211 – From Tre Cancelle – A Short Break To Visit The Amalfi Coast

During our friends’ visit (the White family) the Mum and Dad, Andrew and Jenny, decided to take off for a couple of nights on their own, leaving their girls under our watchful eye. Andrew and Jenny wanted to visit the Amalfi Coast.

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Jenny had planned it all out.  They booked a couple of nights stay at a Bed and Breakfast near Salerno and set off early one morning on their travels. The distance from Itri to Salerno is approximately 150 km. The B&B they had selected was Villa le Favole in Angri, slightly off the beaten track, in the countryside about 20 minutes drive from Salerno. 

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It was reasonably priced, at 80 euros per night (during August) for the comfortable, clean double room. There was also a lovely swimming pool and the owners spoke English which was helpful.

That evening Andrew and Jenny drove into Salerno to have a short wander around and take in the feel of the place.  Instead of driving along the Amalfi coast road Andrew and Jenny intended to see the area from the sea. In fact it works out to be far more convenient if you travel by boat, as you do not have the worry of finding a place to park your car.

So the next morning, after a good breakfast, they headed for the Porto Turistico in Salerno, situated near the train station. Parking nearby was easy to find at a cost of 2 euros per hour.

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Near to Piazza Della Concordia there is a pier with numerous booths and kiosks where you can purchase your tickets, close to the embarkation zone. (You can also buy your tickets online. Infants can travel for free and there are reduced fares for children under the age of 10.) Our friends purchased tickets to stop off at the resort towns of Positano and Amalfi.

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A tip from Andrew and Jenny – Get onto the next boat as early as possible before its departure to be able to choose the best seats on the right hand side for better views of the coastline.

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The trip to Positano took about 1 hour and 10 minutes giving them plenty of time to admire the spectacular vistas along the scenic coastline passing the towns of Vietri sul Mare, Cetara, Maiori, Minori, Ravello, Amalfi and Priano.

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The ferry pulled in at a small landing place at the beach of Positano, allowing the passengers to disembark right in the heart of the beautiful town.

(There is also the option to stay on the boat and travel on to the Isle of Capri.)

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Once in Positano, Jenny and Andrew found themselves a picnic lunch and sat and took in the ambience. They then passed a pleasant couple of hours wandering around the town and its colourful ceramic shops and boutiques.

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My Shop !!!

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Jenny had the foresight to take her swimming gear and even managed to fit in a quick dip in the sea.

They once again boarded the ferry and sailed back along the coast towards Amalfi, just a 20 minute journey.

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Here they disembarked and wandered through the main Piazza in front of the Cathedral di San Andrea and onwards through the bustling narrow streets and alleyways of the town.

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Having sampled some delicious authentic local pizzas Jenny and Andrew finally headed back to the port to catch the ferry to take them back to Salerno.

The following day Jenny and Andrew departed from the B&B and drove to Sorrento and explored the town on foot.

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The port was colourful and interesting but all in all Jenny and Andrew found Sorrento itself to be rather too crowded and over-run with tourists for their liking.

They had a good journey back in the car, and were somewhat relieved to find themselves back in the peace and tranquility of Itri and especially of Tre Cancelle Farmhouse.

I (Louise) would love to go back and visit this splendid area which we visited several years ago with my parents, and if I did so I would definitely choose to explore the area using the local ferry boats, especially during the summer months.

So for any guests staying with us at Tre Cancelle, it is very possible to incorporate a short break on the Amalfi Coast into your holiday plans, and we would be happy to help you organise this.

All photos © Jenny White

More information about the Bed and Breakfast Villa Le Favole on TripAdvisor

#itri #trecancelle #italy #SouthLazio  #italy #travel

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Tre Cancelle Farmhouse Apartments Near Sperlonga and Itri

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185 – Itri’s Medieval Festival

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During the summer months the population of Itri swells with holiday visitors and as families that emigrated abroad return to their beloved home town.  Many come to attend Itri’s July festival which is held in honour of its patron, “La Madonna della Cività”.

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The festival always culminates in a splendid firework display which emanates from the magnificent castle that dominates the old medieval quarter.

Fireworks at Itri Castle in Latina South Lazio Italy

During July and August Itri holds a whole host of events and this year we ventured to see the “Festa Medievale” which was also held up in the old historic part of town.  We arrived early, however the streets were already jammed with cars heading for the festival, and parking spaces were at a premium.  So we decided to park in the lower part of town and continue by making our way on foot.

