Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Odd things take our fancy here in Italy!

I am particularly taken with the little 3 wheeled cars that zoom around (Fiats I think).  Emrys would say the were just like ride on lawn mowers - they are certainly as noisy!  These little vehicles are driven like a a motor bike, and there is not a lot of room inside them, but even so, we have seen Mama and Pap squeezed into the only seat, putt putting up the hill!  They come in either blue or green as a general rule, and some have an open tray top on the back, others are covered with a canopy.  With it's distinctive sound we know how much time we have to leap off the road iff needed - they are very slow and usually take a while to get to us, especially if going up hill! 

One of the little three wheeled machines. 
Carol is standing next to it and you can see how small they are. 

Carol and Elizabeth have taken a fancy to the supermarkets, as well as shopping in general.  The other day while walking they had to do a detour to visit Pam.  They have also taken a fancy to the shop window displays, which are very speccy at times.  The clothes shops are constantly changing their displays, though when we are moving through a village duirng the day we don't actually get to see this, but when I stayed for a few days in some of the towns earlier on that was one of the things I noticed.

Carol and Elizabeth detoured to visit Pam! 
A supermarket chain. 

Here in Tuscany we are constantly seeing the candle pine.  This is probably the thing that everyone associates with Tuscany, a bit like lavender is associated with Provence in France.  They are eye catching on the horizon, but utterly useless as a shade tree!  The shade is dense, but only a few metres wide, and if the sun is low in the sky the shade is even narrower!  As you might gather, when we are walking in the heat of the day we become somewhat obsesssed with shade. 

In the heat of the midday sun we become obsessed with shade!

Early in the morning - so no shade needed this time! 

Of course, the food has been interesting.  We order, and then wait to see what will appear!  For example a couple of weeks ago we all ordered the same second plate - grilled fish with tomatoes.  I had tried to order fish with boiled potatoes, but was told it was not availble.  When the dish arrived though, what we got was fish - with baked potatoes!  My favourite pasta at home is gnocchi, and I have had many variations of it here.  Once it was tiny gnocchi, not much bigger than a cannelloni bean.  Pasta figures quite highly on the list of foods that we eat regularly.  The other night I had a pasta that looked like little dumplings, stuffed with chees and pine nuts, and it served in a pear sauce - delicious.  At another place we were served cheese with chestnut honey - also delicious.  Most mornings when we set off we stop at a bar or cafe and have a pastry and a coffee for our first breakfast, and then a few hours down the track we will stop again for our second breakfast! 

We have walked through the area where the Ligurian bees are very special (though they haven't seen our Ligurian bees on Kangaroo Island!).  The speciality honey is chestnut honey, and a few months later acacia honey.  Along the way we have walked past quite number of hives, brightly coloured, and sitting close together. 
Beehives set in a quiet knook in the forest.

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