Marostica, Aquileia, Trieste.

We popped into three Northern Italian towns we’d never visited before. Here are some mini snapshots… Marostica Where is all the second hand stuff? I was convinced I’d find so many little relics and dust-collecting nic-nacs to add to my “old stuff” collection at home. Most “old stuff” in Australia I’ve found at op shops…

Buona Befana!

In Italy’s North (Veneto and Friuli) Christmas and New Year festivities are “all wrapped up” (to quote a much-used advertising slogan at this time of year) on January 6, The Epiphany. This is when the 3 Wise Men (the magi) were said to have travelled to Bethlehem to bring gifts to baby Jesus. So, to…

Auguri da Venezia!

While it’s a bucket list dream for many to see in the New Year on Sydney Harbour for one of the biggest NYE fireworks displays in the world, Venice was our choice of party city to celebrate the start of 2020. “Get down to Piazza San Marco early” warned Frederico our apartment owner “or you…

La Serenissima

I’ve already written about the way I feel about Venice from our last trip to La Serenissima (the most serene Venezia) in 2013. I’ve always trained in from Treviso in the past, but this time with New Year’s Eve and Cam’s 40th birthday set to fall across our Venice days, it seemed like a great…

Jousting sticks? What does he want for them?

I’m not much into sport.The blokiness of it all; the fat-and-red-necked rough-nuts that dominate the NRL; the suspect off-field life of the AFL; the paralyzing boredom of cricket. But finally, after 40 years, I have found a sport I’d happily watch again and again. It has everything I want as a fan – pageantry, triumphant…

The Veneto Club

As well as Venice, the Veneto, in Northern Italy, offers loads of gorgeous old towns with art and history aplenty. In Padua, there is Giotto’s amazing “Scrovegni Chapel”, that you have to book to see months in advance. Commissioned in 1305 by wealthy banker Enrico Scrovegni, it was intended to be a “get out of…

Bella Venezia

I can still remember the emotions I felt when I walked down the steps of the train station in Venice towards the Grand Canal for the first time 20 years ago. I cried then, and on these, the 5th and 6th times descending the same stairs, I did again. It’s overwhelming. Venice is one of…

Il Castello

After two weeks of touring Germany and Austria, with their perfect planning, stream-lined organisation and cleanliness, we weren’t ready for what awaited us at the Castello di Roncade in Northern Italy. The location is perfect for us, with my dad’s home town of Treviso just 20 minutes away; Venice a quick train ride; and the…

“But soft, what light through yonder window breaks…”

If ONLY it was light breaking across the skies of Verona today, and not billowing clouds, cracking thunder and tumultuous, fat rain! The day started out pleasantly enough. There are two major sites that have tourists flooding into Verona. Juliet’s (alleged) balcony, and the Roman Arena. When I visited 22 years ago, and had the…

“We make savings fun and easy, whatever the amount…”

“Your dollar might go further in a Dollarmite Account”. When I was a kid singing along to that jingle, with Commonwealth Bank and advertising execs rubbing their hands with glee, I never knew that A/ it was a play on words, with the “Dolomites” being a mountain range in Northern Italy, or that B/ I’d…