Monday, 29 April 2013

Summer days...?!

So, I'm sat here at my computer, with my balcony doors wide open, wearing jeans and a VEST. Yes folks, you read that correctly. Here in the south, the weather is GORGEOUS. So gorgeous in fact, that yesterday we decided to head to the beach. I was still a little unsure about subjecting my feet to the still icy sea, but, after a long winter, I was finally able to feel the sand between my toes. And it was amazing.

So here's hoping that, after several recent 'weather optimistic' blog posts, the spring actually HAS arrived, and will very quickly turn into summer. Days at the beach, 'mandatory' afternoon naps due to the intense heat and of course, the perfect excuse to indulge in a LOT of gelato. Wherever you are and whatever you're doing, I think I speak for everyone when I say:


Have a great day!

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Fancy a jog?

I read recently that Italians live longer than Brits do. It's an actual fact. Aside from the healthy Mediterranean diet, which includes lots of olive oil, fresh vegetables and fish, Italians tend to stay pretty active, even when they reach their seventies and eighties. In fact, in my town the evening passeggiata is mostly made up of the over 70s!

The Italians' active lifestyle became even more apparent to me this morning, as I decided to go out for a run. I say was a mixture of jogging, walking and panting. Anyway, as I was shuffling around in the park, listening to my music and enjoying the sunshine, I was literally OVERTAKEN by a man of about 70. Just a normal, small town, southern Italian bloke. Aside from feeling rather embarrassed at being overtaken by someone more than twice my age, I was also pretty damn impressed.

So that's the (no brainer) key to a longer life folks: Mediterranean diet and regular exercise. I should write a book....!

Hope you all have a great day! :D

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Spring Snapshots!

Yes folks, you read that title correctly. Here in southern Italy, it seems that Spring really has sprung. In the past couple of days we've had about 20-22°C and glorious sunny skies. Everyone has been in a good mood and I'm no exception. Isn't it amazing what a bit of warm sunshine can do? I've gathered up some nice springtime shots of  some of the gorgeous buildings in my little town. Some are modern, some colourful, and some well and truly rustic...

Have a great weekend! :)

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Life is like riding a bicycle...

Hi folks!

Well, Spring seems to have sprung here in the south of Italy (she says, crossing her fingers and hoping she hasn't jinxed it). Today was a 'light jacket' day, so here's hoping that the 'no jacket' days arrive very soon! :D

Just a quick blog today, to mention that my little sunshine and tomatoes site has been given an award. Yay! You can check out more info about that right here: I didn't even know I had been considered so that was a nice surprise! Here's what was written about sunshine and tomatoes:

If we were handing out awards for aptly named expat blogs, then this would have been in the top three. After all, what sums up life in Italy better than sunshine and tomatoes? But that’s not all we love about this young and funky blog, which is penned by British expat Lucinda, who’s not only a teacher but a keen traveller and foodie (making the name even more apt). We really dig her style and love that she’s ‘discovering Italy one gelato at a time…’ Oh, and we might be slightly jealous too.

How nice is that? :)

I've recently been collecting a nice selection of Spring snapshots to show you all, so watch out for those soon. But for now, I'd like to wish you all a buona giornata, and leave you with this little message:

Friday, 5 April 2013

Festa della Fontana

As well as the Easter festivities that have taken place recently in my small, southern Italian town, there has also been another cause to celebrate; namely the Festa della Fontana, and this means live music, street stalls, processions and yes, you guessed it, tons of fireworks. Take a look at some of the photos I've taken during the past couple of days, including several shots of the amazing (yet oh-so-dangerous) head-height bangers!!

See the ones in the white hoodies? Yep, they run right underneath said head-height fireworks.

I literally have no words for this. Apart from: Love the shirt.

Setting up

Marching band
More entertainment :D
They do look like jolly fellows don't they? :)

People were literally ducking.

Yep, looks rather like a war zone doesn't it? ;)
I tell you what, even though we definitely don't have festivals like this in the UK and thus I am 100% NOT used to fireworks going off near my vital organs, in a strange way I can't help but love it. The whole town comes together and joins in the celebrations, and, despite the severe lack of health and safety precautions, everyone has a great time. Have you been to an exciting festival lately?

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Meet the parents....Italian/English style!

Well, my little Easter break is almost over. Sigh. Luckily I have a mountain of chocolate to get me through the next working week though. That should make it a tad easier ;)

As you'll have seen in my last post, my parents made a trip to Italy to come and see me during the last week. It was amazing to see them, even though it was so sad to say goodbye when they left again. I wanted them to stay indefinitely!
While they were here, they met my boyfriend's parents and brothers, and even though I was a little nervous about it at first, I couldn't have been happier with how it all turned out. No, they don't share a common language but somehow it just worked. My brain was frazzled after playing the interpreter, but it was definitely worth it. We ate, we drank, we talked and we laughed, and then of course, we ate a bit more.

As they all said their goodbyes, there were hugs and kisses and smiles all round. Then my boyfriend's dad told me to tell my parents that they don't ever have to worry about me, because I'm like a daughter to them and they'll take care of me. Honestly, I thought I was going to cry! It was such an incredible feeling to be surrounded by that many wonderful people, all in one place. Despite the language barriers, it had all gone so well.

Have you had any surprisingly good experiences like this? How have you coped with language issues? Even though my brain was exhausted by the end of the week, I wouldn't have changed a thing!

Monday, 1 April 2013

Buona Pasquetta!

A big fat HELLO and Happy Easter to all you lovely readers. Whether you're followers (thanks!), regular readers or just happen to have stumbled on my little blog, I hope you're all having a nice Easter break.

I have been simply AWFUL recently and haven't been blogging at all. BUT! Never fear because even though I may only be blogging a couple of times a week now, I'm HERE!

So today in Italy the Italians are all celebrating 'Pasquetta', or little Easter. Usually, big groups of friends head to the beach or woods or someone's house, to eat, drink, socialise and eat a bit more. Today has been a bit different for me though, as my Pasquetta didn't involve friends- it involved my parents!!! They have been in Italy for over a week now and I've been showing them around. Today, we headed to the beautiful Gargano (me, my man, my parents and his parents too!) and spent some time enjoying the sunshine in the towns of Rodi and Vico.

 On our way to Vico however, my boyfriend's dad's car broke down....and we ended up pushing it halfway up a hill!!! The journey back was definitely a good 'getting to know you better' task, as there were 6 of us crammed into one little Fiat! Needless to say, we had a good giggle, despite being cramped up in the back!

And do you know what, I think it was all worth it just for the fabulous cakes we picked up at the Pasticceria Pizzicato (Via del Risorgimento, Vico del Gargano)

 Buona Pasquetta! :D