207 – Alison, Shannon and Niamh’s Summer Break at Tre Cancelle – Part 1

In June we welcomed Shannon, Niamh and Alison to Tre Cancelle.  This was not to be their first visit, especially for Shannon and Niamh who have stayed with us many many times now, in fact we are practically like family.  The three girls had just completed their exams, Shannon and Alison had just taken their finals at university and Naimh her ‘A’ Levels. They now had some well deserved time off and we hoping to relax a little and unwind from the stresses and strains of the last new months. Shannon and Niamh, who are sisters, were to stay for a month with us, and Alison for 2 weeks. They very kindly volunteered to help with a few jobs around Tre Cancelle during their time with us.

Alison, Shannon, Niamh

Alison, Shannon, Niamh

The grass and weeds in the olive groves had grown almost waist high, and if left like this would become a definite fire risk during the hot and dry summer months.  Since his heart problems Paul does not have the energy to strim all the grounds, so Pietro had recently brought back some of his horses to graze under the olive trees and at the same time do a little natural fertilization !!!  This time there were 6 mares, and old Pino came back just for a few days.  Alison is a lover of horses so she was in her element.

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The girls’ visit coincided with Kay and Elsie being here for a few days. Last year Kay and Elsie drove to Tre Cancelle from South Wales.

Here is Kay relaxing in the pool.

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We were all invited to have lunch with our American friends, Pat and Melinda, at their apartment in the characteristic Medieval town of Minturno.  Their property has a beautiful sun terrace with a magnificent panorama of the Campania coastline and plains.

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Elsie and Kay

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The following day Shannon and Alison were on tenterhooks as the results of their final exams were due to be published imminently.  Suddenly we heard high pitched screaming and screeching !!! The girls were elated !!! Both Shannon and Alison had obtained first class honour degrees. 

We decided to celebrate with a bottle of bubbly to congratulate them both on their wonderful achievements.

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Shannon and Alison’s visit also coincided with the arrival of our grandson Aneurin, his Mum Emma and another of our good friends, Michäel.

We all decided to celebrate being together by going for a meal at one of our favourite restaurants in Campodimele. Pat and Melinda have nicknamed it as the “Gas Station”. They decided to tag along with us too.  I have written about the “Casareccia” restaurant before,  Maria’s food there is simply divine !!!

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Alison, Shannon and Niamh were inspired to do some cooking of their own.  Our amareno cherry trees had a bountiful crop this year.  The girls and Aneurin helped to de-stone them.

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Some were to be used to make jam. Some were bagged ready to go into the freezer and some were set aside to make a bottle or two of cherry liqueur (see more about making liqueurs below).

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This was the girls’ first attempt at jam making.

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They also had a go at making some lemon marmalade.

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They baked a cake or two …..

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….. and then tried their hand at making scones to go with the jam.

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The scones came out of the oven more like biscuits.  Shannon named them the “Scones of Death” !!!  Paul still devoured them anyway and lived to tell the tale !!!

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Now moving on to Making Liqueurs. 

Melinda was keen to have a try at making some home-made liqueurs, and she started using some of our amarena cherries, and some white mulberries that had been gifted to us by Frank. I had never seen white mulberries before. Shannon was more than happy to assist Melinda.

The cherries were washed and then dropped one by one into a large wine bottle. When each of the bottles were approximately two thirds full neat alcohol was added until it covered all the fruit. The fruit in the alcohol then has to be left to steep for between 30 or 40 days.  Ideally you need to shake the bottles from time to time.

After this period the mixture must then be strained and filtered to remove the fruit from the liquor.  Next between 300 and 500 grams of sugar  is slowly dissolved in a pan containing a litre of warm water to make a clear syrup, Then this must be left to cool thoroughly.  The infused alcohol is then diluted with the sugar syrup using about the same amount of syrup to alcohol, however some people may elect to add a little less if they want the liqueur to pack a real punch.

Melinda and Shannon carried out the same procedure with the mulberries.

Next – Walnut Liqueur

This liqueur is traditionally made on the feast day of St John the Baptist which falls on the 24th June. So we took 24 green immature walnuts from our tree. These then needed to be cut into quarters and placed into a larger bottle with a wider neck, such a demi-john or kilner jar.  A cinnamon stick, a vanilia pod and 5 cloves were then added and enough alcohol to cover the fruit, and were then set aside to steep as above.

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Next – Cedrino Liqueur

In our garden with have a cedrino or lemon verbena bush, the leaves when crushed between one’s fingers give off a wonderful lemon aroma.   We gathered 120 cedrino leaves and dropped them into a large wine bottle.

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We then added the rinds of 4 lemons and topped the bottle up with a litre of alcohol and left it to steep.

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Let’s wait and see how all the liqueurs come out !!!

Melinda can’t wait !!!

photos except where indicated are © me, Louise Shapcott, Shannon White and Melinda Abbott

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Last year Last year Kay and Elsie drove to Tre Cancelle from South Wales:

182 – Kay and Elsie’s 2014 Mega Road Trip To Italy

A previous post about the Casareccia Restaurant:

177 – Ristorante La Casareccia In Campodimele

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TCTitleTre Cancelle Farmhouse Apartments Near Sperlonga and Itri in South Lazio

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202 – Our New 2015 Video For Tre Cancelle Farmhouse and South Lazio Italy

I (Louie) have been beavering away once again on the old computer.

