August 29, 2016

The sun sets on our Italy holiday

After three weeks, the sun has finally set on our Italian adventure. We decided to see out our time here with a three hour sailing trip around Lake Como. Yes, it was a three hour tour. No, the weather didn’t get rough and the tiny ship wasn’t tossed. We walked to the wharf, through the back streets of Bellagio where we are staying. Once aboard, Carlos, our captain, told us about some of the sights and villas before serving up a huge platter of cheese, meats and sandwiches. And a couple of bottles of wine. We watched the sun go […]
August 28, 2016

Lifestyles of the rich and famous: Lake Como

So his is how the other half live. Big waterfront palaces, seaplanes and helicopters, and a constant stream of tourists gawking into your property to get a glimpse. We are now in Lake Como, about an hour’s train ride from Milan. Lake Como is where some geezer called George Clooney has his summer residence. Apparently he also runs a coffee shop or something. It’s a beautiful area, and reminds me somewhat of Milford Sound in New Zealand, just with hotels, ferries and Americans. The view from our room is impressive to say the least. And we even got fireworks last […]
August 26, 2016

Colourful Burano

This place reminds me of a packet of Fruit Tingles. Burano is an island a couple of kilometres from Venice, a bit further out on the lagoon. The homes there were (apparently) originally painted bright colours so fishermen could spot their homes from the sea. Today, it’s done for the tourists more than anything. We also visited Murano, famous for Venitian glass.
August 25, 2016


This truly is one of the most photogenic places on Earth. We arrived here after catching a high speed train from Florence. After a bit of mucking around with our accomodation, we finally checked in to our flat. It’s huge! We front onto a canal, in a quieter part of Venice. We are also just a short walk from the Accademia bridge, where I watched the sun come up and go down today. Today we walked around the city, up and down streets, over bridges and somehow ended up not getting too lost in this rabbit warren of a place. […]
August 24, 2016

Blue skies, blue water… And ‘sand’

Warning. There’s lots of blue skies, blue water and gelato ahead. We’ve said goodbye to the incredible Cinque Terre area, after spending a day exploring and enjoying the cool blue water. We even managed to find some sand – or what Europeans refer to as sand. We caught a ferry from Riomaggoire to Monterosso, enjoying the coastline. At Monterosso, we cooled off with a dip. It’s not cheap though. €25 for two beds and an umbrella. But again, worth it just to keep your arse off the gravelly beach. It wasn’t quite sand. More like ground up gravel. But better […]
August 22, 2016


Greetings from Riomaggoire, at Cinqueterre. This is a quaint little coastal town known the world over. After a long train trip here, and a long struggle with our packed bags, we finally made it up the hill to our room, commanding an amazing view over the town and port. We walked to a nearby beach for a swim to cool down. It was a struggle getting in and out thanks to the giant pebbles. Yep, I fell on my arse. Maybe thongs weren’t the best idea. After another gruelling walk up the hill, where we seemingly took a wrong turn […]
August 22, 2016

Florence. Time to get some culture.

Culture. You can’t go to Florence without soaking up some. We spent Saturday wandering around the city, visiting the Uffizi and doing a great walking tour, learning about the Renaissance, the medieval part of town and the art. Michaelangelo, Leonardo, Raphael… And there was even a turtle in the main square.
August 20, 2016

Siena and San Gimignano. And truffles.

Let’s be honest. Our day trip to Siena didn’t get off to the best start. After catching a regional train, we struggled to find our way… out of the train station. Running out of time, we caught a cab to the other side of this historic walled city, ready for our tour. This was a tour with a difference. This was our tour vehicle. The tour wasn’t great, as we soon realised that most cars, including our little three wheeled lawnmower, are banned from the city centre. We couldn’t even get close to the main sites in the city, despite […]
August 19, 2016

Ye Olde Tuscano

Having been curtailed in our travels by not being able to get a rental car, we decided to do a tour of the Tuscany region as part of a small group. In the end, it was a much better idea as we could enjoy the wines (and let me tell you, they serve big tastings). We visited two wineries and trying the famous Brunello wines, before checking out Monteriggioni, surrounded by 12th century walls. Then it was on to Val d’Orcia, which is a world heritage listed area of farming country which looks much the same as it did centuries […]