Category Archives: Market

Old lady carrello

I have a friend, who shall remain nameless 🙂, she calls these “old lady carts”.

I admit, the little old ladies here DO use these for their shopping. They don’t have cars so these are a big help to them. But…. I say defensively…. I have also seen younger people, and even (gasp) men with these. I decided to get one. The one above is mine. Sitting in front of our door. Deluxe model. You may note it has the high tech, coolio, triple wheel action, handy for curbs and stairs. Note to my anonymous friend (who lives in Perugia, a hill town 😳), you need one of these!! 💕

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The weather has turned gorgeous. Not at all hot. Brilliant blue sky with no clouds. It gets very cool at night. The Saturday market is going strong. I got my shopping done. The peppers on the left I harvested this morning from our own pepper plants. They are all spicy.

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Dinner tonight will be from a recipe from Italian Food Forever. It is called Summer Spaghetti. So easy, and so good in summer with the beautiful tomatoes. No cooking, so it doesn’t heat up your kitchen. You put it together and let it sit 4 or more hours. The flavors meld. You cook and toss the spaghetti into the sauce while it is hot, saving some sauce to put on top. A little pecorino cheese and it is summertime heaven. Mmmm. Nothing makes me happier!

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I have been watching the US news, as I’m sure we all are. It is so sad that if people would just wear that damn mask they could almost stop this Virus in its tracks! Please stay safe and wear your masks. 🌈 😷

Trivial issues and tomato sandwiches

In the grand scheme of things, considering the really dire state of the human race on our earth, my small problems matter not a whit. It is true. And truly, if I never get Saran Wrap again but the Corona Virus is vanquished, I am more than fine with that.

Last night I used the last of my Saran Wrap. I can manage with the Italian plastic wrap, but Saran is much, much better. During normal times I would be traveling home to the US once a year or so. And I always stock up on all the things I like from there (I bring an empty suitcase). Needless to say we won’t be going home anytime soon. And we won’t have any guests from the US anytime soon, so I will make do.
Dead soldier…


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Tomato sandwiches were a staple of my childhood lunches. My mother adored in-season tomatoes. She would have called them “home grown”. She would make a sandwich with Wonder bread, mayonnaise and thick slices of tomatoes with salt and pepper. That’s all. And I grew up eating these. Since “home grown” tomatoes are only around a couple of months I tend to eat them everyday here. How? You ask? Watch me work!

First, and don’t you people be shouting about this because it is in all the Supermarkets here, I buy a nice loaf of American Sandwich bread. Just like Wonder Bread 🙂.

Then, I slather on lots of mayonnaise…and not just ANY mayonnaise but the real thing! Hellman’s! Also available here at selected supermarkets.

We don’t have what Americans call Heirloom tomatoes in our markets, but what we have are outstanding!

The Romas on the left are destined for Gazpacho. The basil will be pesto! Mmmm I love summer.

So, using all these fine ingredients 🙂… I make my daily Tomato sandwich. Mmmmmm. Sorry…half eaten 😋

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I also got my haircut this morning. First time since lockdown. Whew. Nice to get it cut. I drive around 40 kilometers from Umbertide to Sansepolcro. Nice small city in Tuscany. I love Stefano, my hairdresser.
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Stay safe everyone! 🌈

Market day

It was a beautiful Wednesday. Cool and breezy. I went out for a bit of shopping at the big market. I got tomatoes, which are so good right now. I got eggplant, little peppers, garlic, red onions. Beautiful produce. Also I bought some mozzarella…the little balls. So good with the beautiful tomatoes and basil.
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I am upset at what is happening with the CDC and Fauci. To me this kind of sums up the issues in the US. I love Fauci.

From the Washington Post.

On Fauci.
“What he cares most about is not his influence, but what’s happening — that things are going so badly and it’s going to cause so much disease and death,”

Four months ahead of Election Day, Trump wants to “reopen and move on,” said another senior administration official who spoke on the condition of anonymity to reveal internal deliberations. Those who disagree with that approach are out of favor, the official said.“

It is not possible to just “move on”. It is not going away if you don’t look at it. If you try to ignore it. If you don’t test. If you open up. 😳 So, I guess it is STILL all about him. And his election. Screw the country. Who cares that people are sick and dying. Who cares…Fauci does.
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Things are still going well here in Italy. Inside of businesses we all still wear the masks. I noticed at the market this morning the Protezione Civile folks were chucking folks out who weren’t wearing masks. Good for them! Life is fairly normal here. It could be so in the US if everyone would wear a mask, distance, and mostly stay home and out of inside spaces.

