169 – Summer Family and Friends

We had a  hot and busy summer, and Paul was very pleased as he managed to recruit some extra helpers to assist him with chores around Tre Cancelle.

Firstly our cousin’s son Alex volunteered to come and lend a hand for a week, and his stay coincided with a visit from our youngest grandson, Aneurin, and his Mum Emma.  Paul soon put them to work !!!

More fencing was required as Pino, our horse, was becoming a dab hand at escaping from his enclosure on a regular basis.  There was lots of wood to be collected from the groves, from the trees that had been pruned back in the Spring.  Both Emma and Alex worked like Trojans, despite the heat, and little Aneurin did his bit too by helping to fill up the wood shed.




We were happy to welcome the return of the White family, who are regular visitors to Tre Cancelle. (You may recall that they helped us last summer when a wild fire came dangerously close to our olive grove) – https://trecancelle.wordpress.com/2012/08/08/146-fire-at-tre-cancelle-august-2012/

Sadly Andrew could not make it this time, as he was recovering from heart surgery.  Jenny and the girls, Caitlin, Niamh and Bethan thoroughly enjoyed helping to look after Aneurin and fussing over Max, who had recently become a house dog, having been bullied by one of our adoptees, ie Henry.





Once again the pool came into its own ……..





Many happy evenings were enjoyed whilst dining together “al fresco”.  One evening Emma gave a cookery lesson for the girls and they all made pizza …..










Very tasty it was too !!!

We managed to fit in a quick visit to Atina with them all ……




and a quick visit to see cousins Mario and Mara.


Sadly too soon it was time for the Whites to make their way home.


We wish you could have stayed longer !!!

Meanwhile we enjoyed some more extra special time with Aneurin and Emma.







Cheeky Monkey !!!

Thank you to everyone for making our Summer such a happy one !!!

All photos by me © Louise Shapcott


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


168 – Jamie and Tom’s Italian Holiday

We were so happy to be able to invite our two eldest grandchildren Jamie and Tom and their Mum Vicki to come and stay during July, they had had a tough year and really needed a break.  Jamie, 11,  had just finished at primary school and was going up to senior school in the coming September.

However, the weather during their stay was extreme to say the least, hot and humid with temperatures reaching up to almost 40 deg C, totally energy zapping.

Thank goodness we had the pool for them to cool off and play in. 






We invited up our  friends children who moved from the UK to live in Itri three years ago, and they got on so well and great fun was had !!!





During their stay with us Tom celebrated his 9th birthday for which we held a little party. 


Tom was especiallyl impressed with his special ice-cream birthday cake from the Fiocco di Neve.



The evening before their last night our friends Pauline and Filippo kindly invited us all to have supper at their home. 



Pizza by the metre !!!




Thanks to Pauline and Filippo for a lovely evening !!!



Sending our love to you all.

We miss you !!!


All photos by me © Louise Shapcott


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

156 – Daily Chores Required In Paul’s Absence

So Paul set off for the UK to stay for a week with his father and renew his Passport.  Paul left a long detailed list of instructions of daily tasks that needed to be undertaken in his absence.

Kay is an early morning riser, while I tend to be a bit of a night owl, and I am known for being a tad  sleepy in the mornings !!!  So Kay volunteered to do the early morning tasks – which were letting  the dogs out of their kennels.

Then there are a lot of chores concerned with the daily maintenance of the swimming pool in order to keep it in a tip-top condition for all the guests.  Overnight the pool pump circulates and filters the water taking the majority of the debris that has fallen in the pool in the course of the day. Inevitably some of the debris sinks to the bottom, so Kay carried out the early morning maintenance task of connecting a flexible hose to the pump creating a siphon to allow sunken debris to be “hoovered” from the bottom.  When the pump has switched off on the timer for the day Kay removed and cleaned the filter ready to start the cleaning cycle again in the evening.


Then she would get the washing machine going, as here it can be a bit like a Chinese laundry with the amount of sheets etc.  We have purchased a super duper washing machine that takes loads of up to 12 kilos, and Kay had things well organised and soon had the washing hanging out on the line to dry.   

Then she would proceed to mix up the dogs food ready for their supper in the late afternoon.

Sometimes the staff that work behind the Delicatessen counter in our local supermarket kindly put aside any off-cuts of ham, cheese and salami for us to supplement the dogs dinners.  These we have to  laboriously chop up into small pieces with a pair of scissors.

By around 4 or 5 pm the dogs are normally beginning to have rumbley tummies and are keen to remind us that it is nearly feeding time.

We laid out all the dog bowls, 10 in all now.  The number of spoons of the doggy dinner mixture depends on the sizes of the dogs. It was a little more complicated as the vet had given them all various tablets, so we had to make sure who got what, but we soon got into a routine.  3 dogs are kept in an enclosure near our caravan, and the rest are in another fenced area behind the house.

