Emilio and Valentina – from Rome

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We thank Emilio and Valentina!

 During their stay we discovered and talked a lot about our common passion for photos especially with simple subject to shoot. Of course, Emilio’s camera is very different from mine: reflex, wonderful lens, and a very chic camera bag….! But passion is passion, no matter what your tools are!!!

This is what they wrote us a few days after they left:

“Carissimi Laura e Filippo, i quattro giorni passati da Voi all’ Ancora del Chianti sono stati bellissimi, il Vostro è proprio un angolo di Paradiso soprattutto per chi è stressato dal caos della città. La vostra ospitalità ed organizzazione non si riscontra spesso e facilmente. Speriamo di poter tornare presto, un Bacio Valentina e Emilio”

We are waiting for your pictures to show everybody!

 

 

Swallows are back

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Every year, in spring time, our dear swallows come back to their nest and our garden welcome them blossoming.

They made a nest under our stairs, above Maya’s house a few years ago. Their singing follow us all day long and sometimes they fly so low that we can clash. Usually they entertain guests while they have breakfast on the terrace with their loud singing stopping on the phone wire for a while. They fly like a crazy, swift and low when a storm is approching and expecially at sunset they celebrate the end of the day by flying in circle on the lawn in front of the house cheasing insects.

When the windows of our apartment are all open, they love to cross the apartment flying in the living room and the kidss bedroom and get out through the opposite window. Sometimes they do not know how to fly away nd fly in circle in the room. Today I tried to take a picture of they but I failed: they all have been very clever. 

Italian swallows spend their winter in South Africa: they travel through western France, across the Pyrenees, down eastern Spain into Morocco, and across the Sahara. Some birds follow the west coast of Africa avoiding the Sahara, and others travel further east and down the Nile Valley.

Migrating swallows cover 200 miles a day, mainly during daylight, at speeds of 17-22 miles per hour. The maximum flight speed is 35 mph. Swallows arrive in Italy in April returning to their wintering grounds in November.

More pictures on our Flickr Page

Fabrizio e Teresa – Reggio Emilia

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Fabrizio met us surfing on Flickr where we have a page with pictures.

He is from the sounth of  Tuscany and now he moved to the north due to his job and passion: trains. This is what he wrote after his visit to Ancora del Chianti.

“Un toscano turista in Toscana…uhm..era un po\’ che ci pensavo! il ponte di Pasqua poteva essere un occasione per accompagnare Teresa,la mia ragazza,a una fugace occhiata ai \”miei\” territori. Sono infatti maremmano,ma da alcuni anni lavoro in Emilia. E la mia regione mi manca! Scelgo così un classico,ma anche l\’unica zona che non avevo mai attraversato: il Chianti! Eccomi così planare in questo bel podere,non troppo fuori mano,a fare la conoscenza della padrona di casa Laura,davanti a una tavolata di colazione che sa tanto di campo scuola! Infatti l\’impressione è quella di essere degli ospiti,nel vero senso della parola! A partire dai biglietti di benvenuto. Il tempo per il soggiorno è breve,il meteo capriccioso primaverile ci rovina una giornata,ma il bel lettone e il silenzio di questa collina ci ripagano. Ciao Laura!”

Thank you to Fabrizio and Teresa!

More pictures on our Flickr page.

 

Wild Boar Festival from April 23!!

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Every year at the end of April and beginning of May, the small village of Chiocchio become a point of reference for the Chianti people who love good food and for the Florentine connesseurs. The 2010 edition of the famous Chiocchio Wild Boar Festival will be held from 23rd April untill 2nd May and during these special days the protagonost is………….the wild boar.

The mamas of Chiocchio and non-professionals cook do their best in the kitchen preparing the wild boar specialities several days in advance. The wild boar meat has very little fat and a lot of muscle: if you do not cook properly you risk to have a piece of wood in your plate!

That’s why they prepare a marinade with water, vinegar, carrots, onions, bay leaves, gineper corns, pepper corns, etc. It can be a 24 hours marinade but usually even longer. Of course this is just a short list of ingredients: the real recipes is secret and everyboby has his own which is, obviously, the best! And after that they have to cook. The result is a real piece of art!

All people working both in the kitchen and as waiters are volonteers, raising money for the local foot team of children and grown up. With the money they get from the restaurant they buy new uniform, pay the maitenance of the field and last but not least kids and adults can have not only shower but hot showers!!!

The festival is lasting more than a week and all the village is involved. This year also me and Filippo will be volonteers as waiters on 30th April. This is our first time as waiters at Chiocchio Wild Boar Festival and we are exhited. We will do our job and we think we will have fun. Will you join us?

To be continued…….

Happy Easter with Flowers

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We are glad to share the beauty of nature with our dear friends:  flowers from the garden and painted flowers.

We actually can admire just a few flowers from the garden due to the cold weather of the last days…hopefully it is getting warmer.

In the field you still find wild anemones and daffodils. In the garden old mahonia starting to blossom with a sweet penetrating smell that abstract bees and insects. The flowers are pure yellow: a touch of sun. On the terrace you will be struck by the orange flames of flowers given by Filippo’s Grandmother, Nella, last year. Last year we only had green plant with spiral leaves. This year the flowers arrived and it is like a fire.

Then the first red passion carnetion appeared! What a marvel and smell!

And last but not least, painted flowers with watercolour. As you can see my wednesday afternoon watercolour classes has been started again with such great pleasure…I met my collegues again and had fun painting, eating home baked biscuits and drinking Vinsanto, offered by our Maestro, Luciano.

More pictures on our Flickr Page