Latest news is that US tourists are still not allowed to come to Italy. I’m in agreement until the US can get the virus under control.
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As always, we enjoyed our dinner on our terrace. So beautiful. I could not live without this view and outside space.

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Be safe. Wear your masks. It is the easiest way to slow this virus.🌈

Activities on the weekend

Summer weekends have always been a very busy and active time here and it has become so again. Friday and Saturday nights the young people come to the bars which oftentimes host rock bands. Last night the band set up on a narrow walkway, or maybe you could call it a balcony above San Giorgio, the best restaurant in town. The band was one of the better ones I’ve heard here. My picture didn’t come out too well but you can get the idea.

Here are a couple of the crowds. Not a lot of masks to be seen and little distancing. Luckily Umbria has very few cases. Unless someone from outside comes in I suppose the danger is minimal.

The band quit at midnight but the partying went on until nearly three. Luckily, our bedroom is in the back and we can’t hear the noise.
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Saturday, kilometer zero market. Today for our added entertainment we had a visit from the Briganti. They are the bad boys from our annual festival. Don’t know why they decided to serenade us but they stayed for most of the market. This video is a little slow I hope you can see it. Just click the arrow…

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Please stay safe everyone! 🌈 Wear your mask.

Home, and enjoying summer weather!

What lovely, hot weather we are having. It is in the 33-34C range or around 93F. I went out yesterday morning and enjoyed a coffee with a friend at Bar Mary. I’d call her a new friend except we’ve known “about” one another but never had a face to face chiacchierare (chat). Her name is Elizabeth. She wrote a book called Sustenance which I really enjoyed. She just managed to return to Umbria from San Francisco where she has been trapped for months due to Covid. What an ordeal. 22 hour flight with two changes! Only because she has a Permesso di Soggiorno and a medical reason was she able to return. And then she had to quarantine for two weeks. She is just freed. She said she would never leave Italy again! She used her quarantina to plant her garden, which is going gangbusters already, she reported. Anyway, it was lovely to get to know her and I’m sure we will meet again soon.

I went out to the Saturday local market today. Pretty day, a bit cooler with a nice breeze. The early summer produce is abundant now. I got beans, fennel bulbs, zucchini and zucchini blossoms, and lots of tomatoes which I “hope” will be good since it is coming onto the best time for them. I also took a few pictures 🙂

Bar Mary is always busy on market days.
Cafe Centrale too.
There is always this man with his Prosciutto. He cuts it so thin it’s almost transparent.
Market
One of the streets in Centro.

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A friend posted these two graphs from Worldometer. Excellent way to see the differences. Pretty scary.

So, there is danger out there, everyone be careful. Safe Fourth of July to you all. I miss that here! 💥 🧨

Market day – ho comprato i pantaloni!

Hi all, beautiful day. We are having near perfect weather and long summer days. What’s not to like.

I have been anxious to have our market back since last week I bought a pair of casual pants that it turned out I loved. They are nicely made. Not cheap.  I liked them so much and hoped she had more. Turns out, she had tons and I couldn’t decide amongst the colors and patterns so I bought 3. 🤪 they are cotton and nicely made with drawstrings, elastic and a nice inner sleeving of beige cotton canvas to hold the drawstring. The inside of the bottom of the leg has pretty eyelet lining and can be turned up. Nice and summery and casual. Right up my alley.

Tell me, does the pair on the left closest to us look like it’s got marijuana leaves on it? Haha haha! Brings back memories!

Governor Andrew Cuomo is on CNN right now. He’s talking about a quarantine plan for NY, NJ and Connecticut. They will require a 2 week quarantine for people coming from States with high virus infections. This is kind of amazing to me! 😳

From the Washington Post…

Even as Florida hospitals are rapidly filling up with a spiraling number of new infections, authorities have changed how they measure the number of beds being used in intensive care units that will likely lower the figure. The move comes as the state eyes the next phase of reopening in July.

