Archive for the ‘FAQs’ Category

The acacia has beautiful and highly perfumed flowers.  Rubber Slippers in Italy makes fritelle with them and we have a good friend in Lombardia (Lombardy) who produces the most delicate organic acacia honey.

I also saw this intriguing recipe for Liquore di Robinia in the Italian magazine: Fuori Casa (March 2006 # 7)

  • 200 g acacia flowers
  • 500 g granulated sugar
  • 1 litre pure alcohol
  • 2 tbsp acacia honey
  • 1 litre water

Clean the flowers with a dry cloth, or soft brush.  Put alternate layers of the flowers and sugar in a large glass bowl.  Cover and leave to infuse for 48 hours.  Then add the alcohol and honey.  Leave the infusion until you can see that the sugar has totally dissolved.  (Approximately one month.)  Add the water and stir gently.  Strain the liquid well and bottle.

Despite their beauty, their perfume, the fritters, the honey and the liqueur, the acacia flowers pose a problem for us as we can’t open the swimming pool for guests until the flowers have dropped.  This is because they sink straight to the bottom and turn into some strange gluey, porridge which clogs the filters.

In order not to disappoint, we tell people who are interested in visiting Casalba that we can’t open the pool until the acacia flowers have dropped.  Luckily, this confetti effect usually happens towards the end of May, which is just about the right time for most guests who wish to take a dip.

Alternatively, I suppose we could just make gallons of liqueur and tons of fritelle.


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We were asked whether we have air conditioning at Casalba.

Well, no we don’t.  Here are the reasons why…

Casalba is an old “casa colonica”, or farmhouse.  It was built about three hundred years ago and has very thick stone walls which do a great job of keeping out the heat of the summer sun.

Both guest apartments face north-west and so are out of the direct rays of the midday sun.

They are also on the ground floor and, therefore, protected from the heat coming through the roof which can bake all day long during the fairly reliably sunny days we enjoy during the summer months.

The floors are paved throughout in cool terracotta tiles and the windows are fitted with screens so that guests can sleep with the windows open at night.

So, as you can see, we don’t really need it.  I can’t say that it is freezing cold inside, but there is a distinct and refreshing change between the inside and outside temperatures.

Those same thick walls keep us warm in the winter.

They knew how to build houses back then!

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