Once the food had been delivered and eagerly consumed we spent some time giving the dogs a fuss.  Kay has really taken to Monty, Henry and Bella, and often enjoyed their cuddles and vice versa.  Kay has taught Monty to say “please” by putting up his poor.  Henry is quite partial to sharing a cup of tea and a biscuit with Kay, and Bella is just so affectionate and will launch herself on to your lap for a cuddle at the slightest provocation.


Kay, Bella and Henry


Kay and Bella


Kay, Henry, Bella and Cara





As Kay is such an early riser she tends to need an early-ish bed time, so at around 9pm we would take the doggies some bed time biscuits to encourage them to go into their appropriate cwtches. Normally  this went to plan, however one night I could hear a bit of a commotion and realised that Bella had somehow escaped  from her kennel. It turned out the catch on her kennel door had come adrift. By this time Kay was already snoring so I had to Skype Paul for advice. Fortunately he had left some screw-in eye fixings in a little plastic tub on the dresser behind the computer, so I was able to find them quickly together with a pair of pliers. I tried to screw them into the wooden door and door post whereby I could thread through a piece of wire and twist it to secure the door.  Perhaps this sounds easy, however when carrying out this operation whilst holding a torch was somewhat of a challenge, but fortunately I managed it.

The next morning Kay could not comprehend what had happened and it apparently took her ages to unwind the piece of wire, as I had wound it around so many times – I had been so determined that Bella would not be able to escape yet again !!!

One morning a fire started on Monte Marano behind Tre Cancelle, there was a strong breeze which was fanning the flames.  




I immediately rang 115, to alert the Fire Brigade. Then two members of the Corpo Forestale arrived, it seems that they had just been in the area and were coming to investigate the cause of the fire. They informed me that in the case of a wild fire it was better to call the Corpo Forestale on 1515. They immediately summoned a fire fighting helicopter  Amazing the helicopter , which carried a large bucket slung beneath it, arrived within 10 minutes and began to douse the flames. It proceeded to carry out numerous such trips until the fire was put out. The Forestale police seemed suspicious that the fire could have been started intentionally, as it is unusual for fires to start so early in the season. They took an official statement from Kay as to what she had witnessed throughout the morning.  Let’s hope we don’t have any more fires this year in our vicinity.

We had a big fire that engulfed our wooded hillside last August. You can read more about it here.


All photos by me © Louise Shapcott


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

144 – Tre Cancelle Swimming Pool Update

We are extremely happy with the new swimming pool at Tre Cancelle. We are confident that it has been a good investment.

Paul has constructed a little white picket fence and we have planted tubs with colourful geraniums.  We have also purchased new sunbeds, deck chairs and patio furniture to finish it off.

During the European Football championships we decided to get into the spirit of things and decorated the house with Italian flags.

Italy did well to get to the final, however was eventually beaten by Spain.  Well done Italia !!!

It was around this time that we welcomed a lovely young family from Ireland.  

The two young lads really enjoyed splashing about in the pool.

One day we invited our friends, Nandi and Davide and their 3 children, to also come and try out the pool – and it seems a splendid time was had by all.

In the evening, to round things off we had a barbeque and enjoyed a lovely serata together.

All photos by me © Louise Shapcott


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

132 – New Swimming Pool For “Tre Cancelle”

Whilst it takes very little time to get to numerous lovely golden sandy beaches, we have always felt that a lovely addition to “Tre Cancelle Farmhouse” would be a swimming pool. 

Not yet able to afford a fully built-in pool we decided to install a quality, steel sided, above ground pool of ample dimensions, ie. 6.1 metres by 3.75 metres.

A substantial base was going to be required to support the weight of the some 21 m3  of water incorporated in the pool.

So Stefano and gang set about excavating material from high points of the terrain, and then redistributing it at lower points until a level base area of about 50 m2 was achieved.

Then they mixed and carefully laid a reinforced concrete base.

The next day Stefano set about tiling the base, by the end of a hot and sticky sunny day poor Stefano was exhausted by the heat and his poor old knees were suffering badly.  That said, he did a really splendid level job and the following day the tiles were then able to be grouted.

Having checked off all the parts against the swimming pool parts list,  the instructions were pretty easy to follow step by step.

Before long the pool began to take shape.

And …..

Hey Presto !!!


Sincere thanks to Stefano, Pasquale and Cipriano for all their hard work

and making it all happen !!!

All photos by me © Louise Shapcott


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

70 – Nostri Nipotini

During July we really enjoyed our two grandsons’ visit to “Tre Cancelle”,

accompanied by their Mum Vicki and her partner Alex. 

Jamie and Tommy are both very bright sparks and growing up so fast, and have done very well this year at school.

They always enjoy their trips to Italy and are picking up a little of the Italian language.  They came laden with lots of doggie treats for the “Woof-Gang”. 


The boys particularly enjoyed :

Several trips to the wonderful sandy beaches


Tucking in to the local cuisine



Hunting in rock pools for crabs and octupus


Playing in the Park in Itri



The slides and swimming pool at Itri Aquapark




And best of all ……….

Sampling all the ice-creams !!!



Positively Scrumptious !!!


xxxxxxxxxxxxx  We miss you !!!  xxxxxxxxxxxxx