Archive | August, 2018

BOCCE Cortona

24 Aug

When we lived in Austin, we actually had a bocce set. As I recall, non of us knew the rules, so we made them up depending on who and how many were playing. And that held true until yesterday, when we learned to play bocce at the hand of a champion!

Many years ago, we are told, Cortona had a bocce court in/near Porta Colonna, before it became a parking lot. Today, however, bocce is played just outside of Cortona in Tavernelle.

There we found  BOCCIODROMO Communal, or the community bocce dome. Not just any dome mind you, but a semi professional one that held the special olympics some years ago. And according to the Special Olympics website: Next to soccer and golf, bocce is the third most participated sport in the world.

©blogginginitaly.com

Inside are three bocce lanes made of cement and covered with a special resin. Championship banners and trophies of all sizes adorn the walls.

©blogginginitaly.com

We were graciously met by Lidio, a local champion, who proceeded to demonstrate several methods of tossing the bocce.

©blogginginitaly.com

©blogginginitaly.com

We divided ourselves into two teams and learned basic rules as we played. First team to 12 points would win.

©blogginginitaly.com

I must admit, I was hooked. Although the basic principle of the sport is to roll a bocce ball closest to the pallina or target ball, there are so many styles and strategies as well as a great deal of competitiveness at play.

©blogginginitaly.com

And the more we learned, the more competitive we became.

©blogginginitaly.com

©blogginginitaly.com

©blogginginitaly.com

Lidio even helped with measuring who was closest to the pallina.

©blogginginitaly.com

Unfortunately, I was not on the winning team, but it was such great fun for all that these two characters decided to play one more time while Lidio gave some of us more advanced instruction.

©blogginginitaly.com

Many thanks to Lidio for his time, instruction, and most of all, patience,

©blogginginitaly.com

from his new BOCCE fans!

©blogginginitaly.com

Ciao,
Judy

How Does our Orto (Garden) Grow?

17 Aug

With warm sunny days, sufficient rainfall, and tender loving care, “our” garden grew from this at the end of April…

©blogginginitaly.com

to this in August!

©blogginginitaly.com

After giving a thumbs up to the garden’s success, Len decided to take in some sun and enjoy a Toscano, a small Italian cigar (that actually doesn’t smell bad),

©blogginginitaly.com

while Fernanda and I were ready to pick, baskets in hand.

©blogginginitaly.com

We filled our baskets with three of the four varieties we had planted…

Ciliegino (Cherry)

©blogginginitaly.com

San Marzano

©blogginginitaly.com

Camone

©blogginginitaly.com

and the not quite ready, Cuore di Bue (Beef Steak)

©blogginginitaly.com

We also picked susine (plums) from the brimming trees that not only keep the orto from scorching in the summer sun,

©blogginginitaly.com

©blogginginitaly.com

but also provide fruit for delicious marmellata.

©blogginginitaly.com

Then it was time for our “casual” county lunch ~

Our Al Fresco Menu included:
freshly cut prosciutto and sliced melon;
hand-picked tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and garden basil;
just cooked porchetta from the market;
cannelloni beans sautéed in fresh tomatoes;
Toscana Rosso di Montalcino

©blogginginitaly.com

©blogginginitaly.com

©blogginginitaly.com

Talk about farm to table –  and so much more rewarding since we are the planters, pickers and very fortunate eaters!

After lunch, it was time for some serious relaxation.

©blogginginitaly.com

Little did we know two years ago how incredibly rewarding this small garden would be. How does our garden grow? Well, we may not be experts, and the local farmers still offer much advice, but for us, everything about the orto is perfectly wonderful, perfectly delicious, and so proudly our own doing. We just can’t help but smile!

©blogginginitaly.com

Ciao,
Judy

 

 

%d bloggers like this: