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IMPORTANT INFORMATION » Our Monthly Newsletter ITA -

Palazzo Pitti

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Rent, Sell and Manage Properties in Florence and Tuscany

  June – The beginning of June is always splashed with incredible colour in and around Florence. Climbing roses deck terraces and secret gardens in town, while in the countryside red violet-coloured expanses of alfalfa, fields of red poppies and swatches of golden scotch broom bring smiles even to hardened commuters (yes, we commute in Tuscany, too). School is soon out and Florence starts blooming into its summer self. Life turns from inside to outdoors and the pace begins to lighten.

  Saturday June 2 is a national holiday (celebrating the birth of the Italian Republic) and Sunday June 24 is the “Festa di San Giovanni”, a local holiday in Florence only (see St. John celebration info below).

  To find locations mentioned in our newsletter, copy the address onto the MAP FINDING space on www.mappy.com



MEDIEVAL FESTIVAL, San Gimignano. Fri. June 13 to Sun. 15. Opening time: 5 p.m. San Gimignano Tourist Office. Tel. 0577 94.00.08. www.comune.sangimignano.siena.it.
This colourful festival (Ferie delle Messi) brings jugglers, acrobats and jousting knights onto the streets of San Gimignano. The event is staged both for the entertainment of tourists and for the townspeople themselves, who take great pride in their splendid hill top town, a designated Unesco World Heritage Site. Activities include the Medieval Guild Fair, with stalls displaying trade goods, arts and crafts typical of the Middle Ages and live street shows with fireworks, jugglers, acrobats, storytellers and musicians. On Sunday, in addition to the street shows throughout the day, there is a parade in the afternoon, the Corteo Storico, followed by the famous real-life Knights' Tournament in Parco della Roca. The winners of the tournament parade through the town and the festivities continue until late into the night.

Every year on the night of June 16th, the streets running along the river Arno through Pisa (the so-called Lungarni), are lit with the enchanting glow of 70,000 candles. On this, the eve of the feast day of Pisan patron saint, San Ranieri, candles are set afloat on the Arno, and set into glass holders, fixed on wood frames that accentuate the lines of the palazzi, bridges, churches and towers reflecting off the slowly moving river. Oil lamps light the Leaning Tower and crenulations of the city walls surrounding the Piazza dei Miracoli as well. Top the evening off with a spectacular fireworks display, and you have a pretty magical evening to visit Pisa.

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 reader’s points of view (though we reserve the right to agree or disagree). Send your input to newsletter@pitcherflaccomio.com.

Dear P & F,
After another enjoyable meal at the Trattoria Del Carmine, in piazza of the same name, I felt I had to write... The food is always so very fresh, plentiful and Tuscan and the atmosphere is just so genuine. Eating outdoors, the tables are almost too close together but that just adds to the fun as you can catch snippets of the other diners' conversations! On my most recent visit my dinner companions had a delicious fresh porcini mushroom salad to start, while I had the standard hot-weather prosciutto e melone. The second courses were equally good: stuffed zucchini, carpaccio with porcini and parmigiano, and two people had tender, filetto grilled to perfection. Trattoria Del Carmine, Piazza del Carmine 18, 055-218601.
Lorella Dunn

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!

Here we are again, P & F talking about a group of fascinating women we have recently met:

VOICES OF THE PAST RESONATE THROUGH HISTORY - The Merry Maidens are a women’s Early Music vocal ensemble composed of singers from all over the world. Founded in 1999, The Merry Maidens have performed throughout Florence and Tuscany, including park concerts at the Boboli Gardens and the Gardens of Villa Demidoff, and during religious ceremonies, weddings, and special events.

From Gregorian chants to light Renaissance madrigals, the Merry Maidens’ repertoire reflects themes found in Medieval and Renaissance music, recounting the stories of traditional heroes such as Robin Hood, celebrating occasions of the hunt, the seasons, and the harvest, and meditating on the themes of love, the human spirit, and the divine. As the birthplace of the Renaissance and home to the first opera, Florence and her surrounding areas provide a natural setting for the enjoyment of Early Music. The Merry Maidens renew little-known musical traditions of the past. Their “a cappella” repertoire can be performed anywhere, evoking a period in time that is far away, yet very familiar in Florence and the ancient towns of Tuscany. The Merry Maidens are available for weddings, banquets, ceremonies, concerts, special events, holiday music, and more. For info contact director Kathryn (Kate) Rakich. Telephone: 335-6530463. E-mail: kathrynnn@gmail.com.

PESTO ALLE ERBE AROMATICHE (Sauce for approx. 10 servings of pasta.) This is a repeat, since it is one of our all-time favourites.
With Spring rains and the early Summer sun, all the local herbs are bright and wonderfully fresh here in Tuscany. For this unusual twist on the classic Genovese pesto, we most often use fresh basil, mint, fennel fronds and marjoram, with smaller amounts of thyme, tarragon, or other herbs. But you can adjust the amounts to what you have on hand.
2 cloves garlic, peeled
3 cups lightly packed mixed herbs, washed and dried well in a towel
one half teaspoon salt
freshly ground pepper
one half cup (or more) almonds, toasted and finely chopped
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
one third cup grated parmigiano
With food processor running, drop garlic through feed tube to chop finely. Scrape down sides of work bowl. Add herbs, salt and pepper and process until finely chopped, scraping sides of work bowl as necessary. Add chopped almonds, then with processor running, drizzle olive oil through feed tube. Add grated parmigiano and pulse once or twice to blend.
We use a food processor, but this can also be chopped together with a knife or a mezzaluna, or ground with a mortar and pestle.
Our recipes are supplied by Sahna Wicks of "A Tuscan Welcome" catering and cooking school (wicks@katamail.com).

All our best,

The Staff of Pitcher and Flaccomio

Newsletter compiled by Kim Wicks

Pitcher & Flaccomio Newsletter Copyright 2008

Direttore responsabile Mario Spezi -  Pubblicazione con iscrizione n. 5697 del 23\01\09 presso il Tribunale di Firenze