Posted by: Debra Kolkka | July 9, 2020

Canals in Venice

It is fun to wander the backstreets of Venice finding canals crossed by tiny bridges. The streets are called calli and they can be very narrow. Sometimes the bridges don’t line up perfectly with the street across from them. The bridges were an afterthought.

I have been reading a book called “Venice is a Fish” by Tiziano Scarpa. He tells that up until 800 years ago there were hardly any bridges. Moveable gangways were used. The houses were built with their front doors opening onto the canal where they would have a private mooring. The streets in many cases were not aligned to meet a bridge, they were outlets to the water.

The private moorings are still there and still used even though residents get about on foot much more than they used to.

Here are a few canals that caught my eye.

 

 



Of course the most famous canal is the perfectly named Grand Canal and the most well known bridge is the Rialto. Right now the bridge is almost empty. The shops are closed and few people cross.

The views from the bridge are as wonderful as they always have been…at any time of the day.

 


I crossed it early one morning to see the fish market. I have heard it might close. I hope not.

 


Here is a post I wrote a few years ago on the fish market. The Venice fish market

The fruit and vegetable markets were beginning to set up nearby. I spotted these wonderful artichoke flowers. I hope mine grow at Casa Debbio.

I watched this boat one morning. Old wooden pylons were removed and replaced by new ones.


I enjoyed my few days in Venice. I feel very lucky to be able to go often. I find new treasures every time.

 

Posted by: Debra Kolkka | July 1, 2020

Dosoduro, authentic Venice

My favourite area in Venice is Dosoduro, one of the 6 sestieri (districts) of the city. It has some of the highest land in the islands and includes Guidecca Island and Isola Sacca Fisola.

The original heart of the area was along the Guidecca Canal. The buildings here were built in the 6th century.  On the Grand Canal side, the Ponte della Accademia, the bridge which gives access to Dosoduro, was built in the 19th century. I crossed this bridge from the San Marco district.

The views from the bridge are impressive…looking across to Basilica Santa Maria della Salute.


Look down to the the outdoor art belonging to the Instituto Veneto di Scienze, Lettere Ed Arti.


…and along the Grand Canal.

Dosoduro is always a quieter area of Venice to wander in, even more so now. I was almost alone on my walk. Many shops are still closed. I spoke to a shop owner who told me the Aqua Alta in winter was terrible and caused huge damage. Because of the lockdown restoration work stopped.
Now there are cranes and workmen all over Venice, including in Dosoduro, working to get things back to normal. As if the Aqua Alta wasn’t bad enough, the lockdown took away incomes for months. The lovely local I spoke to told me it was difficult to do survive without their business being open, but having the city to themselves was wonderful. Everyone hopes things will slowly improve. Serious thought needs to be given to making tourism more sustainable and pleasant for tourists and locals in Venice.

Wandering slowly offers a chance to take in the beauty of the area.

I came upon my favourite piazza, or campo, as they are called in Venice. It is a delightful, secluded area between the Peggy Guggenheim museum and the Basilica Santa Maria della Salute.

 



I have been in the campo before. It is a peaceful place.



I love this stunning house on the Grand Canal side of the campo.


I passed the gorgeous Fortuny shop. How I would love one of their beautiful lights, or the garment in the window.


I walked to the end of the island, past the Basilica Santa Maria della Salute, to get a great view of Guidecca on one side and back towards San Marco on the other.

 


Here is the Academia Bridge.

…and the lovely scene as I walked towards the steps to cross it to return to San Marco.

Don’t miss Dosoduro if you visit Venice.

 

Posted by: Debra Kolkka | June 28, 2020

Venice and covid 19

I have been to Venice many times and I love this beautiful city. I usually go in winter to avoid the hordes of tourists that descend on the city in the warmer months. I could not resist the opportunity to see Venice sparkle in the sun while tourists are kept away by the virus that is preventing many people from travelling.

Now that we are able to travel more freely in Italy I set off to arrive by train. It is a good idea to buy tickets ahead of the day of travel because the number of people allowed on trains is reduced and every second seat is to be kept free. Masks are to be worn at all times on board and Trenitalia staff check constantly to make sure this is happening. I didn’t feel unsafe or crowded at all.

As soon as I checked into my hotel in the Cannaregio district I headed off to San Marco. My plan was to have a spritz at Florian to celebrate its 300th anniversary.

Unfortunately this was not to be. Florian is only open Friday to Monday for the moment and this was Wednesday. I will return before the end of the year.

