THE LINARI CLASSICAL MUSIC FESTIVAL: from July 20 to Sept.
6. Barberino Val dElsa.
Situated between Florence and Siena, Linari is a medieval
hilltop Borgo in the Chianti Classico area, one
of the most enchanting parts of Tuscany. The first festival
was held here in the summer of 2003 at the initiative of Airdrie
Armstrong Terenghi, organizer and artistic director working
with Joris van Rijn, music director. There are around ten
concerts every summer, with programs ranging from Early to
Contemporary classic music. From medieval castles and churches
to town piazzas, the unique venues provide an extra dimension
to a musical experience.
This relatively new music festival presents a rich program
of classical music, ranging from the Baroque Era to the Twentieth
century executed by young and talented musicians from Australia,
Britain, Italy, the Netherlands, Switzerland and the United
States, many of whom perform in some of the world's great
orchestras. A special feature of the festival is the opportunity
to join your friends and the performers over a meal at the
end of most of the concerts. (Since it is so amazingly good,
Ive repeated a Recipe of the Month from two years ago,
that was offered to us by the Linari Music Festival.)
For further information including site locations, and Buffet
reservations (max. 2 days before), call 055 8068022. E-mail:
firstname.lastname@example.org. Website: www.linariclassic.com
Sunday 20: ANTEPRIMA LINARI CLASSIC 2008. Piazza Barberini,
Barberino Val d'Elsa (Fi). 9:00 pm.
Monday 21: OFFICIAL OPENING OF THE LINARI CLASSIC FESTIVAL
2008. Church of Santo Stefano/Castello di Linari. Loc. Linari
- Barberino Val d'Elsa (Fi). 8:00 pm. Dinner after the concert
in the garden of Linari Castle.
Tuesday 22: CONCERT. Tenuta IL CORNO" - San Pancrazio
- San Casciano Val di Pesa (Fi). 7:30 pm. Dinner after the
Thursday 24: CONCERT. Pieve a Castello. Monteriggioni (Si).
7:00 pm. Dinner after the concert.
Friday 25: PRIVATE CONCERT - Only for Members. Venue and music
will be notified. 8:00 pm.
Monday 28: CONCERT. Pieve di SantAppiano. Barberino
Val d'Elsa (Fi). 8:00 pm. Dinner after the concert
Wednesday 30: CONCERT. Pieve a Castello. Monteriggioni (Si).
7:00 pm. Dinner after the concert.
Saturday August 2 - Pieve di San'Appiano. Barberino Val d'Elsa
(Fi). 8:00 pm. Dinner after the concert.
Thursday August 7 - Pieve di San'Appiano. Barberino Val d'Elsa
(Fi). 8:00 pm. Dinner after the concert.
SUMMER JAZZ FESTIVAL. Thursdays throughout July. S. Angelo
Vicolabate, Ponte di Gabbiano. Aperitivo and buffet start
at 8:00 pm, concerts begin at 9:30 pm. Tickets: 25 euro. Information
and bookings: tel. 055 821911, Amici del Vino Toscano: 333
3355962. www.castellidelgrevepesa.it, email@example.com.
The Castelli del Greve Pesa collective winery, located between
Greve in Chianti and S. Casciano Val di Pesa, has decided
to light up the Chianti nights with a Jazz Festival. Every
Thursday from mid-June to mid-August, at the lovely site of
S. Angiolo Vicolabate you can enjoy an evening of wine and
music. Of particular interest, the amazing voice of young
Amana Melomè, accompanied on July 17th by Poul Dabirè
(percussion), Francesco Fagiani (guitar) and Francesca Taranto
MONSTEROUS GOOD NEWS
We are very proud to pass on the great news we received this
month from our ex-client and friend Douglas Preston together
with our local buddy Mario Spezi. Their incredible story was
published in June and is now available in bookstores and online.
I will let Douglas tell you about it in his own words:
The Monster of Florence tells the true story of a serial
killer who murdered lovers in the hills of Florence, Italy.
When I lived in Italy, I teamed up with Italian journalist
Mario Spezi and investigated the still-unsolved case. The
book chronicles the murders and our search for the killer.
And then, in a bizarre twist, Mario and I became trapped in
our own thriller... I was interrogated by the Italian police
and indicted for a string of felonies. Mario was thrown in
prison, accused of being the Monster of Florence himself.
