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Living in San Giorgio

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How do we pass our time?


The Garden

June 2008
May and June have been relatively wet months this year. The combination of water and heat has meant plans and weeds growing very quickly. We are starting to put down some gravel paths and began with gravelling the terrace to the side of the house. On this we have put a pergola. We have planted a vine, a honeysuckke, a solanum, a rose and a clematis. Next year the pergola should be covered with greenery. This year it will look less spectacular although there are some grapes on the vine.

Bank from 1st to 2nd
terrace.
View towards bottom
of garden.
New gravelled terrace complete with pergola and climbers

April 2008
Spring has arrived in San Giorgio and finally the garden seems to be getting some structure.

January and February had been very dry but in March the rain arrived - three days non-stop. Since then it has been a few day of pleasant weather followed by a day or two of rain. Done wonders for the grass and the weeds.


Since we first started to get the garden into shape the local view has been that "it will be nice when you get some fruit trees planted". So we gave way to the pressure and after cutting down a dead apricot tree we are now proud owners of a peach, a cherry and a pear tree. All three are doing well.

Year 2
At the end of June we are reaping rich rewards from our "orto" (vegetable patch). We have planted tomatoes (3 varieties), basil and peppers. Wanting to be able to make our own pesto sauce we planted six basil plants and are now having pesto and spaghetti on an all too regular basis.

We have also put up some trellising between the terracing and the concrete floor four feet below it. This is to stop people from falling over the edge and encourage them to use the steps instead.

In March 2007 celebrated 1 year of living in San Giorgio. Also celebrated getting some of the structural work on the garden finished. This included:

  • creating a second terrace. This meant getting rid of two heaps of soil which had been delivered some months ago. They disappeared one Saturday morning when a man with a "bob cat" arrived to move the soil.
  • Planting a hedge. We were advised to uses Viburnum Lucidum. Not much used in England it is widely used here and in time will give us a tall thick hedge.
  • Create a vegetable patch on the new terrace. We now look forward to fresh tomatoes, peppers and basil.
  • On the rest of the a neighbour came and rotavated the soil and after a bit of raking we scattered our grass seed. Hopefully in a few weeks time we will have a lawn.
  • Now we are looking to create some shrub areas on the sides of the garden.


    top: second wall
    right: moving the earth
    below: terrace finished
    bottom right: new hedge






    Year 1
    The garden has been cut back and rotavated and not looking very pretty. The soil is becoming very dry and difficult to work. Contnue to water our herb and small vegetable plot. Bill has had more success with the pot plants.
    Have had our first tomatoes and when making our ravioi with sage and butter sauce we have a supply of sage close at hand.







    However, July is also the time when the apricots and figs ripen and we have taken up jam making and bottling. We can now offer apricot jam and preserved figs to our guests.







    September we are having the second flush of figs. The garden has two types of figs. Verdone which is darker green in colour and the flesh is dark red. Zuccherini which has a ligh green skin and honey coloured flesh. The zuccherini is best for jams and conserves while verdone is best for bottling.



    From September the weather has been mostly dry and we have been able to continue working in the garden.



    The weeds have continued to grow but apart from keeping them down we have managed (with the invaluable help of Alfredo, one of the English class) to replace a wire fence, erect a shed and put in a tufa block wall.



    English Class

    The English Class began earlier in the year. Now in October a new class has started. This is the class at the end of the first lesson - still smiling.



    English Class


    Festivals

    The big festival in San Giorigo is in April when there is a large market held to celebrate the Saint's day. However, the first sunday in October is the Feast of the Rosary. Although the Festival of the Rosary is celebrated througout the Catholic Church it is given special significance in San Giorgio.





    In the afternoon the statue of the madonna is paraded through the streets. Once the procession is over there is free paninis and drinks for all followed by a ballot. Prizes include a holiday, bicycles, televisions and this being Italy 30 kilos of pasta. This year we won zilch.





    Invite neighbours for coffee

    When we first arrived at san Giorgio Maria Grazia, a neighbour, said we should come for coffee. It wasn't possible at the time but this weekend we asked her for coffee and asked her to bring a few others.



    Our neighbours

    The Beach



    July and August are the months the Italians head for the beaches. The most popular beach for people from San Giorgio is at Torrette, just outside Fano. There is a car park at Torette with some bars and shops. However, to reach the "San Giorgio Beach" from the car park take a left turn towards Marotta. Continue past the camping site and stop near the Gelateria.
    It is a wide, sandy beach. Gently sloping it is ideal for children. You can hire umbrells and sun beds but the free beach is large and clean.
    We were introduced to the beach by Rinaldo. More than just the beach we met his friends who pass the time of day buying jewellry etc. from the peddlars on the beach and playing cards.







    Beach at Torrette The San Giorgio Set The Gelateria at Torrette

    Off the beach there is a good gelateria,"Mare Mio", where, besides delicious ice cream, you can also have lunches - great pizzas. It is run by Sabrina, yet another resident of San Giorgio, and she and here staff are very welcoming.



    The beach season is from June to August. Out of season the beach is almost empty and ideal for a long walk. The photos were taken in mid-september. Still fantastic weather but you have the beach to yourself.








    Eating

    Despite the good restaurants in the area it is occasionally necessary to cook at home. Everyone loves food here and when you have a delicious pasta with friends then the recipe is swapped and is added to everyone's repetoire.

    Ingredients:

    courgettes
    onion
    speck
    cream
    zaffron
    Pasta

    Remove the seeds from the courgettes and cut into matchstick size pieces
    Finly dice the onion.
    Fry the courgettes in some oil and butter for 5 to 10 minutes. Chop up the speck and add to the courgettes.
    Add to the cooked pasta.
    Mix the saffron with the cream and pour over the pasta. Serve at once.







    Opera

    We have now experienced opera at the two main festivals i.e. Pesaro and Macerata and also at the short opera season at Fano our nearest large town. Pesaro is expensive and the fact that travel companies get first choice of seats means you do not get front seat in a box. In fact we booked four tickets over the internet and found ourselves in two different boxes and sitting behind strangers. At Macerata the staging was good but the singing average. It was expensive but worth going to once. Better to save money and go to local productions. The production of Don Pasquale at Fano theatre was excellent. Well song, acted and clever designs. Evening ended with free drinks and pastries courtesy of the Cafe Central in Fano. Lovely way to end a great evening. Among the nearby venues are Fano and Jesi.







    Fano theatre

    Rossini theatre, Pesaro

    Macerata






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