Author Archives: Myra

Able was I ere I saw Elba!

I remembered this palindrome from my school days as we caught the ferry from Piombino to Portoferraio.  It had been a long rail journey, not made any easier by the ticket inspector admonishing us for having a ticket for Piombino … Continue reading

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Italy through the eyes of a 10 year old.

I’ve just spent the week of half term with my lovely grand daughter Matilda (whom my Italian friends all called La Bella Ragazza.) It was a week of non stop activities, from running ahead of me in the maze so … Continue reading

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Amazing Roman Engineering: bridges, aqueducts and fortifications.

Coming from Hadrian’s Wall country, I’ve always appreciated the phenomenal engineering skills of the Romans, but after my recent week in the south of France, I am even more impressed. On our first day we went to a Roman settlement … Continue reading

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Three cheers for Easyjet after cancelled flight!

The weather in Italy this month has been variable to say the least. We’ve had sunshine, warm enough to sit on a bench with a book, followed by torrential rain and even snow. We had a guest for the weekend … Continue reading

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A Magical evening at La Fenice in Venice

Venice is at its best in winter, once the carnival is over, with mists and empty alleyways. The highlight of my recent few days there was an evening at the aptly named La Fenice (Phoenix) theatre, rebuilt after it burnt … Continue reading

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A Prize Trip to Paris, and thoughts on Alchemy and Museums.

How wonderful to travel to Paris courtesy of a bit of my recent writing, and even better to travel unexpectedly first class on Eurostar. We travelled in luxury, then onward in somewhat less comfort on the Metro. (Where these days … Continue reading

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Baden Baden: swimming in snow and darkness

I have always liked spa towns, not so much for the spa treatments, but because they invariably have fine architecture and lovely parks. On this year’s drive back from Italy, we decided to take in the ultimate European spa town … Continue reading

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The Olive Harvest in Italy

I’ve learnt a new Italian word :frantoio. It means not only the millstones used to crush the olives, but the place where they make olive oil. In the picturesque village of Valnogaredo in the Euganean Hills there’s a 17th century … Continue reading

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Tourists who don’t understand Venice

People never fail to amaze me. A couple of months ago I agreed to show some people I’d never met before around Venice, as it would be their first visit. They were very nice, pleasant company, and well educated, and … Continue reading

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Venice Biennale

I’m always reluctant to pay the €30 entry fee to see cutting edge or politically correct art at the two sites of the Biennale, so I try to find interesting free venues which are often better. This year is no … Continue reading

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