Instead I found a shady spot on the opposite side of the Piazza where I had a sandwich and a shakerato, a delicious cold coffee made by shaking together a shot of espresso and ice cubes…perfect for a hot day in Venice.

My position offered a perfect view of the Basilica San Marco.

 

There was a tiny queue outside waiting to get into the basilica. The church itself is closed for restoration, but the museum above is open. I have been a couple of times (The bronze horses of San Marco ) 

There is plenty to see outside the basilica. Beautiful things are everywhere.

There are tourists in Venice, but it is certainly not crowded. The majority of visitors seemed to be Italians. Most of the foreign languages I heard were German and French. The main thoroughfare from San Marco to Rialto was reasonably busy, but once away from these streets you can wander almost alone.

The best thing to do in Venice is to wander with no agenda. You will get lost and it will be fun. It is easy to get back on track when you are ready to find your direction again, especially if you use your phone, but wandering aimlessly is the very best way to enjoy Venice. Your eyes need to be everywhere to enjoy all the details.

 


 

In the church above we found “Lucy’s eyes” on a previous when we were on a quest to find things in Secret Venice, a book filled with interesting things to discover. Lucy’s eyes

I was delighted to find a restaurant I enjoyed on a previous visit, Taverna al Remer. I had forgotten the name, but I knew roughly where it was and after going down a few blind alleys I finally found the correct one. It is in a courtyard opposite Rialto. A small party was there celebrating a first birthday and there were groups sitting along the edge of the canal making the most of the view.



This is a view from the mooring.

Dinner was delicious. Grilled octopus was my choice for first course, followed by pumpkin ravioli with pheasant ragu.


Afterwards I walked to the empty Rialto bridge to see the Grand Canal. The shops on the bridge are closed and I had the bridge almost to myself.

The other restaurant I went to was La Zucca, recommended by a friend who knows her food. It was excellent and well patronised. All the outside tables were full, but it interior was lovely.

 

First course was sformatina di carciofi (artichoke), followed by pork fillet with fresh plums and carrots with lime and ginger. Dessert was mango in aspic with honey and almonds.

The main street in Cannaregio was busy in the evening. People were generally not wearing masks outside as it was quite hot, but you cannot go into a shop or restaurant without a mask and there is hand sanitiser at every door.

This is what the street scene is usually like right now. It is amazing to be in Venice in summer without tourists!


I stayed at the Pesaro Palace which is right beside the ferry stop C’a d’Oro. It is only a few steps from the ferry to the front door…very handy. It has a lovely courtyard, with resident cat.

I spotted this tub which I think could find a place at Casa Debbio.

The views from the private mooring are gorgeous.

I took far too many photographs for one post on Venice, there will be more.

Posted by: Debra Kolkka | June 22, 2020

A visit to San Miniato

San Miniato is a lovely town between Florence and Pisa. It sits on 3 hilltops and was an important strategic lookout point in ancient times because of its prominent position along the  Via Francigena, the road that connected France to Rome. Its lofty position offered excellent views over the Arno Valley and surrounding countryside.

The historical centre is small and easy to navigate. There is a car park in the centre and more parking below the town with an enormous lift to bring you to the top.

I wandered through the piazza and found this.


It has a map and information about San Miniato inside…and a cool place to sit on a hot day.

I walked further uphill and through an arch.

 

This is the Piazza della Republica.  The slightly curved building dates from medieval times when it formed part of the city walls. The wooden doors at the bottom would open to become a shop counter. They date from the 13th century. The decoration above the doors is from the 1600s.


There are a couple of stairways to take you up to the open courtyard above where you will find the Palazzo dei Vicari dell’Imperatore with its ancient tower. The tower predates the 12th century building.

 

In the same courtyard is the cathedral dating from the 12th century.

The pulpit featuring bas relief dates from 1274.

The marble font is from 1638.

I don’t know how of the stained glass window is.

There are great views from the courtyard in front of the church.

From there it is a pretty walk up to the Torre di Federico II, built around 1217 – 1221.

 


The stronghold was the centre of a defence system, which included other towers and the bell tower of the cathedral. From here the roads between Florence and Pisa and the Francigena between the Valdelsa and Lucca could be guarded. The tower was destroyed in 1944 but was later rebuilt in its original form. Today it is has a grassed area beside it which is used for festivals, one of which is the Festa Aquilone, the kite festival, held the first Sunday after Easter.


There are 360 degree views from the grassy platform.

