Tag Archives: Italy

Goodbye for now, Italy!

As with most good things (and luckily a fair few bad ones), it all must come to an end. On a nice day in September, the sky akin to Microsoft’s Windows 98 screen saver, we gave the car back to … Continue reading

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Chaos theory applied to abbeys.

Sometimes you don’t make it, sometimes you break it. Ian Malcom explained it in Jurassic Park, circa 1993. A butterfly can flap its wings in Peking and in Central Park you get rain instead of sunshine.  A single valley, two abbeys, … Continue reading

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Of the intrinsic beauty and harmonious forms of Tuscan hills.

I come from a region where the land is alternatively very flat – filled with rice paddies, corn fields and factories – or very mountainous. There’s really not much of an alternative; it’s either flat as a ruler or climbs … Continue reading

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Delirious Venezia.

Thirty-one years, all of which in possess of a passport marked “Repubblica Italiana”, and I had never been to Venezia. I visited Hanoi, Dušanbe and Charlotte, North Carolina, but never made it to the city at the end of the Veneto … Continue reading

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Licensed to Ill: driving your teenage roads, twelve years on.

Unlike many of my peers, I wasn’t given a car as a birthday present when I turned 18. Publicly I was saying I didn’t want it but I knew it was a case of fox and grapes with a numberplate, … Continue reading

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Modern art

I don’t often go to modern art fairs, mainly because I don’t get it at all, and I have a tendency to express scorn and not-so-educated scathing comments  out loud when everyone else is silent (it’s a family gift, Dad … Continue reading

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Where the woods are returning.

On paper, it was an easy ride. About 9 klicks, roughly 600 meters in elevation, and a smooth return to the waiting car, through the woods, up the ridge and then back again into the woods. The signs at the … Continue reading

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“It’s all they’re asking these days”.

“Is it organic?” The scorn, on Alberto’s face, was evident. “These days they don’t even check if the wine’s good or not, if it isn’t organic no one wants to give a euro for it”. We scanned the view from … Continue reading

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A rowing regatta

The stretch of the Po river that flows past the city of Turin, in Northwest Italy, is normally quiet: a few rowers, two boats doing a sort of public shuttle service, countless ducks and swans. This weekend, though, things were … Continue reading

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Bologna people watching

People watching in Bologna was refreshing. Renowned for their frank, no-nonsense attitude, I found the Bolognese a nice, unassuming, welcoming bunch. Our permanence was short, but it gave me the distinct impression of a city fundamentally at ease with itself, … Continue reading

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