I have decided not to weigh myself anymore. That way, I will never gain any weight. Well, true, right? If I don’t look, I don’t know, so it isn’t real. Sorta like testing for the virus. Or counting the beds differently to show lower numbers. Right?
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News from the EU today is that the US will not be among the countries they will allow to come in on July 1. Any future date to reconsider is TBD. This is a baseline decree. Each country has their own last word.  The EU ruling is for all member states. I think a country can set a more stringent plan if they want. This will change when the US gets their virus house in order.
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Stay safe everyone! 🌈

Market day and Summer Solstice

Happy Solstice! I think it starts at 5:30-ish tonight. It is a beautiful day for the market. It is finally starting to get warmer.

I visited the local market this morning. Then I took a turn through one of the town parks for a walk. Look at this picture My friend Paul took this morning of a bouquet of squash blossoms! Really beautiful.

And this one is a street in the Centro part of town near our house. Flowers and sunshine were pretty.

Finally a couple in the park that cuts through town. It is a green swath next to our small Torrrente, or creek.

Yesterday, I was sitting on the terrace in the afternoon, and a bird flew in and I shooed it away, thinking it was a pigeon. But once I had, I could see if was definitely not a pigeon. So a while later, when he returned I sat very still and he landed on the railing a few feet away. He looked at me and I, him and suddenly he popped up this most magnificent orange crest. He had a very long beak and was about the size of a red bellied woodpecker in the US. After he flew away I looked him up and he is a Hoopoe. Or in Italian, Upupa. They are migratory and fly up from Africa to breed all over Europe. I copied a photo since I didn’t have a camera while he was there and I posted it on my Facebook page. I apologize if you are a friend and have seen this. Here he is. Is he not beautiful? 💕

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Have a nice weekend everyone! 🌈

Umbria numbers

I am happy to report that the numbers in Umbria are holding very steady. Since I stopped posting the daily numbers three weeks ago, there have been 6 new infections, and 2 deaths.

As of yesterday, June 15, we have entered Phase 3 here Italy. This means that; Cinemas and theaters will be allowed to re-open from June 15th. With a limit of 200 people. Amateur contact sports, including team sports, are allowed from June 25th. Nightclubs – either indoors or outdoors – will be authorized from July 14th.

But many of Italy’s regional authorities have brought in their own rules on reopenings which could be different from the national rules.

The decree confirms obligatory quarantine for visitors arriving in Italy will continue, except for those entering from the EU and members to the passport-free Schengen zone.

Social distancing and face mask requirements will be the same. You must wear them in enclosed public spaces. Schools will not open until September.
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One thing that has gone by the wayside is any semblance of spontaneity when traveling. We are planning a road trip in two weeks. Normally, Luther and I would toss the suitcase in the car and off we’d go. We’d see a likely trattoria beside the road or a cute village where a nice place to eat is likely, and we would stop for lunch. No more. Now, I’ve got to know what time we will leave, so I can calculate where we will be at lunchtime. Then figure out what is nearby, find a restaurant, determine if they are open (many did not reopen) and then obtain a reservation, which are now mandatory. When en route, you can’t just stop if you see anything interesting along the way because it will impact your progress, perhaps making you miss your lunch! A sad thing. Alternative would be to pack a picnic 😁. Might be easier.

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Market day. Today, I was in search of cheap cotton clothing to make masks from. I found out those house dresses the old Italian women wear are not cotton, but some sort of nylon material. Wouldn’t breath. BUT, I found the cutest pair of capri pants.😍 All cotton, nice waist with a really well made sleeving for the elastic. They have drawstrings. I brought them home and tried them on and they fit nicely. I love them so much I must go back next week to get more! Thing is there is no guarantee any will be left. They had lots of colors and patterns. Hope they still have them next week.

Otherwise, I did my errands. Dropped by the farmacia. And shopped and bought in Libri ai Cani. Books for Dogs. They have been doing well since re-opening. Good for the rescues they support. Of course I bought some produce. It looked very nice.

Pictures below are the non-food part of the market. It has been dispersed in a larger area so the tents are not too close. But the competition could be fierce for the bargains! This first table had nice things for €3 — anything on the table. 

Til next time…stay safe miei amici 🌈

Mercatino di antiquariato e vintage

Sunday we had our first, first-Sunday-of-the-month, flea market or mercatino di antiquariato e vintage. It was good to see them back! I, in the past, have never bought anything at one of these. But we did buy two things. A plate and a beautiful photo book of Perugia. The book is going to be a gift. Pictures!

Monday
We had terrible storms for hours during the night. And it continued to pour into the morning. It put a damper on our plans for today.

