Category Archives: Italy

La Vendemmia: Harvesting prosecco grapes

It’s  September and wherever you go the roads are full of tractors with trailers full to overflowing with grapes. I arrived at 8am, equipped myself with a wheelbarrow, a plastic bucket, plastic gloves and a pair of secateurs, and set … Continue reading

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The Phenomenon of the ‘Dinner in White’

It seems that all over Italy there are glamorous picnics being organised for balmy summer evenings where everyone wears white and brings food to share. (Nobody explained why it has to be a cena in bianco -dinner in white.) But … Continue reading

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Keeping Cool in the Furnace that is an Italian Summer

In my last post I wrote about the dreadful grey weather in Italy, but now it is the opposite and the question is always how to keep cool. In fact, for the first time ever, I’m quite looking forward to … Continue reading

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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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