Back in the centre I found a delightful shop owned by a couple who make all the glass pieces they sell.

The area is famous for white truffles. San Miniato has several places where you can buy truffle products and they feature on restaurant menus.

This well stocked Alimentari drew me in. I wish is was my local!

I had read about an excellent vegetarian restaurant called Maggese in San Miniato. Unfortunately it was not open when I visited but I pressed my nose against the door and decided I must return.

 

Nearby I found Essenza where I had lunch.

Everything, including the bread, was delicious.

The amuse-bouche featured truffles.

Since San Miniato is famous for truffles I chose the tagliolini with fresh truffles. I think it is the best pasta I have eaten in Italy.

The filetto di manzo lardellato was perfectly cooked.

San Miniato is just over an hour away from home in Bagni di Lucca…I will be back soon.

Posted by: Debra Kolkka | June 17, 2020

Down the mountain

I have left Casa Debbio for a while. We welcomed our first guest for the summer and I have moved down to our apartment in Ponte a Serraglio. I have a different view for the next few weeks.

I will miss the view from Casa Debbio, but it is time to do other things.

These are the last photos from Casa Debbio until I return.

Some of the flowers on the lavender plants bloomed.

The hydrangeas are a riot of colours behind the house.

A couple of the oak leaf hydrangeas have managed to avoid being eaten and are growing flowers.

 

Some hydrangeas have moved inside.

The Daphne is covered in tiny flowers.

Filippo and I have been watching this plant to see what type of flowers were going to appear. We won’t be finding out this year. The goats delicately ate every pea sized bud off every stalk.

I don’t know the name of these bushes, but the yellow flowers they produce last through summer.

The fruit trees on the terraces behind the house are growing fruit. We have pears, apples, persimmons, quince and pomegranates. There are more trees on terraces below the house too. We have lots of fig trees. It remains to be seen if the fruit does well. Too much rain and not enough sun is not a great mix…who would be a farmer? The weather rarely seems to be just right.

The olive flowers are doing well on some trees.


The kiwi vine has flowers.

The cool, wet weather meant that some cherries ripened and are now being eaten by birds. Most split because there was too much rain recently…there is always next year. Unfortunately the damp means that some of the cherry trees, including my stunning weeping cherries have a fungus and their leaves are dropping. I hope the sun comes out soon and saves them.

The acanthus have produced dozens of flowers and the bees love them.



Some small pockets of garden are doing well.

The vegetable garden is producing eggplant, gooseberries, rocket, wild fennel and the tomatoes are growing. The goats ate the strawberry plants and keep nibbling at the raspberry plants and have eaten the zucchini plant.

Filippo found some wild parsley growing.

The pergola is the perfect place to eat lunch.

Angela the cake stand has had another outing.

 

The scarecrow, who is nameless, has a new outfit.

The garden bed has had mixed success. It is totally sodden with the rain and the flowers the goats haven’t chewed have been eaten by insects. Some warmer weather might improve things.

Just before I left Casa Debbio I managed to get a photo of one of our stunning bright green lizards. He was snoozing in the sun on a wall and stayed long enough for me to run inside and get the camera.

At Ponte a Serraglio I will be doing other things, no goats to worry about for a while. We have an excellent fruit and vegetable shop here at Ponte a Serraglio. I bought some zucchini flowers and stuffed them with ricotta for my first lunch here…life is good.


I will miss Casa Debbio, my garden and the views. It was the perfect place to be for lockdown. I hope the weather improves soon, I am completely sick of the rain! Maybe a day in Florence is needed.

I’m sure our guests will enjoy the house as much as we do. I will be back there in August.

Posted by: Debra Kolkka | May 31, 2020

A big decision

After much thought I have decided not to fly back to Australia soon. My original flight home was to be on 20th June. That flight was cancelled by the airline and there was confusion over subsequent bookings. If I go home now I will have to isolate in a hotel room for 2 weeks, which holds no appeal at all.

My appointment at the Questura to renew my Permesso di Soggiorno is in mid August and I need to do that. There is also the possibility I might not be able to return to Italy in autumn as I planned to do. I am happy with my decision to stay in Italy, especially now that restrictions have loosened a bit.

We have guests arriving at Casa Debbio shortly and I will be moving down to our apartment in Bagni di Lucca. I am going to miss my garden. It has been wonderful to watch it grow this spring even though some days were very long indeed during the lockdown.

