and far nicer than the during high season.

If you head for the beach leave out northern Tuscany beaches from Viareggio to Carrara and take trips to the Ligurian coast for example Lerici, Palmaria, Monterosso, Daiva Marina, Levanto, Sestri Levante.

giovedì 8 settembre 2011

House for sale

Some English friends of mine are selling their house in Pra di Preti which is about a 10 minute drive in the hillside above Pontremoli. They are selling to downgrade to a smaller property.
Beautiful property, needs some finishing work. If anyone is interested contact me for details.

Delightful house in stone of 200sq m with beautiful views of the mountainside of Lunigiana. The property can be divided in two separate apartments and features: 2 kitchens, two living rooms, 4 bedrooms, two bathrooms and balcony.
The property comes with 1.500sq m of land and a further stone rustico to be restored internally.

The property remains 10minutes away from the historical town of Pontremoli which offers a selection of shops, restaurants and cafe's, 40 minutes from the beaches of Lerici and the Cinque Terre and 1 hours drive from Pisa airport.
€ 210.000 negotiable