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The old town is a warren of narrow cobble stone streets, archways, gates and stairways.  It is full of interesting nooks and crannies, there is something of interest around every corner.

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Bell Tower of the church of Santa Maria Maggiore in Itri

Detail of the Bell Tower of the church of Santa Maria Maggiore

In the main square traditional games had been set up to entertain the children.

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Medieval Festival in Itri Latina South Lazio Italy

Medieval Festival in Itri Latina South Lazio Italy

By the castle there was a display of falconry with live birds of prey – Such exquisite creatures.

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Hawk at Medieval Festival in Itri Italy

Barn Owl at Medieval Festival in Itri Italy

Owl at Medieval Festival in Itri Italy

As we wandered through the narrow alleyways amongst the jostling crowd we came across local folk dressed in Medieval costumes, acting as feudal lords, courtiers, swordsmen, archers, flag throwers and street musicians.

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Costumes at Medieval Festival in Itri Italy

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Flag Thrower Medieval Festival in Itri Italy

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Musicians at Medieval Festival Itri Italy

There were also stalls selling traditional gastronomic delights and arts and crafts …..

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and an exhibition of gruesome implements of torture.

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Chair of Torture Medieval Festival Itri Italy

Skeleton at Medieval Festival in Itri Italy

The authentic atmosphere of Itri’s historic old town was just perfect for such an event and I think an enjoyable evening was had by all.

All photos by me © Louise Shapcott

#Itri #Italy #MedievalFestival #castle

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Tre Cancelle Farmhouse Apartments Near Sperlonga Beaches and Historic Itri, South Lazio, Italy

174 – Atina Get Together The Weekend of 26th / 27th / 28th September 2014

A while back I created a Group on Facebook called

“WE LOVE ATINA !!!”.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/62618687824/

Atina Frosinone Italy in the Val di Comino

This is an English speaking Group for people who share my passion for beautiful Atina and the Val di Comino and who have family roots firmly planted in this beautiful little town in Frosinone, Italy.  We now have over 275 members.

Cathedral in Atina Frosinone Italy

Brigida and I are currently organising a “Get Together” in Atina over the weekend of the 26th / 27th / 28th September 2014. 

Anyone with family connections with Atina is very welcome to take part.

For anyone who would might like to stay a few extra days – the Feast of Atina’s patron saint, San Marco, is held on 1 October.

Here are some ideas that Brigida and I have come up with

for the Get Together ….

The Friday Evening

Meet and Greet – to meet up with We Love Atina members of the group at a Bar in Atina. It would be great if we could find somewhere with a side room where we could all get to know each other, chat, show photos etc etc. and generally use as a base.

Saturday Evening:

All meet for drinks at a bar and on to Restaurant for dinner.

Sunday Morning:

Attend Mass at the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta.

Some other ideas ……

A Guided Tour around Atina, discovering the different districts, houses and palaces, learning about the history of the town.

A Visit to the local Museum and Library.

A Visit to the local Graveyard.

A Visit to the ruins of the old Paper Factory

A Wine Tasting at a local Vineyard and Tasting of local delicacies

If people want to stay on for a few days they could also …….

See the Monday morning Market held in Atina

For anyone who would might like to stay on for a few extra days – the Feast of Atina’s patron saint, San Marco, is held on 1 October.

San Marco Atina Frosinone Italy

Well these are a few ideas, perhaps you can come up

with some new or better ones.

Please feel free to get in touch if you would like

to join We Love Atina !!! on Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/groups/62618687824/

and / or if you would like to attend this event in Atina.

This is my website about Bella Atina:

http://atinaitaly.com

All photos by me © Louise Shapcott

#WeLoveAtina #FacebookGroup #atina #italy

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Tre Cancelle Farmhouse Apartments Near Sperlonga Beaches and Historic Itri, South Lazio, Italy

167 – Our New Lawnmower Arrives !!!

For a long time we have wished to have some more animals at Tre Cancelle, you might think we have quite enough with the 10 dogs in the Woof-Gang !!!

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Our land takes a deal of looking after, and before the summer and the risk of wild fires, Paul has to spend lots of time and energy strimming the groves.  We had talked of getting some sheep  to graze our land and keep the grass and weeds down, but somehow we had never got around to organising it.  One evening we visited our friends at the Bellavista Restaurant in Itri and Giancarlo eagerly told us that they had acquired a pony to clear their small patch of land.  The horse was named Pino and was temporarily on loan from a farmer named Pietro who lived nearby.  We asked if Pietro might have any other horses that needed grazing. 

