Suspended armchairs, joining clubs and stormy skies…

Buonasera a tutti!

How is everyone? It’s been a busy couple of weeks here as ever it feels! The weather hasn’t been that great which has been good for the photography – stormy skies are definitely more dramatic than gorgeous blue cloudless ones! I apologise in advance for the abundance of photos in this week’s blog post 🙂

The ruin of UK roads…

I popped back to the UK for a whistle-stop tour. It was lovely to catch up with people that I managed to see, though this trip seemed shorter than ever. This visit included a journey up north to see my friend so there was also a fair bit of driving involved. I never thought I’d say this but I actually prefer driving in Italy. The number of variable average speed checks in the UK these days makes for very painful car journeys! Oh how times have changed from when I was so terrified of driving here that I used to message my parents to tell them that I was going to the shops in the car and, fearful I might not make it back alive, that I loved them.


I am also now fully equipped for bike riding! I have lights, a bag, a pump and a water bottle. I also discovered an interesting tip for bike riding: sometimes, one should pump up ones tires. Who knew?! (Yes yes, don’t be mean! For some reason it just never occurred to me). I have never pumped up my tires. Anyway, I’m pleased to confirm it goes like a dream now, though alas, I do not. It seems pumped up tires do improve things a bit but the whole experience is still unfortunately exhausting. I’m hoping to do my longest, highest ever bike ride in the next couple of weeks so I shall keep you posted on that. If I manage it, I might actually order myself some sort of medal.

Street Performers of Pennabilli

In the last few days there’s been a reasonably well-known festival called “Artisti in Piazza” in a little town called Pennabilli, in the Emilia-Romagna region. From Sarnano, where I live, it’s a bit of a trek but definitely worth a visit. The festival is very impressive – it runs for 5 days and street performers from around the world come to demonstrate their skills, whether that’s singing, acrobatics, comedy, magic, dance etc. It reminded me a bit of Covent Garden in London with the street performers – though these ones generally had a lot more apparatus. In London, you wouldn’t get an acrobatic performance complete with people doing handstands on suspended armchairs so there was definitely an extra dimension to the performances in Pennabilli. It was great to see performers from all over the world; it really was very international!

Unfortunately it rained for the first part of our visit but it didn’t spoil the atmosphere. People still stuck it out with their umbrellas!

Pennabilli and Sassotetto (5 of 35)

I think probably my favourite bit though was just Pennabilli itself – the town is lovely and set in the most beautiful countryside.  I could definitely live there!

Pennabilli and Sassotetto (15 of 35)Pennabilli and Sassotetto (16 of 35)Pennabilli and Sassotetto (17 of 35)Pennabilli and Sassotetto (14 of 35)Pennabilli and Sassotetto (12 of 35)Pennabilli and Sassotetto (10 of 35)

Club Alpino Italiano (CAI)  Membership!

I have joined a club! I like clubs! This one is a walking club. Club Alpino Italiano has lots of different offshoots across the country and I’ve joined the Sarnano one. They go walking every Sunday around the mountains. It’s great! Everyone seems really nice too.

About this time every year the mountains are covered in flowers and Sunday was a local “fioritura” (flowering) walk to learn more about them. Look at how pretty my local mountains are…Pennabilli and Sassotetto (27 of 35)Pennabilli and Sassotetto (28 of 35)

Pennabilli and Sassotetto (34 of 35)Pennabilli and Sassotetto (35 of 35)Pennabilli and Sassotetto (31 of 35)Pennabilli and Sassotetto (20 of 35)

We had a guide who told us about the flowers when we came across them and if they had any interesting features. One of my favourites can be set on fire and used as a torch whereas others you can use to poison people (beware those who cross me). Here are some of the flowers that are in the area at the moment…

In other news, I went to a concert a couple of weeks ago to see Niccolò Fabi perform in the theatre at Assisi. Niccolò is a local musician who’s made it reasonably big in Italy so the venue was completely packed out with almost everyone able to sing along to his songs. I think I stuck out like a sore thumb, I only knew the chorus of one of his songs! It’s a good one though with a nice sentiment. If you want to hear it, have a look here.


I think that about sums up the last few days. I hope you’ve all had good weeks too 🙂

The next update will be about by upcoming blog tour! I’ve been invited along to Hotel San Salvador in Bellaria Igea Marina to spend a few days checking out the hotel and the local area. I can’t wait. Watch this space!


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7 thoughts on “Suspended armchairs, joining clubs and stormy skies…

  1. Peter G

    Lovely photos as always! The festivals look really good. We have Watford live this weekend, doesn’t really have the same ring or background vistas, though the music is great.

    I now have a track pump for my bike tyres, makes a lot of difference, getting them to the right pressure. Hope you have a puncture repair kit and spare inner, it’s worth getting the wheels off just so you know what to do if it happens in the middle of nowhere.

    Enjoy your trip to the coast!

    • Thanks Pete! Have fun in Watford at the weekend – you’ll have to do a blog yourself and post some pics up. I suspect you’ll get a good umbrella shot there too knowing the English weather 😉 I can’t actually get my hand pump to work, I think I’m being a bit stupid and I can’t fit my bike bag very well – it’s a shame you guys aren’t just around the corner! I got a puncture yesterday – it’s was very odd – it seemed to get the puncture in the car. Strange. Anyway, I had to get a new inner tube yesterday. I hadn’t thought about getting a spare inner though. I’ll have to try. I did try and repair the tire but the puncture was just near the air blowing up bit so the erm, plaster did fit very nicely! But yes, I’ve sort of got a better understanding of how it all works thanks to yesterday’s experience. Thank goodness it happened at the house rather than up a mountain! Have a good week 🙂 x

  2. Peter G

    Glad the tyre went well. We now have a bike rack for the car, so can take the bikes elsewhere once we work out how to fit it!

    Not sure if I’ll be able to blog, but now have a flickr account, mainly because we’ve done the photography at parkrun.

    Are you going to record your rides on something? We like going back to see where we’ve walked/cycled on holiday on sports tracker.

    Hope to see you soon, whether here or there. P&J x

    • The bike rack seems a much simpler idea than taking off wheels and trying to remember how it best fits in my tiny car! Ah yes, I’m using Sports Tracker too! I’ll have to add you as a friend – i’ve only got one so far! You guys are always welcome here 🙂
      A presto x

  3. I’m pretty sure Pennabilli was in Le Marche when we first came here, but they and some other towns wanted to move to Emilia-Romagna, so they had a vote on it and off they went .

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