(Because straccia means shred, stracciatella is also the name of a popular flavour of ice cream - vanilla with chocolate flakes - and in other parts of Italy a kind of soup, so be sure to clarify what you're expecting if you order some in a restaurant!)
|Stracciatella - not the soup or the ice cream!|
The reason I'm sharing this with you today is because we were given some as a gift in a shop on Saturday where we were only purchasing a few bread rolls. The lady had already given us a chunk of mozzarella each to try, then this tub of stracciatella to take away - really I was quite touched by her generosity, especially as there was no-one else around to see. Her reasoning - once you taste this you'll come back. And she's right, we will! Just 10 minutes before when buying some fruit and veg the owner had thrown in an extra handful of chillies for us and it's not the first time he's done similar (this is the same gent who gave us an extra half punnet of tomatoes along with the furry cucumber last week!) Such little gestures of generosity and friendliness can really make your day.
And so on to staccato rhythms! (Well, blues festival just wasn't working on the alliteration front!) Around this time of year Monopoli really comes to life with street entertainment, markets and outdoor food and drink stands all looking to keep the hordes of tourists happy. Not all of the entertainment is of the standard I'd expect to see granted a public audience if back home in UK, and coming from a town with an incredible live music scene, Mr RR and I often commented last year how blown away they'd be here if that kind of talent could be convinced to come play in this town.
So far this year, I've been embarrassed and perplexed in equal measure at the 2 physical comedy / clown acts I've seen (I don't think I'm doing them a disservice to describe the 10 minutes I saw of one act as 2 guys dressed a bit funny, moving in circles on the stage moving a wig from one's head to the other's - I mean, really?! Even the Italian kids weren't laughing!) so it was a lovely surprise, when we saw there was a 2 day blues festival going on, to hear some sound checking early in the evening and to recognise the singer had an incredible voice. After a few cocktails on the seafront, we returned to catch the set and it was really impressive: all the musicians clearly very talented.
It was the first year they'd held this event so I hope the crowds of people were testament enough to its success and it will return. Kudos Monopoli! You gained a lot of credibility with this ragazza!
|The whole gang get together for a grand finale|
And so on to this afternoon, where the metalwork for the 2 apartments came to be checked in situ before it gets painted white. Overall I was really happy with it. Given there'd been so much confusion when explaining the look I wanted, it was a relief to see that more or less they'd got it spot on.
|Railings slightly bent out of shape = deformato!|
You'll see in the second photo a gap between the stairs and the mezzanine level above. We had discussed having some kind of metal swirl to fill this gap to stop children getting their heads stuck or squeezing through to land on the hard floors! (Mr RR says if they do that then it's just evolution at work, but I'd prefer my friends with little ones could relax here rather than worry their kids will fail the evolution test!) One of the guys had made a beautiful swirling shape for this purpose, exactly the kind of thing I love, but it was unfortunately at least 30% too small to be of any use. I couldn't help myself! I started to point out it was a bit small, that I was sorry because it was beautiful but it just wasn't going to be enough, and so on, and soon we were all in giggles, the man suggesting he could try to stretch it, the others loving telling him it was too small! Now I don't know if good Puglian women use innuendo or whether this was entirely inappropriate and that's what helped them to laugh so much, but I read another ex-pat's blog who said she was only making jokes in Italian that people actually laughed at in her second year here, so I'm figuring this is me, my sense of humour and I'm ahead of schedule: it's all good!