We had planned to get the Angelo Giallo (our Porsche 🙂) serviced and also visit the hospital in Perugia. We canceled and rescheduled for next week. A joy of being retired! 

Tonight we had a delicious chicken stuffed with brie and prosciutto from Calagrana. It had a nice garlicky dipping sauce. Delicioso! 

I hope all are well as we try to extricate ourselves from the lockdowns. The young people are partying on the weekend and I am concerned because they are not masked nor social distancing. I guess we all must wait and see.

Meanwhile we have made plans for our first trip! We will go to the Maremma in Tuscany. On the Mediterranean coast. About a 2.5-3 hour drive. 3 nights. A birthday celebration… More details to follow. Take care everyone, don’t loosen up too much, too soon! 🌈

Covid 19 Phase 2 Day 6️⃣

217,185 positives in Italy. Up 0.6% – 30,201 total deaths since beginning of the outbreak.

There are 1,406 positive cases in Umbria. 71 total deaths.

1,273,887 cases in the US – 76,475 deaths.
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Hi everyone! Today, I am on my blog pulpit a bit.  If you don’t want to read it scroll to the bottom of this post to read my bellissimo news about our Kilometer Zero Market.

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US News. I can’t resist reprinting this little tidbit.

With polls showing most consumers still afraid to venture out of their homes, the Trump administration has intensified its efforts to soothe some of those fears through a messaging campaign that relies on tightly controlling information about a virus that has proven stubbornly difficult to contain.

So…they are controlling information (i.e., deep sixing the CDC report because it recommends waiting)…this is the information that people NEED to be able to make an informed decision on their OWN health and safety. When they intentionally delude the populace into believing it is OK to resume life, knowing full well that it is NOT safe yet, they are WILLFULLY putting (intentionally misled) people in danger of catching this virus. I am astounded at the very audacity of this! And the cold calculation by trump to allow people to get sick and perhaps die, all because he wants to get re-elected. Words don’t convey…

NY Times….A useful — if chilling — way of thinking about the new phase: It’s the “trial-and-error” phase, in which different countries take different approaches and the world witnesses the results.

Human guinea pigs. Sorry for all those who will suffer and die.

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European News. I just read an interesting article in the Daily KOS about Sweden. I had been wondering how they were doing since they had taken an opposite approach to most everyone else. Herd immunity. No shutdown. It has not worked out well. We must also take into account more than half of Swedes live alone. And they have top-notch universal health care…unlike in the US. Nonetheless…

If nothing else, Sweden’s alternative response to the virus was … a good control group. And what we’re learning now is that failing to shut down hasn’t just led to more deaths, but—surprise surprise!—it also didn’t prevent its economy from tanking. In fact, Sweden is poised for more economic pain than its neighbors. 

Some pretty big differences between stay-at-home strategy and let ‘er rip. And remember…the economy is no better for this choice.

It is good to have a “control group”. Maybe the Swedes would not be happy being classified as such. But there you have it.

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Saturday! Bright and sunny! Exciting day as the Kilometer Zero market is here today. Yesterday I observed they had painted more marks in the piazza. It was confusing to me but I see the vendors figured it out. There are 13 tents. No crafts allowed. Only food. I am so so glad to see most of the farmers have survived. It must have been hard for them. And I note many are a bit sparse in what’s on offer. That is to be expected I suppose, since you can’t hurry the plants. Here is the view from my window. Next are the Polizia Municipale watching. Finally, the posted rules for entry.

The beautiful vegetables of early spring. I’m pleased I did not miss the peas. They will be in soon a woman told me.

Then the cheese stand with the Pecorino Staggione pictures.  This is aged pecorino. Excellent and sharp flavored. They also had fresher pecorinos of course.

Here is the stand for Blassi, our closest winery. They sell their wines but they are also famed for their porchetta. Here It is!

The people. Everyone is excited. The farmers and the customers. The stated rule is one meter distant from each other. Most were doing that. There were some couples shopping together. Of course we all wore masks. 

I came home with carciofi – artichokes, spinace – spinach, 4 fresh uova – eggs, fava beans, and some of Luthers favorite crackers. I’ve surely missed this market more than anything except maybe freedom to walk. Happy days.

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Signing off for now. Have a great weekend but keep yourselves safe. 🌈 We are the keepers of ourselves. No one else.