Wine, Love Duets and Il Sole Mio’s

This weekend in Florence we had friends to stay from the UK, and as they had shown an interest in wine we had already decided that a day out in Chianti would be enjoyable and booked a minivan as usual through Filippo Fattori at Tuscany Car Tours.

Photo: Filippo explains how the grape vines are maintained in Chianti

The baby sangiovese grapes might not amount to much this week – but they look promising!

baby grapes

And the Vin Santo stored at Montagliari should keep everyone happy for a while!

vin santo

I am not quite sure what Filippo was describing at this point – hopefully not the size of our prospective hangover – as these barrels actually contain not alcohol but a salsa di mosto di uva trebbiano  which, had it been made in Modena, would be called Balsamic Vinegar ….but after ageing in these barrels for up to 30 years becomes so sweet it can also be used as a sauce for strawberries and ice-cream…. and by any name is absolutely delicious!

filippo describes our hangover

Having imbibed a fair amount of wine throughout the day in Greve, Montirinaldo and Montigliaro we were already in great spirits and looking forward to our evening with friends.

judith and cake

We then enjoyed a beautiful last supper , complete with a Roberto Cavalli cheesecake, under the last rays of the sunset – with just a little more wine – on the lovely terrace of Ged and Judith’s apartment.

We were pleased, and our livers possibly relieved, that we had booked for their last evening an opera event at St Mark’s Church – to enjoy a fun filled  night at the Opera 

The alter - well upstage from the performance

As always the singing team were in great spirits and as we heard a selection of favourite songs from Opera we all know.

And given our cheerful mood it was better that , as a change from the inevitable end of opera death scenes, we were even encouraged to sing along with them at the end of the evening!

This seemed like a perfect way for Ged, Judith – and the last minute extra member of our party our Italy in the Anglo-American Imagination Professor Ian Bickerton, to end their sojourn in Florence – we look forward to their return!

Ian Bickerton at desk

We ended the selection inevitably with Il Sole Mio – which seemed to encourage  a variety of interpretation from everyone around us so I thought I would include the attached translation from Wikipedia in case anyone seriously thinks that Il Sole Mio is a literal translation of “It’s Now or Never” …or worse “Just One Cornetto“!

Just for the record – other versions of this tune do include a hymn – in 1921 William E Booth-Clibborn wrote lyrics using the same music, called “Down from His Glory.”

But the original Neapolitan song – Il Sole Mio – goes something like this! 

 

Neapolitan lyrics

Che bella cosa è na jurnata ’e sole,
n’aria serena dopo na tempesta!
Pe’ ll’aria fresca para già na festa…
Che bella cosa na jurnata ’e sole.
Ma n’atu sole cchiù bello, oi ne’,
’o sole mio sta nfronte a te!
’o sole, ’o sole mio, sta nfronte a te,
sta nfronte a te!
Quanno fa notte e ’o sole se ne scenne,
me vane quasi ’na malincunia;
sotta ’a fenesta toia restarria
quanno fa notte e ’o sole se ne scenne.
Ma n’atu sole cchiù bello, oi ne’,
’o sole mio sta nfronte a te!
’o sole, ’o sole mio, sta nfronte a te,
sta nfronte a te!
English translation

What a beautiful thing is a sunny day!
The air is serene after a storm,
The air is so fresh that it already feels like a celebration.
What a beautiful thing is a sunny day!
But another sun that’s brighter still,
It’s my own sun that’s upon your face!
The sun, my own sun, it’s upon your face!
It’s upon your face!
When night comes and the sun has gone down,
I almost start feeling melancholy;
I’d stay below your window
When night comes and the sun has gone down.
But another sun that’s brighter still,
It’s my own sun that’s upon your face!
The sun, my own sun, it’s upon your face!
It’s upon your face!
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