We soon got to meet Pietro who arranged to come and find us to see the lay of our land.  Pino had done a very good clearance job up at the Bellavista, in fact he had practically eaten his way out of a job.  Pietro suggested that he could bring Pino down to us  for a trial period.  First, however, Paul had to organise some more fencing to make him  an enclosure.

Finally Pino arrived and seemed to take easily to his new surroundings.  At the restaurant he had been always tethered but here at Tre Cancelle he had much more space to roam.

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Having had no experience of horses previously we didn’t know what to expect, but we soon came to realise that he had an individual character, as much as any of the dogs do. He is very friendly, very used to human contact and comes to find you when he hears you call.  He is very happy to received tasty morsels such as carob pods, apples, water melon, but his particular favourite is carrots.  Paul would go down to find him early each morning and a friendship has developed.  Pino’s appetite never seems to diminish and he eats a range of plants, grass and weeds, but does not touch the olive tree at all.

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Originally we’d incorporated the wooden posts, which had  plain wire running between them for supporting the vines, but before long we realised that three lines of plain wire did not constitute a “Pino-proof” fence and he escaped with alarming regularity to where the grass was greener and tastier on the other side.  It seemed that every day we were going to retrieve him, often from the vegetable patch where he’d polished off all the lettuces we had planted !!!  Bit by bit Paul improved the fencing and before long we had to extend his enclosure as he had done such a good clean up job.   Pietro and his children comes up regularly to see Pino and and is always available when there are problems.  He has taught Paul how to improve his technique of barb-wire fencing and also shown him how to install an electric fence.

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It became apparent that poor Pino was becoming severely bothered by flys so Paul decided to experiment with Neem oil,  a natural insect repellent, which we have used on the dogs for ticks and fleas.  On one occasion, whilst massaging Pino with the oil, without realising that they were both standing a little too close to the electric fence, Paul bent down to apply the Neem to Pino’s legs and  somehow managed to reverse himself into the electric wire giving himself a severe  jolt on the bum. 

Not to be recommended !!! 

All photos by me © Louise Shapcott

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Tre Cancelle Farmhouse Apartments Near Sperlonga Beaches and Historic Itri, South Lazio, Italy

166 – Itri Festa della Madonna della Cività 2013

The highlight of Itri’s year is the festival dedicated to its patron – La Madonna della Cività held over the span of three days – 20th, 21st, 22nd July and it іs celebrated wіth several religious processions with strong townsmen carrying the silver statue of the Madonna and Child through all the quarters of Itri.

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The silver statue is normally kept in a secure side chapel of La Chiesa dell’ Annunziata for safe keeping. 

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By night the town is adorned with multi-coloured illuminations, and people flock to take part in the celebrations. 

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During such warm balmy evenings  people enjoy leisurely “passeggiata-ing”. The full length of Via Civita Farnese is lined with food vans, numerous noisy fair booths, and cosmopolitan merchants selling an diverse array of objects and knick-knacks.  For the youngsters there is normally a fairground and amusements,  and stalls selling sweets and toys.

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Toasted Sweetcorn

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Crepes

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Guinciale (pork’s cheek)

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Guinciale (pork’s cheek)

Each night there is a musical event, this year there was a classical concert by a Police band, a Pink Floyd tribute band and on the last night a “past their best ageing pop star” !!!

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The final night culminates in a spectacular firework display held at the castle.  We drove up to the Bellavista Restaurant which overlooks the town, with a perfect view of the castle.

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All photos by me © Louise Shapcott

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Tre Cancelle Farmhouse Apartments Near Sperlonga Beaches and Historic Itri, South Lazio, Italy

165 – Itri’s Sanctuary of La Madonna della Cività

The Madonna della Cività is the patron of Itri.  An ancient  sanctuary, one of the oldest in Italy,   bears her name.  It is located inland, approximately 10 km from the centre of Itri, along a long winding road that leads its way through the Valle d’Itri into the Aurunci mountains,  perched at a height of 670 metres on the peak of Monte Cività.  

Up here the mountain air is clean and fresh, and on a clear day there are magnificent panoramic mountain views, whilst in one direction you can look down over Itri, the Gaeta peninsula and Ischia,  in another you can see Fondi and its coastal lakes and the superb coastline that sweeps round and culminates in the rocky promontory of San Felice Circeo, and the Pontine archipelago.

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Here there is a church decorated in a Baroque style, a quiet place of prayer and contemplation.

