Horrible Histories

When your kids’ favourite show includes segments on “Groovy Greeks” and “Rotten Romans” (if you have kids in upper Primary, you’d know “Horrible Histories”), it’s a given that visiting ancient ruins is going to be a hit. And yes, even though we’re in Italy, there are ruins of the Roman AND Greek variety. The temples…

“The Shame of Italy”

For Year 12 Italian, we studied Carlo Levi’s 1945 novel “Cristo si e Fermato a Eboli”. Levi was an Italian writer and anti-fascist activist who was exiled to a remote area, now known as Basilicata, in Italy’s South in 1935. There, he encountered people living in poverty unknown and unheard of in Italy’s north. Whole…

Baroque and Roll baby!

There are loads of cities and countries in the world with stray cat issues. They thrive around the fishing ports on the Greek Islands; on the streets of Bangkok; and the parks of Buenos Aires; kept fat on restaurant left-overs and doting nonnas/abuelas. They sleep on doorsteps, on car roofs or under trees, and relieve…

The Salento – Beach Hopping Part 2

With the Ionian Sea side of the Salento ticked off, our skin screamed “more sun per favore!”, so we did the drive East to the Adriatic. There are just so many amazing beaches to choose from here, and thankfully all of the ones we chose were more or less sand free! We passed through the…

Beach hopping.

Back in Australia, I’m not much of a beach goer. Not that we don’t have stunning beaches back home. Let’s face it, they’re some of the best in the world. But it’s the sun! It’s bloody hot! And even though I have 50% Italian skin, after about an hour of it, I feel uncomfortable and…

Trulli, Madly, Deeply.

There’s not much to say about the trulli of Alberobello, in Puglia (Apulia in English) in Southern Italy. Only that they are SO CUTE! So compact. So Smurfy! As you drive into the area, they are dotted around the countryside…in the middle of olive groves, or atop generous farmhouses. Some are in rubble, others are…

The best meal of my life.

As a super-organised planner extraordinaire, having two nights un-accounted for in our trip was supposed to be a “hells yeah, I’m all free and breezy, and can be a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kinda girl” moment. But as we approached those two nights, where we needed to stay somewhere to break up the ten hour drive between Florence…

Go with the Flo.

There are so many reasons why you’d want to go to Florence, and just one why you wouldn’t. Pros? The art. The food. The history. The celebrations. The desire to create, and be surrounded, by beauty. The con? Tourists. We’d just come from 2 weeks in Umbria, where we’d often be the only people in…

Lean on Me

Question: What are these people doing? Is it A/ a new dance craze? ┬áB/ tai chi? C/ a dramatic Italian “talk to the hand” gesture? It’s all in the angle! They’re doing what everyone does when they come to see the Leaning Tower of Pisa – getting the elusive “Yes, it really DOES look like…

The “Venus de Meelo”

Seeing one of the world’s most famous paintings, one that has inspired beauty, photography and other artists for centuries, begins with a jolt, and then warms all of your senses. It’s like meeting a long lost relative that you’ve always KNOWN has existed through photos and maybe a chat on the phone, but then seeing…

Umbria’s Hilltowns

Our time in the country house in Umbertide, Umbria, is coming to and end. It began in a stressful whirlwind, with Cam’s mum, Deb, set to join us. The girls were mega excited, but the fact we didn’t have her airline, flight times or flight numbers up until the day of her arrival, and the…

“I do, I do, I do, I do, I do”

On January 31 this year, Cam and I celebrated our 10 year wedding anniversary. It’s hard to believe it’s already been a decade, and we laugh more now, understand, chat and cuddle more than we ever have. Our wedding was in Launceston, Tasmania, and was, in my eyes (as most brides would argue), the best…