A special place in Greve

When Mike and Charmaine and wee James were here we visited the small village of Greve in Chanti.  Greve is built around a triangular piazza which has the usual assortment of shops and cafes dotted around it.

It also has one shop which we think is special.  The sign outside says Norcineria – or butchery – but the experience inside is something else.

Looking out towards the piazza in Greve. Love the sign

Describing Antica Macelleria Falorni as a butchery is like calling St Peters in Rome just a church.  Entering the shop, you are hit by complete sensory overload.  Everywhere you look there are cured hams, cheeses, salamis, and more cured hams hanging, stacked, packed and displayed.  The smell is overwhelming (I’m told as I have no sense of smell) and it strikes you like a hammer the moment you walk through the door.

The shop also sells wines to go with the wide range of cheeses available as well as the ususal Tuscan butchery mix of meats, game, and poultry.

In the usual Italian way, things can be tasted before buying – just to provide even greater sensory overload.

Inside Antica Macelleria Falorni in Greve

The shop stretches through 3 street frontages so as you move away from the front door you move from one small area to another, and in each the ceiling is hung with curing legs of ham giving the whole shop the feeling of a cave.  For food-lovers, almost certainly an Aladdins cave.

If you visit Tuscany, you really should stop in Greve and marvel at this most unlikely tourist attraction.

Not another photo?

As a keen amateur photographer trying to capture the relaxed Tuscan lifestyle I can become a bit demanding on my available talent – which consists of one long suffering wife and two small white fluffy dogs.

When the demands become too great the dogs simply get up and walk off. Jean isn’t so lucky.

The pool busters

The complex has ben really busy over the last few weeks. Guests are coming and going and we have had a great mix of nationalities – Dutch, Italian, the ocassional Brit and, of course, the Germans.

One day recently Jean and I headed to the pool for an afternoon of swimming and relaxing to find that, when we got there, every lounger was either being used or was empty but with a towel drapped over it – clearly the European sign for “reserved”.

It reminded me of a UK TV commercial that aired in the early 1990’s about this very subject. Enjoy.

Fun in the sun

You can never have enough pool toys

Daisy has taken up a fair bit of our time lately, but prior to that we managed a bit of pool time. It was the only way to keep cool in the 35 to 40 degree heat.

Clearly in Europe everyone turns up at the pool with some form of inflatable toy to amuse themselves. Often there are so many toys in the pool it’s difficult to find a spot to swim.

Not to be outdone Jean splashed out (excuse the pun) on a lilo. All of 5 Euro at the local inflatable pool toy store.

Jean and Nacho Libre

The man who sits by the pool has made a wee movie showing Jean in action.

Please note, the ocassional swat at the water is simply Jean avoiding wasps, bees, bugs, etc, that have made their way into the pool.

 

 

 

 

 

Really hot

Watching the sun go down

The last week has been unseasonably hot.

Temperatures have hovered in the late 30 degrees during the day which is great for pool life but not good for cottage life or for the dogs.

Relief comes in the evening when it becomes bearable to sit outside and enjoy the sunset.

A new look, same old ramblings

If you are a regular reader of Toscanakiwi you will notice that the look of the blog has changed. Why? Well, it just felt like time for a change. And, more importantly, I figured out how to do it.

The good news is that everything is still where it has always been, however there are a couple of additional things to mention. Firstly I can now include video in the blog. This probably means a series of home movies will crawl onto the site over the next few weeks.

Secondly there is a new section called “Travel Tips”. This is a place for us to leave helpful tips we’ve picked up traveling over the years. It will have new bits added as they come to mind. Also if you have any questions about traveling to Italy simply ask us. We will do our best to answer them.

Anyway, I guess “new but old” sums this change up.