Blogs from Italy, Europe


Europe » Italy » Liguria » Ventimiglia August 10th 2019

We knew at some point we'd have to venture out to Ventimiglia. It's the first town across the border in Italy and only an hour away. Last year when we were here we ventured out there and happened upon a great little restaurant called Da Daniele. We all sat on their outside patio, I had white wine and a delicious Tiramisu, everyone else had pasta vongole (clams). Anyway apparently the pasta and clams were so delicious it was already decided that we'd make the drive to Da Daniele a tradition should we ever be in this neck of the woods again........ So we climbed in the car and headed East towards Italy not knowing the difficulties that lay ahead. We like to travel on the base corniche which is picturesque and pass through all the sweet ... read more
The treasured Pasta Vongole
Enjoying lunch in Italy
Da Daniele

Europe » Italy » Sardinia » Alghero August 6th 2019

We still can’t quite believe that we drove an hour to get to La Pelosa Beach yesterday (and it was a truly stunning beach), but we then had to turn around and come back again because we couldn’t find a square millimetre of unoccupied sand to lay our towels on. Issy reminds me that we walked about ten kilometres along a pristine sand beach about an hour from home last summer, without seeing a single other human being. We make a note to remember to never again take our Aussie beaches for granted. We discuss some other observations we’ve made about life here. We’ve seen lots of Italian parents here with children of other races, who we assume must be adopted. You hardly ever see this back home, and we understand that Aussie adoption laws are ... read more
Beach Rules 1
Beach Rules 2
Beach Rules 3

Europe » Italy » Emilia-Romagna » Bologna August 5th 2019

Today was our final full day in Italy before our two days of travel to return to the UK. After a good breakfast, which also included cake, we headed off back to the city to follow the map we had been sent from our Tailor Made Rail. We were to start from the Neptune statue - our first port of call was the Salaborsa, once the economic centre, now a place of culture. In this building, you could see some of the old city below through a glass floor. We did do this a little later than planned, as opening times in the summer are a little later 14:30 not 10:30 when we got there. It is worth a look, however some of the glass could do with a clean to have a better look. Heading ... read more
Anatomical theatre - old university
Anatomical theatre - old university
Anatomical theatre - old university

Europe » Italy » Sardinia » Stintino August 5th 2019

Issy really liked La Pelosa beach when we went there on Saturday, so we decide to head there again and spend the day lazing on the sand. It was very crowded there on Saturday and hard to park, and we hope that it might be a little less so today on workday Monday when hopefully all good Sardinians will be slaving away back at their desks. The traffic gets very heavy as we get close to the beach, and it now seems even heavier than it was on Saturday. If half of Sardinia was here then, the whole of Italy feels like it’s here today, plus the populations of a couple of other smaller European countries thrown in for good measure. We wonder why Sardinians aren‘t at work like they should be, and what we might ... read more
Alghero Cathedral from the belltower
View from the Alghero Cathedral belltower
Alghero Cathedral Museum

Europe » Italy » Emilia-Romagna » Bologna August 4th 2019

As indicated in the last blog, our friends headed for the airport around 8am sadly we did not wave them off as we were still fast asleep. It had been a great couple of days together sharing the adventure. So back to the two, we enjoyed our final breakfast at the Grand Hotel des Arts - checked out, stored our bags and headed out for a final fling around Verona to soak up the excitement and see some of the set we had seen on the stage returned to its area in the square. We went back to our little cafe near the hotel for an Aperol Spritz, picked up our bags and headed to the station to catch the 14:52 train to Bologna ( only 50 minutes away by train). The train was busy although ... read more
Dinner including the famous Bolognese sauce
Neptune’s fountain
Unfinished cathedral of St Peter

Europe » Italy » Sardinia » Alghero August 4th 2019

We’re still trying to work out what our accommodation, the Starry Sky Charming House, really is. Mr Google says it’s a four star hotel, but it clearly isn’t because it doesn’t have any hotel facilities. It does have hotel size rooms, but they’re jammed into an apartment block, and are certainly way too small to be called apartments. The establishment itself refers to itself as a guest house, but it’s not a house, and the only guest houses I’ve ever stayed in have at least had a lounge, a bar, a reception area and a restaurant, and it certainly doesn’t have anything even vaguely resembling any of of those. We decide to settle for “boarding house”; for which we’re paying four star hotel prices. I’ve decided that I need to try to stop thinking about our ... read more
Porto Conte
Neptune’s Grotto
Steps up the cliff from Neptune’s Grotto

Europe » Italy August 4th 2019

Just returned from an incredible trip to Switzerland and Italy. Trip that seemed impossible due to doing it at short notice and that too first time with kids and in peak summer! Anyways went ahead with hardly 2 weeks planning. First booking hotels that were available and then deciding on the itinerary. EU rail pass came in handy to provide some flexibility and not enforcing a firm schedule. Once hotels and tickets booked, a rough itinerary after finding distances between the cities, what to cover, who might like what, expected weather etc. etc. - an algorithm that even AI analytics can’t help with ! Oh did I mention, coincidently Kavita and I celebrated our 10th anniversary during this visit! Bern was the base location in Switzerland and all day trips undertaken from there. Bern itself is ... read more

Europe » Italy » Sardinia » Stintino August 3rd 2019

The rock concert that was still vibrating the walls of our room at 1am must have eventually stopped, and we awake to the pleasant surprise that the owners of our accommodation, the Starry Sky Charming House, haven’t broken into our room overnight and thrown all our belongings over the balcony into the street. They clearly haven’t discovered our blog posts from the last two days yet, but we mustn’t get complacent; we’ve still got four more nights here to endure. Today’s destination is La Pelosa beach near Stintino in the north west corner of the island about 30 kms from Alghero. Unlike yesterday‘s mountainous coastal drive, today’s route takes us through fertile looking agricultural land with more than the odd vineyard. We were warned that La Pelosa can get very crowded, and it feels like most ... read more
La Pelosa Beach
La Pelosa Beach
La Pelosa Beach

Europe » Italy » Veneto » Verona August 3rd 2019

With the operas finishing late I am now a day behind in the blogs - so hope to catch up today. After another great breakfast, we headed to retrace our steps to find the Duomo - we at least knew the direction of travel from our wet trip the day before. Having made it to the castle once more, the sign was spotted pointing us in the direction of the Duomo (think I missed it whilst looking down to avoid puddles) - with no such excuses this time we made it to the cathedral fairly unscathed apart from going the whole way around it to find the entrance. As you will see from the photos, the interior was absolutely stunning and the many stages of the build over the centuries just added to the splendour. It ... read more
Basilica di San Zeno
Basilica di San Zeno
Basilica di San Zeno

Europe » Italy » Sardinia » Bosa August 2nd 2019

Today we decide to visit the small town of Bosa which is about 30 kms south of Alghero. The views from the road along the rocky mountainous coastline are spectacular. There’s very little in way of habitation along the route; no villages, just steep shrub covered mountains, with few if any trees. I read up a bit about the history of Sardinia. It’s the second largest island in the Mediterranean after Sicily, and like most places in this region, everyone whose anyone from around the Mediterranean seems to have had a go at attacking and occupying it over the journey. The Sardinians seem to have been good at banding together to try to repel external invaders, but they then seem to have spent most of the intervening periods fighting each other. This doesn’t seem to make ... read more
Coastline between Alghero and Bosa
Coastline between Alghero and Bosa

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