Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Festa Medievale

Last weekend, along with Lorenzo and his cousins, we made our way to Monttevettolini. A small walled fortress town perched on top of a hill, where once a year the whole town pitches in to throw a big medieval party.
When the idea was mentioned, the images that came to mind related back to the movie Role Models, where they all dress up and fight each other with fake swords in a forest, talking in old english about maidens and kings.

Luckily for me, it wasn't like that at all.
All of the participants were indeed in costume and although I don't speak Italian well enough yet to know whether or not they were talking in an old dialect, there certainly wasn't any fighting, nor was there space for a forest...

You have to remember that here in Italy they don't bother with fighting in forests when there are feasts and entertainment to be had! Walking through the giant wooden doors into the fortress we were greeted with a belly dancing, fire breathing trio, who had accrued a huge crowd. We made our way through the town, trying anchovie sandwiches, fried seafood cones, old fashioned wine, roast pork sandwiches, apple focaccia, peasant spice cake and peasant almond cake and watching a range of jesters, jugglers, fire throwers, falcon and owl tamers (not so sure about this one, I didn't really like the chains attached to their legs), candle makers, mushroom hunters and the list goes on...

Unfortunately I got a little wrapped up in the atmosphere of it all (or was constantly eating, making it hard to use my camera) and didn't get many photos of the costumes. But it was a really cool experience and not nearly as geeky as it is in American television!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Football Fever

Football (aka soccer) season is starting up again in Europe and I went to see my first match of the National Championships the other day here in Florence. Italy and Slovenia played a close but somewhat boring match with Italy coming out on top 1-0. My next game is going to be a Fiorentina match which are meant to have alot more atmosphere and colour.
Unfortunately I forgot my camera, so these were taken on my phone... sorry!

Although I didn't get any good photos, Lorenzo's Dad was working at this game as a sports photographer and snapped a photo of us in the stand...

Ona ona ona, ma che bella rificolona...

L'è più bella la mia di quella della zia. La mia l'è co' fiocchi, la tua l'è co' pidocchi...

September 7 is the day that the little kiddies get paper lanterns on a stick, with a candle inside and walk through the city of Florence in a big parade. It's called La Festa della Rificolona and Lorenzo was saying that sadly it is a dying tradition and that it used to be a much bigger event when he was a kid.
Never the less, when I found out about this festival for children I naturally bought 2 lanterns, one for me and one for Amelia, and along with the rest of the kiddies we took to the streets of florence.

You have to be careful though, the little boys (and some evil little girls) have pea shooters and try to break your lanterns. We were targets from the beginning, but I'm happy to say we survived and our lanterns are still in tact!

Friday, September 9, 2011


6 minutes of practice followed by 6 minutes of qualifications followed by the 12 lap race.  I have never driven a go kart before, and I do believe  I was a little out of my league racing against 7 experienced Italian drivers. And I admit that after those first 6 minutes of practice driving, getting a feel for your kart, I may have had a few complains about holding people up on the track… but by the final race I certainly felt like I was going fast and I was right up there with the winner when the checked flag was waved (I may have been a lap behind him, but I was there all the same!). It was so much fun I really can’t wait to go again! Unfortunately I don't have any photos... but you can imagine right?!