orWine Tastings in the Comfort of you own villa or B&B while on holiday in Tuscany or Liguria

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Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Of Telecom and festas

Ok we changed telephone company, but… Unfortunately Fastweb rents the lines of Telecom Italia, and when something goes wrong with those, I tell Fastweb, they tell Telecom, and one day they may even turn up and fix the problem. As usual the line went down on a Friday, just before the weekend. An engineer turned up after shouting down the line on Monday afternoon (miraculously minutes after I complained. He claimed he’d solved the problem and left. However the problem was not solved and another one was sent. Again, minutes after I complained as to where this new chappie would be, I had a phone call saying he couldn’t find my house. Had he been wandering around the village for hours or had he just stopped at the bar for a few apperitivi I wonder?

Never mind, hopefully this isn’t going to be the pattern of things to come. It’s festa time around here, and we couldn’t miss our favourite ones, even if we are skint. With our Swiss friend Irene and our English friends James and Alison (and Holly), we went on Friday to the Sagra di Ravioli in Arcola. The serve some of the most delicious ravioli there, best served simply with butter and sage or a creamy nut sauce.

Saturday and Sunday we went to the Medieval festa at Santo Stefano. It commemorates the handing over of the keys to the castle of Sarzana by Piero di Medici to king Charles VIII of France in 1495 after France had conquered this part of Italy. Or as one neighbour put it, “I’m not going there, they are celebrating a war we lost!”

Anyway it’s all just harmless fun, with the entire village dressing up in medieval garb and showing off ancient skills. Have a look and a listen at some of the impressions from this year’s fun:

These guys are known as Sbandieratori:

This chap is the notary presiding over the Medieval market

A spectator on daddy's shoulder

These are the keys to the castle allegedly. I always thought they should be bigger

These are 2 dear friends of ours who have a B&B at the bottom of our hill. When they see us starting our descend on our bikes, they ususally insist on inviting us in for a homemade limoncino.

This is Cristina with her wee girl. She plays the Queen every year together with Pino on his horse as King Charles. This year was a special occasion for them, as they got married just a few hours before!

Story time for the kids:

These 2 young ladies tried to lure into their house of ill-repute, but Susan was dragging me back.

Trampling on grapes

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