Wednesday, August 31, 2011

La Vendemmia

This year's grape harvest is just about to start. The under leaves of the vines have yellowed and the fruit is plump and ripe after a long hot summer.

Rachel is going to a local vineyard to take some photographs of the harvest so I will share

Sunday, August 21, 2011


The paucity of this year's tomato crop meant we took delivery on Friday of 60 kilos of San Marzano tomatoes from our fruttavendola.

These have now been made into passata sauce. Hot work given it's 40 degrees outside but we will enjoy the benefits over winter.

Think we may need another 60 kilos.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Perseid meteor shower

Last night whilst listening to a concert at Villa Fabri in Trevi I saw a Perseid meteor shower. My first ever.

Every August the earth passes through the debris of the Swift-Tuttle meteor and these light up the sky as a meteor shower.

They are so called as the point they appear to come from is in the constellation Perseus.

My thanks to Wikepedia!

Monday, August 15, 2011


Today is a national holiday in Italy. As an aside, the Italian PM, Silvio B, is planning to move several public holidays from weekdays to weekends as part of his austerity/reform package to boost the economy. Not sure that will do the trick.

Anyway, today is the start of the traditional summer shutdown as Italians decamp from the towns and cities to il mare.

Last year we went to Rome and it was a pleasure. Streets not clogged with blue "politico's" cars but calm. The whole city was just easy to navigate. Yes some restaurants were closed but there were still enough open to get by.

This scene will be in large part repeated across Europe.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Louis update

The diet of prawns (which even he has now starting to go off) seems to have worked. He seems better but he is still an elderly gent who spends most of his time in the kitchen with very occasional forays outside.

He is an avid Stoke City football fan and so is looking forward to the re-commencement of hostilities (sorry I mean football) tomorrow.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Summer time is festa time

Summer is the traditional time for every village and town to hold a festival of some kind and Trevi is no exception. Despite it's small size Trevi put's on a festival that really does punch above it's weight.

Tonight we are going to see an American band called The Trio of Oz and will have a pizza and a couple of glasses of chilled white wine. A fine end to the week.

Thursday, August 11, 2011


Basil is the quintessential Italian herb. The mention of basil brings a flood of Italian ingredients into your mind - fresh tomatoes, mozzarella, pasta, pesto.  More a light shower I know but hey. Today was the day to
pick the basil that had run to flower wash it and then shred it with a food processor prior to freezing in ice cube trays topped up with a little water.

Last night Rachel decided she wanted to watch the football. International friendly between the current world champions and Italy. I demurred.

Was a good game with Italy coming out on top 2-1 with the game been played at high tempo with fast attacking moves. The result of the new coach Prandelli and a move away from the slightly ponderous build up seen under previous national coaches. Bodes well for the future.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

May I introduce Anita

Anita is one of two work horses that a local vineyard has brought over from Romania to replace tractors in the vineyard. Lovely isn't she.

Italian's have a tendency to use english names for their animals so we have locally Ivan, Kevin, Brenda, Jerry and Robin to name just a few.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Il mercatino delle neve

Yesterday saw the annual Snow market in Trevi which celebrates the day many many years ago when it snowed in August.

Pretty busy in Trevi with the onion man making his first appearance of the season selling strings of onions tied with their own stems - all the sizes. Much better than buying them in the supermarket.

Onions are one of the few things that have done well in the Casa Margherita veg patch. Most things have been a bit of a disaster. Have recently planted leeks, cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli and so hoping for better with these.

Have just been reminded that we were lucky enough to see a CY Twombly exhibition while on our hols and his series Il Quattro Stagioni is wonderful.

Strange how your mind works sometime.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


This summer has been unusually wet and so the countryside in looking lush whereas all grass has normally been scorched in the sun and so the earth looks the colour of straw.

The dampness has also hindered growth in the vegetable garden with the tomatoes having a very poor crop compared to previous years meaning we will need to buy tomatoes to make our passata supplies.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

It's raining men

That great disco classic from the Weather Girls came true today here at Casa Margherita.

I popped my head outside after lunch and lo the sky was full of paragliders.