This is the strangest and most terrifying true story I have
ever encountered in the annals of crime. In an early review
in Men's Vogue, John Leake wrote: "The authors have brilliantly
mapped out the dark, labyrinthine story of his [the Monster's]
crimes. Their encounter with arbitrary power is incredible
and harrowing, and their interview with Antonio Vinci, the
man they suspect to be the Monster, is fascinating... The
book has great narrative drive. [It] will appeal to fans of
John Berendt's Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil."
I will be doing a short tour for The Monster of Florence in
June and July, giving signings in New York, Arizona, New Mexico,
New Orleans, and Maine. Check out my website for dates and
Warm regards, Doug
Note from Kim: I found the book nearly impossible to put down.
It follows a story that has never fully disappeared from the
news during my 20 years of living in Tuscany. Even today,
I can pick up a paper and read of yet another person on trial
for supposed crimes linked to The Monster. On
reflection, after finishing the book, I believe I have never
heard of a serial killer who created fewer actual victims
than the judicial system following in his wake.
ST JAMES LATEST
St. James Church, 'la chiesa americana,' offers services in
English at 9:00am and 11:00am throughout the year. Check out
the THRIFT SHOP open from 10am to 12pm on the 1st Wednesday
of every month. You are guaranteed to find great deals and
a good time. The Thrift Shop is always on the lookout for
nice things, so keep them in mind if you're cleaning out your
Also housed in the St. James Church, the following programs
are open to anyone.
AL-ANON: (in Italiano) Martedì 17.30-19.00.
A.A: (in English) meets on Tues. 1:30-2:30 p.m., Wed. 7-8
p.m, Thurs. 1:30-2:30 p.m., Fri. 7-8 p.m., Sat. 5-6 p.m..
CHILDRENS PLAYGROUP: Tuesday through Friday 8:30 a.m.
to 1:30 p.m. as well as party planning and baby-sitting services.
(closed in July and August)
THE CHILDRENS LENDING LIBRARY OF FLORENCE with English
Books for children and youth, and Videos & DVDs (for people
of all ages!) Opening hours: Sundays 10am-10.45am / 12.00-1.15pm,
Mondays 11am-12pm / 5-6.30pm, Wednesdays 10-12noon / 3.30-5.30pm.
Open from June to September (July and August by appt only).
For more information, please contact: Nanette Davis 055 4633854
/ 3486710444 The church also hosts an informal lending library
of literature, travel guides and self help books in its undercroft:
feel free to borrow a book, and bring it back when you're
St James Church, via B. Rucellai 9, Phone/fax: 055 29 44 17
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. www.stjames.it.
READERS REVIEW RESTAURANTS
We invite your comments for our Readers Review Restaurants
section. Use this forum to spread the word about restaurants
that merit recognition for their great food and good service.
The contents will reflect our readers points of view
(though we reserve the right to agree or disagree). Send your
input to email@example.com.
As follows is the excerpt I had promised you last month and
didnt manage to get on time. Hope you can use it for
Ai Ciompi opened a year ago, but is already an
important name in the Florentine restaurants scene.
From the rich menu, you cannot miss the fresh ricotta mousse
and robiola cheese served with crackling prosciutto in a special
basket, or the fagottino (little bundle) of Apple
cream, curry and speck. Amongst the main courses the orecchio
di elefante (elephant ear) is a must . Its a fried
pork chop made with secret ingredients. The menu offers typical
Tuscan dishes revisited in modern key, great Tuscan wines,
and a number of the best Sicilian labels. The market of nearby
S. Ambrogio ensures daily fresh ingredients. The owners, Matteo
Gazzarrini and Gabriele Bani are very attentive and impeccable
hosts. The American bar serves delicious long drinks and cocktails
until late. Ristorante Ai Ciompi Via Pietrapiana, 36/38r
Tel. 055-2344100. Closed only on Saturday lunch time.
THUMBS UP THUMBS DOWN Our Readers Right
Our Thumbs up, Thumbs down column is your chance
to write us and share your own ideas and information, or to
toot the horn of businesses, events and those Florentine situations
that strike you as either wonderful or terrible. Please note:
all opinions are (usually) strictly those of our readers.
