A Cloud of Fraud by Linda Ferreri

Perhaps the suspicion of fraud enhances the flavor. C. S. Forester

Filtering by Tag: set in Italy

Claire's house

Claire’s house in Castello PIceno is only 400 years old. And she is doing some redecorating. Nothing major because the house is in wonderful shape, but fresh paint and some new furniture.

The house is stucco over stones on the outside which makes it one of the only houses in the centro storico that is not stone and/or brick. It’s pink, besides. So in every picture taken from that side of the beautiful hill town, it stands out. There it is, directly across the street from the little chapel of San Filippo, with its lovely garden of roses and fruit trees right beside portico. No wonder Claire loves it.

Inside the old houses of these beautiful medieval hill towns, one finds narrow hallways, wooden beans and brick ceilings, and lots of stairs. Stairs up, stairs down, cantinas for keeping food, and more. Claire’s kitchen floor is original handmade marchigiana brick which are gorgeous except when she’s mopping, but maybe even then.

Every August, the hill towns of Le Marche come alive with their inividual festivals in which they celebrate their individual histories. Castello Piceno has its own, too, the week of ferragosto which is Italy’s most sacred holiday, on August 15th. There is a procession through the medieval part of town in which people dress in the velvet robes and beautiful elements of their history. It’s wonderful to see. Nearby, San Ginesio has its pallio with real men, on real horses, and real javelins. Claire thinks that nobody knows a good local party until they have enjoyed life in a house like Claire’s in a town like hers.

This is the view out Claire’s kitchen door.


Set in Italy

Like “made in Italy” the term “set in Italy” has a magical effect. Indeed, this novel is set in Italy, except for the parts set in Philadelphia and a few scenes in New York City. That Italy business is real magic because Italy seems to be at the very top of everyone’s bucket list world-wide. That is just as it should be. Italy is luscious, delicious, elegant, everything wonderful-ous.

The set in Italy is a small hill town in the Macerata Province of Le Marche. The hills of Le Marche are, to me, even more beautiful than those in Tuscany. Their colors keep changing as the seasons do and the farmers seed their crops that go from green to yellow to beigh back to green. The rose colors of all the fruits are everywhere.

The medieval hill towns of Le Marche are beloved by tourists who have walked them or cycled their environs. Castello Piceno in the book is a fictitious name but it could be any one of several of the beautiful hill towns in Macerata. The bricks of the buildings there are pink and buff colored and that orange color of Tuscany is turned into a soft color in Le Marche. This is the home of verdicchio, a crisp white wine that is made near Jesi and Matellica. Olive trees are everywhere, alone and in groves. Pecorino is the cheese made from the sheep who graze the hillsides. All of them have a central piazza with a Bar Centrale where Baldo, our beloved police chief, takes his coffee and broods.

So off we go, to Le Marche, tomorrow. More from there soon.