The garden looking better than ever with all the love and attention it has had from Filippo and me. We have planted some new things including more annuals than usual. We have big plans for some new garden beds in autumn…a garden is never finished.

I am delighted that both pergolas are now covered by wisteria. The one at the front of the house is a great place to enjoy meals, even better now with shade.

The views of the side garden from the pergola are lovely.


Grass is growing on the path up to the house…slowly.


The lavender on top of the rock wall is the first we planted and I am hoping the flowers will open soon.


There is a tiny daphne tucked in beside the first lavender. It has dozens of flowers opening now. The fragrance is delicious.

What began as a difficult area behind the house is now looking wonderful. I remember digging the holes above the wall to plant the bay trees. I think people from the village may have heard me every time I hit a rock. We have many rocks at Casa Debbio. The pink roses are gorgeous and peonies and hydrangeas are flowering together right now.

 

 

 

 


I’m sorry if you are sick of seeing my peonies, but I can’t get enough of them. I am thrilled that that they grow well here at Casa Debbio. Having lots of varieties means I have them for about 6 weeks.


 

I prefer to leave the flowers growing, but there are so many now I bring some inside. I like to put them at the sink to improve the job of washing up. They look great for at least a week.

Hydrangeas last well inside too.

Aquilegias are flowering in the garden behind the house too. These clever little things that look like pretty bonnets come up all by themselves every year with no help at all from me, just like the hydrangeas and peonies…perfect plants.


After many years of producing 1 or 2 flowers acanthus are blooming all over the garden.

I am delighted that the black walnut that was chewed to bits by a wild goat has grown some new tiny branches. We have it well protected now. I hear the goats at night and sometimes go out and turn lights on and make noise, but they are undeterred.

The weather has been mixed. Most days have been sunny and not too hot yet. The occasional foggy morning makes for some pretty views from my bedroom window.





I haven’t been doing as much cooking lately as I have a freezer full of food cooked on wet days during lockdown, but I did make ricotta gnocchi with peas for lunch yesterday.

I had a happy surprise this week. The local paper published a story about my other blog, Bella Bagni di Lucca, and the flowers I plant on the bridge at Ponte a Serraglio. The mayor publicly thanked me for my contribution to the village. Now when I water the flowers people stop in their cars to have a chat. This summer I will be here to take care of the flowers.

Posted by: Debra Kolkka | May 24, 2020

I want to freeze frame my garden

The garden here at Casa Debbio is looking glorious. Filippo has mowed the terraces again. The grass grew quickly after the last rain and a couple of days of wet weather gave the rest of the plants a boost. Everything is looking so beautiful that I want to stop it right now.

There are tiny pears on the trees, of course I want them to grow.

The raspberry bushes have flowers, soon to be raspberries.

 

The gooseberries are growing.

Kiwi fruit are forming.

 

Developing cachi, or persimmon, look like wontons.


The changeable weather doesn’t seem to have suited the cherries. Their development has stalled.

The olive trees all have lots of baby olives.

I still haven’t been able to get a photo of the gorgeous green lizards, but this fellow was happy to pose for me.

The lavender is growing bigger by the day.


Acanthus flowers are popping up everywhere.

A couple of allium I bought in Helsinki are about to open.


Filippo has built steps between the terraces to make it easier to climb up…and down.

The wisteria has finished flowering and is getting thicker by the minute.

It is a lovely place to have lunch.

The view in the early evening is stunning.

 


Heavenly roses are blooming. The banksia roses were knocked around badly in the rain and wind, but they are beginning to recover.


Hydrangea flowers are opening.

 


The flowers I really want to freeze frame are the peonies. I love them!

 

 

 


Not all peonies have a fragrance, but the one below has the most delicious perfume. I could hold it to my nose all day.


Some have found their way inside.

 

The garden bed is coming along after a slow start. Birds ate most of the seeds I planted, snails chewed through a few other things, small animals have actually slept in the bed and the wild goats like to nibble the pansies, but it is growing. Filippo cut some planters from chestnut logs and they now sit beside the bed…there can never be too many flowers.

Lockdown restrictions have been relaxed a lot. I can now travel freely within our region and eat out, with careful measures in place. It is great to have a bit of freedom after more than 2 months.

I have enjoyed morning coffee with a friend at Bar Italia in Ponte a Serraglio.

Coffee and sfoglia at Catene Cafe in Fornoli.

Dinner with friends at Circolo dei Forestieri in La Villa.

 

Lunch with friends at Ristorante Alfonso in Barga.