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It houses the sacred icon, a painting of a black Madonna and Child, which is thought to have been painted by the St Luke the Evangelist, dating back to the 8th century when the Byzantine Emperor Leo III ordered religious persecutions and outlawed sacred images. 

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Legend  has it that this work of art was lost at sea and then later found by a young mute herdsman who was searching for a missing cow on the mountainside.  On discovering the painting in the branches of a holm oak tree, the boy fell to his knees and prayed, and miraculously was able to hear and speak for the first time in his life. He went back to the town of Itri to tell people what had happened and the townsfolk were amazed to witness that the boy could now communicate.  

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This site became a venerated shrine and a Benedictine monastery, a destination of pilgrimage. The steady stream of pilgrims grew over the years and the sanctuary and its hostels grew accordingly.

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In 1527 Itri found itself struck by the devasting Black Death.  On the 21 July of that year many people gathered at the Sanctuary and a procession took place through the local towns and villages with the sacred icon carried aloft.  The Madonna  is said to have miraculously intervened to spare many from the terrible plague.

So each year on the 21 July approximately 500,000 people make a sacred pilgrimage to the Sanctuary, some still on foot.

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On the outskirts of Itri in the Raino district there is a small shrine at the start of an ancient sheep track, a winding mountain trail that pilgrims have followed to reach the Sanctuary.

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In Itri near Via Farnese there is also a shrine dedicated to the

Madonna della Cività.

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The annual Feast of the Madonna della Cività

is held in Itri over  three consecutive days,  20th, 21st, 22nd July.

All photos by me (except where stated)

© Louise Shapcott

 • Wikipedia image Public Domain

•• Wikipedia image Public Domain

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Tre Cancelle Farmhouse Apartments Near Sperlonga Beaches and Historic Itri, South Lazio, Italy

163 – The Completed Designs of Itri’s June 2013 Infiorata

On the Sunday afternoon of the Infiorata in Itri, people come from far and wide to see the beautiful carpet of flower petals created for the Feast of Corpus Domini.  In this instance I think I will allow the photos to speak for themselves …….

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This is the butterfly design that Kay and I helped out on  ……..

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We walked down the old cobble stones of the ancient Via Appia (Corso Appia Claudio) and peeked down a narrow alleyway to see yet more colourful designs.

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An altar had been carefully set up along the way side.  The solemn Corpus Domini Procession was on its way.

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The priest  walked under an ornate embroidered canopy, his shoulders covered with a silk cloak, the ends of which he used to prevent his hands from touching the sacred sacrament that was held aloft in a special holder.   He paused at intervals along the way to say prayers and bless the various districts of the town.

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As the procession wound its way around the town, we chose made our way back to Via della Repubblica where a podium had been set up for the culmination of the ceremony.  Finally the procession arrived here lead by young children who had recently make their First Communion and the members of the town’s band..

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Prayers were once again said and in due course the priest blessed the town and all its inhabitants.

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At the close of the ceremony, the priest and his group of little angels proceeded to walk over the painstakingly prepared carpet of flowers back towards the parish church.

It seemed such a crying shame that the beautiful floral tapestry would be destroyed after so many hours of painstaking work by the teams of volunteers.  However by the following day, all was dutifully swept away, indeed there was little to show that it had even taken place.

All photos by me © Louise Shapcott

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A previous post about the Feast of Corpus Domini

96 – June Infiorata Itri 2010

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Tre Cancelle Farmhouse Apartments Near Sperlonga Beaches and Historic Itri, South Lazio, Italy

162 – Preparations For Itri’s June 2013 Infiorata

Every June in Itri a grand flower festival or Infiorata is held on the Sunday following the Feast of Corpus Domini .  This event takes  many months of dutiful planning.  It is a  real community event  when many of the towns folk gather to work together.  Each little district of the town have their own particular design to work on.

Every June that we can remember, during our 8 years in Itri, the temperature during this period has normally been up in the 30’s, hot and sunny. However this June the weather was unseasonally inclement, with cold blustery winds and heavy showers.  People were very concerned that it could ruin the flower festival.

Kay and I really wanted  to take part in the preparations, so warmly dressed, we eagerly reported for duty at the school hall, each armed with a shoe box and a pair of scissors as requested. The hall was already buzzing, with huddles of ladies and some children. 

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We soon found ourselves some plastic chairs to sit on and we were then each presented with a crate of red carnations to start work on.

