Posts Tagged With: emilia-romagna

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 ūüôā

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.

IMPORTANT TIP FOR BIKE RIDERS!

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 Рthe town is lovely and set in the most beautiful countryside.  I could definitely live there!

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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)

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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 Niccol√≤¬†Fabi perform in the theatre at Assisi. Niccol√≤ 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.

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

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!

x

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Alcohol improved drawings, snow-capped mountains and piadina making…

Buongiorno a tutti!

How is everyone?¬†There’s not much to report I’m afraid this time around. I’ve been busy doing a bit of teaching, going to¬†the art course on Wednesday’s and I’ve also been doing some ‘arty’ things at home. The art course was quite interesting last week. We drew using a biro and then poured alcohol over it (pure alcohol – the remnants of your wine bottle won’t work). It has quite an interesting effect! I’ll continue experimenting this week and when I’m actually happy with something I’ll post up a photo ūüôā

We have snow capped mountains! It’s so pretty! I can’t wait to go snowboarding this year. I’ve just bought some more snowboarding gear too. My nearest snowboarding place is¬†Sassotetto,¬†¬†only¬†25 minutes drive away ūüôā

I have been out and about, evidence below:

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Look, caps of snow on the mountain!!!!!!!!

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Before the snow came, in fact just the day before, I decided to have a drive in the mountains because when it gets snowy a lot of the roads are blocked off. I had plans to take some nice sunset photos but it was so windy that the tripod kept blowing over.

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This is taken from one of my favourite beaches РSan Michele. 

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And this was taken from the other end of the beach.¬†That’s Monte Conero ahead. Apparently it’s shaped like a lion’s head. I think you need to squint to get that.

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This was Sarnano taken at the crack of dawn before the snow came.

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And this is one of my new favourite mountain places near Amandola.

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At the weekend I went to a “Degustazione”, a sort of tasting event of Brunello and Chianti wine,¬†where¬†an excellent country band called Backroads¬†were playing. ¬†These guys¬†sung in perfect South American accents (I checked and they were indeed Italian). Very impressive! Here I was able to show my prowess of wine knowledge by accidentally orchestrating the mixing of the Brunello and Chianti wines in one glass to create an interesting mix. Apparently this is not the done thing (but I can confirm it still tasted of red wine).

I also went on a Piadina making course at a lovely local B&B called Residence VerdeQuiete which has a great open space¬†they use occasionally for running courses. Piadinas are a type of flat bread -a bit like a tortilla but perhaps a bit thicker and a bit more rigid. The course was great, run by Simonetta Sfoglina. ¬†At the end of the session, we had a very tasty “degustazione” (the term works for piadinas just as well as wine!). We ended up with 6 or so piadinas to take away with us.¬†I¬†have to admit, I hanker after Mexican food which is hard to come by here so I somewhat corrupted the italian nature of mine and made fahitas with them!!! Mmmmmmm………………….

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Piadina! Traditional fillings are usually cheese, salad and/or meat based.

The next couple of weeks will be quite busy. On Thursday and Friday I’ll be heading to Forl√¨ (it’s a city ¬†in Emilia-Romagna, about 2 or 3 hours from here) ¬†to meet with some other Italian based bloggers for a tour of the city. We are to be shown some¬†of the local cuisine and to check out the art and museums, so¬†I¬†can’t wait for that. I shall report back at the weekend.

Then there’s a “Ciaspolata” (snowshoeing walk) on Sunday on one of the nearby mountains. I’ve never done that so I’m quite excited about that too. Then on Wednesday I’m off to Berlin for a few days before going back to the sunny UK for Christmas! I’m looking forward to being in a house with central heating. My bathroom is so cold that I’m considering getting a commode to put by the fire.

I think that about covers the last few days. I hope you are all having good weeks!

x

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