Lend us your thoughts!
The wonderful Simon Clark and Anne Brooks send us the following
MUSEO PIAGGIO. Permanent exhibition and archive plus special
displays. Wednesday-Saturday 10-18.00; entrance free. Viale
Rinaldo Piaggio 7, Pontedera. Tel 0587 27171
Ever wondered where all those motorini buzzing around the
streets of Florence come from? Many of them are made in Pontedera
and there are several reasons to visit the town and its Museo
Piaggio. Pontedera is Piaggio-town and the museum
focuses on the history of an Italian business dynasty (from
aircraft and trains to vespas a canny decision after
the Second World War) and the development of its products
including the largest scooter you will ever see and
some diving/flying editions designed for the movies! In addition,
its worth keeping an eye out for their special events
and exhibitions (De Chirico in June). Its a very friendly
museum, winning European Museum of the Year in 2001, and the
shop has some interesting merchandise. Regular trains from
Santa Maria Novella take under an hour. The Museum is five
minutes from the station (exit away from the town centre,
turn left and walk until you see the entrance).
Thumbs Up to new Florentine gelateria Carapina located outside
the avenues in Piazza Oberdan. The MentaFresca
flavor will (delicately) knock your socks off with its combination
of mint leaf infused creaminess. Barely one month old, Carapina
is destined for greatness
And our friends Mimi and Ed send us this note:
Dear Kim and Suzanne,
You'll want to present this as a POSITIVE thing, rather than
the way it was handled below, but if you haven't already told
this "story" I think it can be useful information
for your readers. I would present is as making walking in
Florence more pleasant and more quiet, as well as helping
protect historic foundations ... See you guys soon!
Baci, Ed and Mimi
[P.S. I received a charge for just such an infraction in Rome.
The traffic camera got me! Ed C.] From the New York AAA Car
& Travel magazine July 2008 issue: "Why did I receive
a ticket in Florence, Italy?
Q. Several weeks after I returned from my vacation in Italy,
I received a traffic citation in the mail for driving in a
"limited traffic area without authorization" in
Florence. The rental car company charged the amount of the
ticket, 92 Euros ($146), to my credit card. I think AAA should
provide more information to its members about the possibility
of this kind of situation happening to travelers overseas.
A. Traffic cameras that record various violations are increasingly
commonplace in Italy, especially in the region of Tuscany.
In your case, you received a ticket for entering a Limited
Traffic Zone area, or Zona a Traffico Limitato (ZTL). The
city of Florence restricts drivers from traveling through
certain historic sections to reduce traffic. However, there
are some exceptions for tourists unloading and parking rental
vehicles at hotels in such zones. The Italian Tourist Board
suggests that you call your hotel prior to arrival with the
license plate of your vehicle. In fact, this member's ticket
was later dismissed when her hotel contacted local authorities
on her behalf.
RECIPE OF THE MONTH
Pollo alla Linari - (serves 6) - This recipe arrives thanks
to the organizers of the Linari Music Festival organizers
who tell us the dish is a Linari classic. It started as Joan
Roberts' 2004 Chicken Marabella and was adapted by Peter and
Marg in 2005 and renamed Pollo alla Linari in honour of the
Festival. You will need:
6 to 8 chicken thighs (breasts will do, but thighs are better)
3 Tbs. capers
1 clove minced garlic
1½ tsp. dried tarragon (we use Tuscan dragoncello in
100 mls (about ½ cup) olive oil
30 mls (2 Tbs.) white wine vinegar
Salt and pepper
100 gms (3 ½ oz.) dried apricots, chopped (add more
if you like)
300 mls (1¼ cup) white wine
1 Tbs. brown sugar
2 bay leaves
Add oil, capers, tarragon, bay leaves, garlic, vinegar, 200
mls white wine and chopped apricots to a bowl and mix together.
Season with salt and pepper. Marinate the chicken pieces in
this mixture overnight.
Lay the chicken pieces in a baking pan and pour over the marinade
and the remaining wine. Sprinkle with brown sugar. (We often
added some halved and stoned fresh apricots, too, as they
were right in season and just so beautiful!) Bake in a preheated
oven at 180ºC (350 Fahrenheit) for about 50 minutes until
chicken is tender. Baste a few times during the cooking process.