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The stems had already been removed and we were instructed how to carefully  cut the petals off just above the green base of the flower. The fresh confetti of petals were placed into a crate, the bases were thrown into another basket for later use.  Nothing went to waste.

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I  struck up a conversation with some of our fellow workers, it was a pleasant opportunity to make new friends.

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The following day we returned to the school for another session. This time we found ourselves working on pale yellow carnations.

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After several days of rain everyone was praying that the weather would calm down for Sunday’s Infiorata.  Thankfully on the Sunday morning the weather had greatly improved.  From early in the morning the Via della Repubblica is closed off  to traffic  so that the teams of artists and volunteers can begin to work on their colourful creations.

Some groups had simply marked out their designs on the tarmac in chalk.

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Others prefered to use paper templates on which to create their designs.

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Coloured sand or dried coffee grinds are often used to outline the images. Then the shapes are filled in with the coloured flower petals, leaves and greenery, seeds, pulses and sand.

The design we had been working on was one of colourful butterflies.

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The whole of Via della Repubblica was a bustling hive of creative activity.

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All photos by me © Louise Shapcott

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Next – The Finished Designs of Itri’s June 2013 Infiorata

Tre Cancelle Farmhouse Apartments Near Sperlonga Beaches and Historic Itri, South Lazio, Italy

161 – Cuore Matto Itri – New Ceramic Workshop and Childrens / Teenagers Clothes Shop

602901_428473223901609_118071311_n As mentioned in my previous post, our friends Davide and Nandi have this year opened a new and unique shop in Itri called Cuore Matto.

 One section is a Ceramic Workshop where children, and adults alike,  can paint and decorate  selected pieces of pottery.

The type of pottery used is Bisque ware (meaning “baked twice”) which is white in colour,  unglazed and porous.

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A special type of paint must be used to embellish the items .

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You can mark out your design in pencil before painting.

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The finished items then need to be dipped in a special glaze and fired in a high temperature kiln, and are normally ready for collection after a couple of days.

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At Cuore Matto they can also create treasured “keep sakes” –  hand or foot prints of babies or young children, or even pet paw prints.

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Nandi is very artistic and regularly comes up with new bright and colourful designs, such as decorative plates to commemorate a special birthday, a wedding or anniversary, or the birth or baptism of a baby.

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The other section of the shop has a beautiful selection of designer clothes, with sizes from infants up to teenagers.

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If ever you are in Itri I would highly recommend taking the time to check out this splendid shop.

Cuore Matto’s Facebook Page

Cuore Matto Itri,

72 Via della Repubblica,

04020 Itri, Latina (LT)

Italy

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Tre Cancelle Farmhouse Apartments Near Sperlonga Beaches and Historic Itri, South Lazio, Italy

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table.MsoNormalTable
{mso-style-name:”Table Normal”;
mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0;
mso-tstyle-colband-size:0;
mso-style-noshow:yes;
mso-style-priority:99;
mso-style-qformat:yes;
mso-style-parent:””;
mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt;
mso-para-margin:0cm;
mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt;
mso-pagination:widow-orphan;
font-size:11.0pt;
font-family:”Calibri”,”sans-serif”;
mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri;
mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin;
mso-fareast-font-family:”Times New Roman”;
mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast;
mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri;
mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;
mso-bidi-font-family:”Times New Roman”;
mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;}

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

v\:* {behavior:url(#default#VML);}
o\:* {behavior:url(#default#VML);}
w\:* {behavior:url(#default#VML);}
.shape {behavior:url(#default#VML);}

1001009_477582342324030_1426346044_n.jpg

283584_4291831266778_120535534_n.jpg

72 Via della Republica, 04020, Itri, Latina, Italy

Normal
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false

false
false
false

EN-GB
X-NONE
X-NONE

MicrosoftInternetExplorer4

/* Style Definitions */
table.MsoNormalTable
{mso-style-name:”Table Normal”;
mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0;
mso-tstyle-colband-size:0;
mso-style-noshow:yes;
mso-style-priority:99;
mso-style-qformat:yes;
mso-style-parent:””;
mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt;
mso-para-margin-top:0cm;
mso-para-margin-right:0cm;
mso-para-margin-bottom:10.0pt;
mso-para-margin-left:0cm;
line-height:115%;
mso-pagination:widow-orphan;
font-size:11.0pt;
font-family:”Calibri”,”sans-serif”;
mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri;
mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin;
mso-fareast-font-family:”Times New Roman”;
mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast;
mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri;
mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;}