I have also been to Lucca with a friend. It was great to see people about. The shops were open and the traders were upbeat and happy to be working again. There is hand sanitiser at every door and beside every cash register, numbers in shops are limited and it all seems to be working well.
There were no crowds and people were keeping a distance from each other.  Nobody wants to go back to lockdown after sampling freedom.

 

Posted by: Debra Kolkka | May 17, 2020

A walk in the village

I have been staying at Casa Debbio during lockdown. I go down the mountain once a week to shop and have made a couple of trips to our apartment in Ponte a Serraglio. I have not been walking around Vergemoli because I thought that the older residents might be wary of a foreigner wandering about.

Yesterday I decided it was time to spread my wings a little and take a walk to Vergemoli. I need not have worried, everyone I passed was happy to chat. It was great to see the village looking pretty in spring.

The road from our house comes out beside a pretty little church.


I walked through the arch formed by the plane trees.

My nearest neighbour has a lovely garden.

His cherry tree is laden with almost ripe cherries.

He also has the best garden shed.

 

His potatoes are growing well.

 

There are some very pretty gardens in Vergemoli. Every available space is filled with plants.

 


A lovely lady who is in her 90s lives in the house below. Her garden was the inspiration for mine. I looked carefully at what she had growing. I thought that if she could grow it then I could. She has Banksia roses, acanthus and she has beautiful peonies, my favourite flowers. I now have 70 thriving peony plants and 40 babies I have grown from seed.

You can see our house from a couple of spots.

Like all villages in Italy Vergemoli has some great doorways.



Even an abandoned doorway with a couple of weeds in front has charm.


The drinking fountains have a similar style.

I love this little niche.


I walked through the village to the last house at the bottom.


They must have a great view from the front of the house.

There are stunning views from many vantage points.

On the way back to Casa Debbio an elderly man called to me from the balcony of the palazzo in the centre of town. It was bought by the village and turned into a meeting place with kitchen for village gatherings with some accommodation for back packers. There is also a shop open 6 days a week. It is an excellent project and a credit to the people of Vergemoli.


The man called out and asked me who I was. I replied that I am the Australian with the house up the hill. He relied “La signora con i fiori “ the lady with the flowers. How nice to be know for that.

Vergemoli is a beautiful mountain village. It now has fewer than 100 permanent residents. In summer it swells to 3 times that number when original residents return to their family houses to see relatives and friends. There is a small group of foreigners, many from Denmark. I have always been made welcome here and am often invited to join village celebrations…I love it.

From tomorrow many restrictions will be lifted in Italy. Bars, restaurants and shops will be open, with social distancing measures in place. We will be able to travel a little more freely. Travel will be relaxed a bit more on 4th June. The numbers of people contracting the virus are dropping and let’s hope that continues. Everyone is looking forward to the reopening with some trepidation.

I have been busy making plans to dine out with friends…more on that soon.

Posted by: Debra Kolkka | May 13, 2020

Bits and pieces

I have been at Casa Debbio for 10 weeks. In the last 10 days we have been able to move around a bit more, which is great.  It does make a difference knowing there is a little more freedom. I went down the mountain yesterday to visit a friend in Ponte a Serraglio to wish her a happy birthday. I combined it with a shopping trip, but it was great to be able to see a friend.

It has been raining heavily for a couple of days and today is cloudy, so there is no watering the garden.

My garden bed is coming along nicely. The seeds I planted were eaten by birds, so I had to give up on that idea. I bought some small plants and they are growing. Some seeds might still grow. I don’t want this to be neat, I want a confusion of plants.

A couple more peonies have opened. Luckily most are still buds. If they had been open in the rain they would have been sodden and drooping.

The Banksia roses are thriving. We bought these several years ago from Rose Barni near Pistoia. It was quite an experience. Read about it…Adopt a rose

The red roses in front of the house are beautiful.

The pink roses will soon be open.

The stunning red ones behind the house are open.


Hydrangea flowers are opening.

We have 2 sambuco trees covered in flowers.


Lizards run and tumble all over the garden. They are fun to watch. I wish I could get a photo of the iridescent green ones. They are gorgeous and look like mini dragons.

I have been cooking. I made a delicious chicken pie…thank you Not Quite Nigella. Take a look at her blog, her recipes and travel stories are excellent. http://notquitenigella.com

 

I ate too much and rather than curl up like a cobra to digest it I went for a walk to the village. The house looks great from below.


The road to the village is delightful in spring. The forest is thick and the sun doesn’t shine through much. The trees are still their bright spring green.

