Summer in Italy has been incredibly hot this year. The heat has been exceptional, well above average, in fact it has been named after the devil: “Lucifero” or “Lucifer”.
I still remember the faces of the people getting off the plane with me: a big smile was stamped on everyone’s face when they could feel the overwhelming Italian heat. It is a feeling difficult to describe, a feeling of freedom and of happy days.
One of the downsides of living in nothern Europe is that when summer arrives it really is not summer: by this I mean a summer where you you don’t need to wear much, a summer made noisy by the chorus of cicadas singing in unison, a summer of watermelon and big juicy tomatoes that they are still hot from the sun when you pick them.
This is the time of year when nostalgia for my home country really hits me but by the time September comes I am all right again. What I do is spend as much time as possible in Italy at this time of year.
In fact after a few weeks at the beach I feel “restored” refreshed and full of life again.
Here are some photos of my summer in Italy.
These heart shaped tomatoes my mum and I have planted in the garden have been a real success. She got the seed from a friend and they are so sweet and really cute too.
It has also been a good year for zucchini and I have been having lots of them and frying the flowers too.
Check out my recipe for ricotta stuffed zucchini if you like a tasty aperitivo.
The beaches were packed. As always we were at Lignano Sabbiadoro on the Adriatic coast in north eastern Italy. This is my local beach, the one I used to go to every summer as a child and the one I spent many weekends sunbathing as a teenager. It is just so convenient as it is located only half an hour from my home town.
The Adriatic coast is characterized by long soft sandy beaches and the sea has shallow waters: it takes a while before it gets deep making it ideal for family holidays.
We had tons of gelatos every single day. You can never have too much Italian gelato though! It is just so so good.
I enjoyed fresh sardines which are so cheap and they have a fabulous taste of the sea.
And freshly made mozzarella
The kids were busy shelling fresh borlotti beans. We always bring them back to England and then I freeze them on arrival. They make fab minestrone for the winter!
And my mum kept working working and working… making tomato passata. It was hot and sweaty but she was still adamant to not let those beautiful tomatoes go to waste. She is a proper Italian mamma you know.
Simple things in life make you happy. Just a slice of freshly picked juicy tomato on a slice of rustic bread, with a drizzle of olive oil and a glass of wine are enough to trigger incredible sensations of well being.
And you, did you have a nice summer? Or perhaps are you on holiday right now?