Sunday, September 27, 2009

Apartment Rental Siena

We are currently renting an apartment in a beautiful casale situated on the “Montagnola Senese” slopes in the Siena countryside about 12 minutes drive to the centre of Siena in a very relaxing and tranquil location.

The casale actually consists of two holiday apartments, one of which I have told the owner that I will try and find a tenant for.

The apartment is tastefully fitted and furnished in the traditional Tuscan style with Cotto floors and beamed ceilings. Gas central heating.Parking.It is very spacious and comfortable and consists of a kitchen, dining and living area, a double bedroom with a double bed, a double bedroom with two single beds, and a bathroom with shower.Garden furniture and barbeque.

The apartment is available on a weekly basis until the 23rd December for 380 euro and between the 23rd December until the 10th January for 430 euro. After the 10th January the price is 380 euro again until March 2010. I reckon that these prices may be negotiable.

The owner is also happy to rent it out from now until March 2010 on a longer term basis for a reduced price.

More photos are in my side link and I would be happy to provide any further info as needed.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Bye Bye House!

A couple of weeks ago we finally sold our house in Le Marche, after having it on the market for a year. It was no ordinary sale either it was destiny!

6 months ago Domenico said to me why don’t you sign up for Facebook..I was always a bit hesitant as I am quite a private person and thought that Facebook may be a bit intrusive. Anyway I gave it a go and ended up discovering alot of friends from my past. One of these was James who was one of my best friends at school and who I lost contact with when I left England 30 years ago. We were both thrilled to be in touch again, and it wasn’t long before we organised to meet up in London where he lives with his partner Jon. We still got along really well and spent alot of time reminiscing...before we left we told him to come and visit us in Le Marche as he was keen to see the house we were selling. James has spent alot of time in Italy and speaks perfect Italian and was at a stage in his life where he wanted to leave England to live in Italy. As it happened he loved our house and when he got back to London put his flat up for sale...within a few weeks it sold and now he is the proud owner of our house.

It was hard letting it go as we have put so much work into the place but I couldn’t be happier that James has bought it as it means that we can still visit and see what progress he makes in continuing with the renovations.
Before After

Friday, September 25, 2009

Pizza Napoletana

Pizza Napoletana in my opinion is the best pizza in the world..especially when eaten in Napoli. Domenico and I have been known to drive for 5 hours from Le Marche when the urge for a good pizza strikes.

Our first stop is usually Pizzeria Da Michele,this is in the heart of Forcella one of the most undesirable areas of Napoli, not far from the station and Piazza Garibaldi. Chaotic is an understatement, noise, dirt and traffic parking unless you double park in an unknown zone with an unknown unofficial parking attendant who you trust your car to then hope for the best that nothing happens!!!

Domenico grew up near to this area and his family owned several shops here many years ago..these have now been taken over by the Chinese who have made a big presence in Napoli and who seem to be accepted by many of the Napolitani. The main market near Piazza Garibaldi has changed too ,even in the few years we have been going there...alot of the stalls have now been taken over by the Aficans who used to sell their goods illegally on the footpaths!!

Da Michele is an institution in Napoli, one of the most well known pizzerias which always has a queue outside. Luckily we arrived just on midday just as the queue was starting usual we ordered a Margherita each and within half an hour we were finished and on our way again.

We also found out not so long ago that Chiara, DJ’s fidanzata has family connections to the pizzeria as her grandfather is one of the owners. So no doubt her family knew of Domenico’s grandmother and other family members who also had shops in the area...such a small world.

Another Pizzeria we go to is Pizzeria Vincezo Costa in Porta Capuana another grotty area of Napoli .

The pizzeria itself is very sparse and basic with no cash register..just a family member adding up the bill in her head and a handbag to store the takings. No receipts here, so I don’t know what happens if the Guarda Finanza drop doubt a free pizza or two keeps them quiet!!

Domenico used to stop here for a pizza after work when he was a little boy, back then a Margherita cost 30 Lire (1.5 cents), now it costs 4 euro.Pizza fritta is also very common here, which is a calzone stuffed with ricotta and then fried...very tasty though not good for the wasteline!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Bella Napoli

Napoli...we visit often, though after a few days ‘devo scappare’ is vibrant, chaotic, noisy,dirty (though slowly cleaning up a bit) and has the best food in Italy. Here are some pics of ‘a day out ‘ in Napoli.

Via Chiaia

Galleria Umberto


Streets in the Spanish Quarter

A break for some water

Milly..the dog with attitude, refreshed and on her way again!

Piazza Umberto

Boys taking a break from their football game in Piazza plebiscito

The bird man who wasn't impressed when Milly decided to chase them!

Go Milly !!

Back in Italia.

For the past 4 months now we have been back in Italy...I can’t explain it but after 4 years of living here I have come to accept the way 'it is', initially I fought the system and didn’t accept the way it was with all the beaurocratic and everyday issues, thinking perhaps by making a fuss it would change for me. After spending several months in France I realised how much I missed Italy and how it has gotten ‘under my skin’ so to speak..although there are many negative aspects I have come to enjoy more the positive ones and the diversity of the country. We have travelled alot throughout Italy and have come to love the changes that come with each region, and the differences in the people as well as the ever changing countryside.

So for now we are living in Siena, renting a lovely apartment in an old casale in the Sienese countryside until we get our bearings and see what the region has to offer in the way of work..still hoping to perhaps get back into the hospitality business..though some days I think we must be mad to do it again and to lose the freedom we have had these past 4 years...we shall see.