 



I came to the edge of the village, but didn’t walk in. Maybe next week when the bar might be open.


Sometimes lunch doesn’t involve cooking. I found this cute little burrata, perfect with tomatoes and Tropea onions. I don’t buy any other onions here in Italy.

We went to Tropea in Calabria a few years ago, the home of these delicious onions. See more about them…Know your onions and gorgeous Tropea… Tropea, Hercules was here

Today I made a zucchini slice. The thyme and parsley was from my garden. I’m hoping for cherries, raspberries, garlic and zucchini before I leave.

The weather has been all over the place, sun, heavy rain, wind and low clouds.



I have very pale skin and prefer to keep it that way. I am paying for a youth spent at the beach. I always wear a hat in the garden and put sun block on my hands and arms, but I forgot about my legs. For the first time in more than 40 years I have brown legs. To most people they would still look pale but you can see the difference when I take my gardening shoes off.

We have heard that bars and restaurants might be open with seating next Monday, 18th May. There will be restrictions, but I am really looking forward to sitting with a couple of friends to eat something someone else has cooked…very exciting. Also exciting, I saw the first fireflies in the garden last night.

Posted by: Debra Kolkka | May 8, 2020

Small changes

Some restrictions have been lifted in Italy. It doesn’t make much difference to me except that I can travel a little further. I happily went down the mountain to Ponte a Serraglio and our apartment there. I replaced some of the pansies on the bridge in front of us with geraniums as I usually do at this time of the year.


I will go down a couple of times a week to water them. I was also delighted to be able to get a coffee and sfoglia from Bar Italia. I had to consume them at home, but it is better than nothing. It was lovely to see Annalisa looking positive and glad to be open.

The road back to Casa Debbio is spectacular.

At Casa Debbio Filippo has cut the grass (and weeds) on all the terraces. Everything looks neat and perfect. It is a big job and takes days to complete the whole area. He has now trimmed the rosemary plants which had become enormous. They have been covered with flowers, but now that they are finished a haircut was in order. We could not do without Filippo.

The herbaceous peonies are beginning to appear. They will come out over the next month. It is a lovely time to be in the garden.

The peony below is the first one I planted at Casa Debbio and still my favourite. It produces over 50 blooms each year. It is in front of one of the old walls of the original house.


The wisteria flowers have mostly disappeared except for these.

The pergola is now shaded by leaves.

 


Roses are growing.


Some beetles are eating some of the roses and rhododendrons.

Alyssum is a good filler.

Most of the acanthus plants are producing flowers.

The zucchini seeds have grown and have now been planted in the orto.

Tomatoes are growing.

The gooseberry bush is growing.


Both mulberry trees have tiny fruit.

Raspberries are growing.


The oak leaf hydrangea has small flowers. The goats, who don’t usually eat hydrangeas seem to like the oak leaf variety and a few plants have been chewed to bits.


The bleeding hearts are thriving. The leaves remind me of some of the peonies. I wonder if they are related.

A garden bed at the back of the house has been very difficult to get right. It is in deep shade in winter and can be very damp. Finally, last year, I found some plants that thrived, violets, aquilegias and something else with small lilac flowers. They come up by themselves in spring.

Some of the gazanias have survived having their flowers eaten and have grown new ones.

I spend a lot of my time watering as we have had little rain this spring which is unusual. In the middle of the day when it is too hot to water I lie on the swing chair and read, something I have never done before this lockdown. I do most of my reading on planes.

I am reading The Pursuit of Love and Love in a Cold Climate by Nancy Mitford. I love these books and reread them every couple of years. I can’t get interested in anything new or remotely challenging right now. There is far too much miserable news constantly coming out of TV and the ridiculous lies and conspiracy theories on social media could slowly send you mad.

No, drinking hot water will not cure the virus, neither will temperatures over 18 degrees. It would seem that Bill Gates is trying to depopulate the world by killing people using compulsory vaccinations with the evil and dastardly Dr Fauci as his right hand man. I saw one comment that said Dr Fauci found the cure for AIDS before the disease actually appeared. My son said “Wow, I would put that on my resume.” Let’s not go into what the orange idiot is saying.

I watched the super moon last night as it made its way across the sky in front of Casa Debbio. It lit up the garden in spectacular fashion making it look other worldly.

I sincerely hope that things will improve here in Italy and the rest of the world. This virus is creating havoc that will be long lasting and dreadful.

 

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