Tuscany Burning

I'm just off to Italy for some much-needed convalescence, so this will be my last post before I arrive. Like Greece, the Tuscan Alps also have a problem with wild-fires and recently the mountainside above Peralta - where Neil is working - has been blazing. He walked up the hill early the other morning and sent me these pictures of the fire as he casually strolled through.

It looks hot - but after weeks and weeks of miserable northern weather and a maximum of 17 degrees (this is summer?) I think I can take a little heat!

I'm looking forward to the relaxation, the Prosecco, and cafe life. I have a favourite cafe, run by two sixty-something men with grey pony tails and ragged jeans. The main attraction is going to the loo, where they play a tape of someone's sonorous voice reading Dante. It's quite hypnotic and people do seem to spend a lot of time in 'i servizi'! The tables are heaped with newspapers and poetry books, and it was here that I first came across Alda Merini 'one of the most powerful contemporary female poets writing in Italian' according to one review. I think some of her poetry is quite religious - content difficult for an aetheist - but the sound of it is utterly beautiful. I've never let my religious differences put me off Donne or Hopkins, so not Merini either. I'm learning Italian and hope to be able to understand it better in the original language soon.

Here's to practising! And I will remember to raise a glass of Prosecco to absent friends.


  1. Be careful of those fires and tell Neil to stop being silly. The Alps may not have the explosive power of the Oz bush, but fire should not be played with. It kills, and as we found here in February (and many times before) it can be very unpredictable.

    The Cafe reminds me of one of our favourites, about an hour away in Warburton. Same pony tails, and jeans and one has a plaited beard. No poetry though, paintings and jazz nights instead.

    Have a great time and recharge those batteries.

  2. Thanks for the good wishes Al. I'll pass the message to Neil - what is it with men and danger?
    xx K

  3. Dear Kathleen

    S0 sorry you have been unwell. I'm sure the Italian 'medicine' will work wonders. I love the Dante in the toilet tale. Perhaps proseccco in Peralta wil inspire more of your poetry, which I have so enjoyed here.

    Have a wonderful restful time and most of all have fun.


    PS I have the smallest strand of envy at your 'escape' from th ecool English summer. My sojourn in France seems a long way away now.


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