Category Archives: Italy

A Dismal May in Italy

The first of May was a miracle in retrospect because it was warm and sunny all day. That meant that my little stall of Cose Inglesi did good business and I enjoyed myself for a full 12 hours chatting and … Continue reading

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The Long Drive to Italy 2019

Over recent years it has saddened me to see how much the rural France I loved has grown shabbier and more abandoned. We drove though mile upon mile of La France Profonde where there were old agricultural buildings with collapsed … Continue reading

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A Pirates’ Den in an Italian Village

Having been away from Italy for the whole of winter, it was a pleasure to return to familiar haunts. We swept up the accumulated drifts of dead insects and cobwebs, noting with relief that  the flat had survived another winter, … Continue reading

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Lunch with Venetian Nobility

If you were to drive through the tiny village of Vanzo and blinked, you would miss one of the most beautiful villas in the Veneto. It is the home of Count and Countess Giustiniani who are descended from a 17th … Continue reading

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Torrential Storm stops Padova Shakespeare Festival

We’d learned our lines (from The Merry Wives of Windsor) and Falstaff had bought a very bushy beard from a joke shop. Just as two years ago we were performing an excerpt from Shakespeare in his own language amongst lots … Continue reading

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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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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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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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