Using  my own photos I have  put together a

new 2015 Video Slideshow of our Tre Cancelle Farmhouse.

Please do take a look – We hope you will enjoy it ………..

2015 “Tre Cancelle” Farmhouse Holiday Apartments

We also have a video about this beautiful and interesting region of

South Lazio in Italy:

“Beautiful South Lazio”

This beautiful mountainous / coastal region of South Lazio (within the provinces of Latina and Frosinone) is rich in history, architecture, culture and natural beauty.  Indeed it is blessed in many ways :

The beautiful coastline of the Riviera Di Ulisse / Ulysses Riviera (sometimes also know as the Costa Pontina or Pontine Coast) is considered to be one of the most beautiful stretches of coastline in Italy.  

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Sperlonga Coastline

It takes its name from Greek mythology.  According to Homer’s ancient work the “Odessey” and Virgil’s later work the “Aeneid”, the legendary Greek hero Odysseus / Ulysses, having fled from the Aegean following the fall of Troy, for 10 years navigated the waters of the Tyrrhenian Sea and eventually set foot on these golden Italian shores.  

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Odysseus / Ulysses

This picturesque Riviera Di Ulisse, with its numerous golden sandy beaches, rocky coves, hidden caves and sheltered harbours, and the pretty seaside resorts of Sperlonga, Gaeta, Formia, Terracina, San Felice and the Pontine Islands, is noted for its temperate climate, and rainless summers.

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Sperlonga

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Gaeta

The rocky cliffs are a haven for Free Climbers.

Yet close by are the dramatic Aurunci, and Ausoni, mountains which border the Southern Appenines and the Abruzzo National Park.  This is an area of outstanding natural beauty, with a diversity of landscapes:  Pretty medieval hill towns; verdant tranquil hillsides; olive groves; rivers, lakes; craggy peaks and protected nature reserves.

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Itri Nestling In The Aurunci Mountains

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View of Bella Itri

South Lazio is ideally positioned midway between Rome  and Naples making it an ideal base for taking day trips to these noble historical cities and also to  Pompei, Herculaneum and Vesuvius, to Montecassino,  to the Royal Palace of Caserta and Anzio.

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The South Lazio area is popular with Italian visitors during the month of August, however out of season it reverts to a peaceful setting that is still largely undiscovered by international tourists.

So …

Come And Discover Beautiful South Lazio !!!

For more details about our

2 Comfy Farmhouse Holiday Apartments

and other local Holiday Villas  

please go to our Website at :

http://trecancelle.shapcott-family.com

 

All photos by me © Louise Shapcott

#holiday #apartments #sperlonga  #itri #italy #vacation #homes #rentals #villas #SouthLazio

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01 – The Beginning of a New Chapter

Since dear Dad’s passing time seems to have just flown by.  We were inundated by so many messages, letters and cards of sympathy and were very touched by the love and kindness that surrounded us.   It was very strange not having him about the place, but we slowly adjusted to the change as best we could.  We take comfort that Tina and Hugh are now reunited and no doubt watching over us all, and our progress here at “Tre Cancelle”. 

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Hugh and Tina Celebrating Their Golden Wedding Anniversary - October 2005

For a time I felt totally exhausted, both physically and emotionally and my head felt very muddled – I think at last the stresses and strains of the last difficult months had finally caught up with us, which was natural I suppose.  There were still too many recent, vivid and painful memories, but we were sure that these would fade in time as we will began to heal ourselves.

So once again we were able to make plans for the future and resume our adventures in Bella Italia“. We soon found that we had plenty to keep us occupied. 

We were receiving a pleasing number of enquires and bookings for our holiday accommodation.  Our first guests at “Tre Cancelle” for the 2008 season arrived at the beginning of April.  A lovely couple with two lively boys, who absolutely loved our doggies, so much so that the boys were up at 7.30 each morning, knocking on our shutters, as they wanted to help Paul serve breakfast to the hounds. 

We realised that we now needed to fully support ourselves financially, so we unanimously decided to go ahead and rent out both the upstairs and downstairs apartments during the summer months.  We could “rough it” again and live back in the old caravan !!!  The upstairs apartment was by now virtually complete, however downstairs was a different story, as there were some larger jobs to complete before it would be of a sufficient standard to advertise it as holiday accommodation.

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One morning our nosey neighbour “10 times Teresa” came to inspect her land and found that someone, for the second year running, had nicked all of her prize artichokes.  She wasn’t too pleased I can tell you !!!  We have named her “10 times Teresa” because every time we have an encounter with her she seems to tell you everything about 10 times over, in “Itrana” dialect, which is pretty hard going sometimes !!!  We keep nodding and “Sì, Sì-ing” sympathetically,  hopefully in the right places.  Every evening she sits on the same bench by the old fountain in Itri, and watches out in case our car should pass by.  On seeing us she waves madly and tries to flag us down.  We have been caught out several times, by pulling over, and end up having to go through the long procedure of Sì, Sì-ing” for another good half an hour or so !!!

* photo by alfred nerstu

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