My Italian Summer

Summer in Italy has been incredibly hot this year. The heat has been exceptional, well above average,Β  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.

Heart shaped Italian tomatoes

Heart shaped Italian tomatoes

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.

zucchini flowers

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.

Lignano Sabbiadoro Beach

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.

Beach at Lignano Sabbiadoro

We had tons of gelatos every single day. You can never have too much Italian gelato though! It is just so so good.

Italian gelato

I enjoyed fresh sardines which are so cheap and they have a fabulous taste of the sea.

Fresh sardines

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!

Shelling fresh borlotti beans

Fresh Italian Borlotti beans

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.

Italian tomato passata

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.

bread, tomato, cheese and wine_

And you, did you have a nice summer? Or perhaps are you on holiday right now?

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6 Responses to My Italian Summer

  1. Mimi

    Love this post! Summer does have its benefits! I used to have that red plastic tomato mill but I hated it and threw it away. It just always popped off the table and caused a big mess!

    • Alida

      My mum has different ones and has changed several over the years. I think that one is her “portable one” for when she goes to her holiday home… because she brings her tomatoes with her even there!

  2. Mary Frances

    So enjoyed your post today my Italian friend, It made me miss my mother and my hubby’s Mom so very much. We have had the hardest time ever finding good Italian Plum tomato seeds here in the south so there for making my Italian Sauce this year did not happen, plus we had way too much rain. I enjoy all your, recipes and thank you so much, God bless, hugs and love, Mary Frances

    • Alida

      Hi Mary,
      The weather has been really odd this summer: somewhere too rainy and cold and somewhere far too hot but every year is different. In the UK you cannot make passata either as there is not enough sun in the summer so I usually have to buy it too (when the one I make in Italy runs out!).
      Thank you for your lovely comment and I am pleased you liked the post. All the best!

  3. Angie@Angie's Recipes

    Your Italian summer is awesome, Alida. It looked like that kids had fun shelling the beans..:-))

  4. elisabetta

    I totally agree with everything on this post Alida. I spent 2 glorious weeks in Italy recently and I can still feel that Italian vibrancy and energy – boy do I miss it! Love those heart-shaped toms, the perfect crowning glory for a humble bruschetta. I’m really glad you and your family have had such a wonderful summer πŸ™‚

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